“Travel opens heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell”

Be it a vacation or business travel, a good planning can definitely turn your travel into a memorable one. 

Though there are things to be remembered for every travel, however, when it comes to travelling abroad, you need to have a more exhaustive checklist.

So, here’s my checklist of 9 things to do before you travel abroad. Go check if you can tick all of them before your upcoming travel.

  1. Check your Passport and Apply for Visa: 

First things first! Get your most important documents in place: Passport and Visa. Check and double check. Check your passport for validity. If it’s nearing its expiry date, it should be at least after 6 months from the time of your return. If you are a frequent traveller, check the passport for blank pages. So yes, we are excited to get those colourful stamps but then our passport should have place for them.

Check and apply your Visa as per the country’s regulations. The Visa application process and requirements vary greatly across the globe. Hence its recommended to do your research and get this process completed well in advance. 

  1. Check your Insurance: 

Before you travel, check your existing health insurance if it has international coverage. Also, consider buying a travel insurance. It’s always a good idea to get your money covered in case of flight cancellation or baggage loss. 

  1. Get your vaccine shots and stock up medicines. 

Apart from your usual medication if you are on one, pack the basic over the counter drugs like paracetamol, aspirin etc. Check with your doctor for any additional precautions and get a health check-up done. Also, check with the arriving country’s regulations. Some of them require you to get some specific medications as a precaution. Especially if you are travelling to some third world country, get your flu shots well in advance because Well! Who wants to spend the vacation dealing with malaria or “Chikunguniya” 😛

  1. Check for Money matters: 

Reaching a foreign country and being stuck there without any money is an absolute nightmare. To not experience that, check your Debit/Credit cards for international usage. Check the conversion rate and accordingly keep sufficient hard cash in hand. Also, chalk out a rough plan of all your major expenses during the travel and keep the money liquid in account. 

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  1. Check your telephone provider: 

These days with the vast presence of internet, connectivity is rarely an issue. Still, having your phone network is always recommended. What if you are stuck at a place with no Wi-Fi? Check with your network provider for international calling and get it activated well before the travel. 

  1. Research about the Place: 

Research about the main attractions of the place. Places to visit, any local festivals or ceremonies happening there during your visit. Check about them and consider including them in your itinerary. Also, pick up a few important phrases of the local language. Know a bit about their food and culture. It’s always nice to greet someone in their local language. 

  1. Luggage- Pack Light: 

Do not pack things that you can buy cheap there and don’t forget things that you can’t even find there. Pack a few clothes, keep your necessary electronics, medicines, shoes. Pack an extra set of clothes in the check in baggage so that you are not left stranded in case of baggage misplacement. As a personal choice, I always pack some ready to eat food like cup noodles to keep me full in case I don’t find my choice of food. But yes, pack light! 

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  1. Keep hard copies of important documents: 

Print out several copies of your passport, visa, accommodation, insurance and itinerary details. Keep them at 2-3 places with you and leave one set at home with family. It’s always advisable to have these details handy when you can’t access them digitally on your phone due to any random reason. Its also a good idea to get coloured and laminated copy of your passport so that you don’t risk losing the original all the time.  

  1. Get an International Driving Licence: 

Not required all the time but if you are going to travel extensively and do not need to depend on chauffeurs all the time, this might be a good option. They are not very difficult to obtain too. Familiarize yourself with the local road laws and you are all set to go on your road trip! 


Vaishali Pandey

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