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8 Things to Do Before Traveling Internationally

By Sara | January 15, 2016

So you’ve decided to travel the world, or maybe just take an extended vacation. Before you leave, here’s eight commonly overlooked things to take care of before you board your flight.

1. Get Necessary Vaccinations – In Advance!

This is a biggie that we almost spaced on when we started trip planning. Depending on what countries you plan to visit, you may need vaccines in order to stay safe and healthy.

Nothing dampens the excitement of an African safari more than finding out you have Yellow Fever, and no one wants to halt Asian explorations because of a mosquito bite turned encephalitis. Even if an extreme illness is unlikely, visit your doctor to make sure your vaccines are up to date.

2. Change Your Address

If you’ll be gone longer than a few weeks, you’ll likely want someone to look after your mail. Change your address to a close friend or family member’s or have someone watch your mail for anything urgent.

If neither of these is an option, look into a service like Earth Class Mail. They’ll collect your mail for you, take photos of the outside envelope, and you choose what to do from there. Earth class will open, scan, forward, trash, or shred based on a few clicks from you.

3. Store Your Belongings

This only applies if you plan to leave your current home to travel. For most people who are living in an apartment, this is the most cost-conscious option. Shop around for the best storage size, then get some boxes and say goodbye to your rent! Don’t forget to look for coupons online for extra savings.

If you own a home, it may be worth looking into renting out your house to have some passive income while you’re away.

4. Find Pet Care

Finding a great foster home for your fur babies is crucial. This should be planned months in advance to be sure there are no fallouts. Additionally, consider how your time away will affect your pets. If you’ll be gone for a long stretch of time, it may be worth looking into adopting them into a new, loving home that will be around long-term.

5. Update Your Passport

Many countries require that you have at least 6 months of validity on your passport before they will grant entry, so be sure to renew your passport if it’s nearing expiration. Also make sure that you have enough blank pages in your passport book. Request more before you go if you’re low on empty pages.

6. Get Necessary Visas

With a U.S., Australian, or European passport,  travelers can access many countries visa free. However, some countries require that you obtain a visa.

Many countries offer visas on arrival, but other times you’ll need to arrange a visa before boarding your flight. Be sure to check visa laws in your your destination country before you travel, and give yourself time to send your passport out and receive the visa before your trip.

7. Set Your Budget

Expenses while traveling are different than expenses while at home. To stay on top of all things money, and to allow yourself to travel longer, set a budget for food, accommodation, transportation, and any other frequent expense you may incur. We recommend using budgeting platform Mint because of their user friendly design and ease of use.

8. Book a Flight

Congratulations! You’ve checked all the big boxes of things to do before traveling, so now you can buy your ticket, pack your bags, and just go.