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You know that feeling? Minutes before a big trip, your mind runs over every last detail to be sure you haven’t forgotten everything. These 9 things I do before every international trip have become my mental check list and often look over them in my notes the week before I leave.

They’re the kind of details that you don’t have to do weeks in advance, but the kind that are important to do before leaving the country. There’s so much preparation before leaving for a trip and often we forget the little details. Over the years, through trial and error, I’ve narrowed the most important details. 9 Things I Do Before Every International Trip

9 Things I do Before Every International Trip

1. Make digital and hard copies of important documents.
This is my first thing on the list — do I have copies of my passport, insurance, and birth certificate? One of the best tips I received was to store them digitally in a secure network, where you could access them from anywhere in the world.

2. Be sure I have travel insurance.
I don’t leave the country without it, and with World Nomads you can book it last minute!

3. Make sure my wallet is prepped for the trip and alert banks.
I always be sure to have two different credit cards, a debit card, i.d and medical card. One reason I travel with two credit cards is that in case one gets frozen because the bank flags it for fraud due to international charges. I had this happen in Bali even though we let the bank know we were traveling and it was a lifesaver to have a second card. I also always have at least $200 USD on me.

4. Check for travel warnings for each destination and check local news.
Did you know the US has a travel advisory site for each country? It’s good to check it out in case something is going on. Taking a peak at local news in each destination as well is always a good way to get a sense of what’s going on.

5. Charge all electronics before getting on the plane.
There’s a few reasons to do this before you fly. One is so that you don’t arrive with a dead camera battery and the second, is many airlines are asking all electronics to be able to be turned out.

6. Pre-purchase tickets all museum or sights.
With travel being more accessible than ever before, getting tickets can make or break your trip. I learned the hard way when I showed up empty handed to the Sagrada Familia the first time, just to find out I couldn’t get in.

7. Check the voltage/outlet in each country.
I always have a few converters around so I always double check which one I need to bring. This worldwide travel adapter is always great have on hand as it works everywhere!

8. Double check airline rules on baggage.
Ever showed up to the airline and realized you could have checked a bag for free? The worst. So I always double check a few days in advance before making any packing decisions.

9. Check passport and Visas criteria per country.
Ideally, this would be done more than a week in advance but always good to check each country’s requirement. Like did you know you need a visa to enter into Australia? Or that major of countries require three blank pages?

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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


1 Comment

  1. these are great tips. Travel insurance is very important for one never knows…copying one’s documents sounds like a very smart thing to do.

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