Traveling abroad is always a fun thing to do. To visit a country you’ve never been to, and experience things that are otherwise not possible back home, is always going to be a life-changing experience. All of these things hold true from the moment you land, to the moment you head back home. But landing a particular location, if you think about it, is the tail-end of the journey. There is actually a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes on as well, which you’ll need to take care of. Of them all, one of the most important things would be the many things you do, to make sure your vacation is going to be a fun and pleasurable one. From planning to basic precautions and then some, there are a lot of things that need to be done, to make everything run like clockwork. I probably have a million things to say about this topic but these are my favorite things to do before heading out on international travel with my baby and family.
1. Get a Good Suitcase
This is essentially the ‘core’ of your entire vacation. From the moment you leave your house, you will be packing much of your life in the suitcase, until you come back. Therefore, it is important that you have the right gear for the job. Quite often, people tend to ‘cut corners’ here, by trying to substitute price for quality. This is a very risky thing, because while budgeting is important, risking the loss of your belongings is also a valid concern. The same holds true for other things like travel cases, backpacks, handbags and so on. You need not spend a fortune on them, but at the same time, don’t compromise on the quality either.
2. Secure Your Finances
There is a lot that can be said about finances. But the one word that can sum everything up is ‘secure’. It is important that you keep your finances secure at all times from the beginning to the end, no matter what. The term ‘secure’ here includes several things. For one thing, it is a good idea to keep your finances spread out, with some money in your wallet, some more in your luggage, others in your handbag and so on. This will ensure that even if you lose a part of it for whatever reason, you’ll still have something to fall back upon. Likewise, another thing to focus on is to keep the details of your banks with you, ranging from the account and customer care number, to the details of your debit/credit card and so on.
3. Travel Insurance
Nobody knows what will happen in the future. It is a given, that there will always be risk in the world. While there is really no guaranteed way to avoid risk, you can always prepare yourself for it. One way that you can do so is by getting insurance. In the case of travel, there are many companies that provide for travel insurance. Find a company that provides you with as much coverage as possible, ranging from air fares and hospitalization to passport costs and so on.If possible, find one that is ‘bundled’ up with medical insurance as well, as overseas medical expenses can be expensive, especially in developed countries. If not, you may have to buy health insurance separately, which works in foreign countries.
4. Verify Your Passport Validity
Make sure that your passport is valid. The term ‘valid’ here implies that it should be valid for not just the first trip to your destination, but the return one as well.
5. Let Someone Know Your Whereabouts
As much as we like to keep surprises and maintain privacy, it is not really a good thing all the time. Make sure that you let some people know, whether friends or family, about your whereabouts, before you leave. Some things you might want to let them know include, among others, the destination, the place you’ll be staying, as well as the number of days you’ll be on your vacation.
6. Know the Place You Are Checking Into
One of the most important things about your vacation will be the place you’re staying in. The hotel or resort you check into is essentially a home away from home. Therefore, make sure that you check into a place that is reasonable and stable. Once your reservation is confirmed, make sure that you have all that you need, and from the reservation details to location information and so on, to ensure that you check in and indeed, checkouts without any hassles.
7. Keeping Your Home Secure
This is always going to be a scary thing. Heading off on a vacation, especially with the whole family and leaving the home empty, is always a risky thing.From issues like security from burglars to hazards such as fires, there is a lot that can go wrong if you ignore it. Therefore, make sure to take care of this part before you leave the house. Some things you’ll need to take care of include, among others, turning off taps, turning off the gas, turning off the main power supply, etc. In addition to this, make sure that the house is properly locked and secure. Do this just before you leave the house, so you don’t have any doubts during your trip.
8. Take Care of Medical Necessities
If you or your family members have health issues, you will need to have this addressed. Make sure that you carry with you the required medications that you may need. In addition to this, you will also need to carry with your prescriptions and any hospital records, should there be a necessity for medical attention when you reach your destination. Some countries are very strict about selling medicines without prescriptions, meaning that ignoring this might cause a real problem later on.
9. The Stuff that Your Kids May Want
This is not always a given, but may apply quite often. Kids often have their favorite toy, blanket, book or other such trivial objects. Make sure to bring them along, if they don’t occupy too much space. It should keep them happy and engaged throughout the trip.
10. A Packing List
This is more of a generalized point, but something that addresses everything from the beginning to the end. It is probably the first thing you must work on, before you start the trip. Make a list of all the things you will need for the trip, from the beginning to the end. It should help you stay organized and prepared. That would be it. These would be the ten things that you should focus on, when planning an international vacation. There are many more. Put some time into working on this part of the journey, and you can enjoy the rest of it, with no issues or hurdles.