Pam’s 17 Must-Have Travel Tips
I like traveling. No, I LOVE traveling. I like the plotting, the planning, the logistics, the adventure…the late arrivals, the long layovers, the missed connections…okay, wait. Maybe there are a few things not to love, but I have thought through 17 of the most important questions to ask yourself before you travel internationally. Follow these and you won’t be caught hitting your forehead saying, “If only I had…” So without further ado:
1. Is my passport valid for at least 6 more months after the ending date of my travel? (Some countries require this.)
2. Are there enough clean pages for all the stamps I will receive as I enter and exit countries?
3. Have I checked which vaccinations certifications are needed to enter a country? Do I have a travel card I can present to the proper authorities upon entrance of the country?
4. Do I have clean new bills for use when I am traveling abroad? Many countries will not exchange USD if there are marks, wrinkles or old production dates.
5. Do I have a long enough time for a layover to get off the plane, clear security and board?
6. Do I have a paper copy of my flight plans, passport id page, hotel info and contact numbers as well as a digital scan in various bags? Redundancy is your friend.
7. Have I packed my suitcase so as to keep very valuable things on my carryon and less valuable (but important!) things from immediate eye view? Have I bought good TSA locks?
8. Have I properly marked all my luggage with my name, address and phone number somewhere on the case itself in case the tag comes off?
9. Do I have a plan in case I miss a flight or am arriving late to my destination?
10. Do I know that I can sometimes get a hotel room complimentary from an international airline if my layover is over 8 hours? Have I investigated?
11. Have I called my bank to let them know which countries I am traveling in so that when I use my ATM card, it won’t be frozen because of suspected fraud?
12. Have I called my credit card companies to let them know that I’ll be traveling abroad?
13. Do the locations I am going even accept credit cards or traveler’s checks? Some places will only accept cash.
14. Have I left a printed copy of my itinerary, hotel location and emergency contact numbers with a friend or family member?
15. Do I have the proper adaptors for my electronics? Are they 220 V safe?
16. Have I distributed my clothes so that complete outfits are in each bag? If one bag gets lost, I will still be able to have proper clothes. Do I have one change of clothes in my carryon in case all bags get lost?
17. Have I joined a frequent flyer club prior to this trip? Miles add up to free trips, upgrades, etc.
To read more about Pam’s travels, check out her latest book, One Plane Ticket From Normal.