Before you even think about packing your bags and heading out on your next travel adventure, it’s important to have a checklist of things you need to do to ensure your trip goes as planned. So many chores need to be done before you can take off on your trip and enjoy your stay. Some things you need to be prepared for are, booking flights, securing travel insurance, arranging transportation for when you arrive at the destination, setting up banking, checking your passport expiration date and many others to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Although it may seem tricky to get all the chores done, having a to-do list can ensure that you wouldn’t forget any important tasks or other details before your trip. Here are some of my tips that will guide you and help you prepare for your trip. Read on, and don’t forget to check out all Irina Bukatik blogs for more great advice.

Set a Budget

Before anything else, you need to sit down and create an efficient budget that will allow you to allocate money for all your expenses, including travel costs, accommodation expenses, food, and other things like shopping and entertainment. Once you’ve created your budget, you’ll know exactly how much you have available to spend on your trip so you can plan your itinerary and pack your bags accordingly.

Budgeting is the most important task that you need to do before anything else while planning a trip. You can also ask for help from a friend or a colleague who has visited the destination before. Their experience will be different from yours, but it will prepare you for things you need to be prepared for.

Destination Research

One of the best ways to make sure things go smoothly for you during your trip is to research the city or destination you’re visiting. You will surely find a lot of information about the place you’re visiting. For example, if you’re visiting the Maldives, you may want to research beaches and other visit-worthy locations there. You should also learn about the cost of food, accommodation, travel costs, and other expenses to prevent any unexpected situations.

A happy woman doing travel research on a laptop

You should also look up what the weather is like during that particular time of year, if any special events are happening at the time that you plan to attend, what places are worth visiting while you’re there, and where you can go to get around while you’re not traveling. If you haven’t already, research what kind of visa is required and which vaccinations you’ll need to enter the country.

Prepare for the Unexpected

This is an overlooked point that not many travelers take into account—preparing for unexpected situations. Traveling away from home, you always need to be prepared for unforeseen events like unpredictable weather, accommodation costs, or other disruptions in your schedule. This is why you need to prepare a plan B in case something goes wrong or your original plan falls through.

If you’re going on a road trip, always keep a map with you; you never know when the GPS will stop working. Moreover, always keep all your emergency documents—such as your passport, ID, and some cash—with you.

Online Reviews

Before booking your hotel or room or going to a restaurant, take some time to read reviews of the destination you’re considering visiting. It will help you better understand what to expect and determine if the destination is right for you. Reading reviews while traveling can help steer you in the right direction.

Ensure that the review website is reliable and that the reviews left on the website are by actual customers. You can find many good restaurants close to where you’re staying by reading reviews online.

Pack Light

A woman packing travel essentials

Although it can be tempting to pack everything you think you might need while traveling, carrying all those items can be a real hassle. Packing lightly and smartly will make things a lot easier for you. For example, make sure you’re choosing comfortable clothes that can be easily worn a few times and will also dry quickly. Try to pack neutral-colored clothes that you can try to mix and match so you can wear a short with multiple jeans or shorts and accessories.

Creating a packing list is important as it will help you avoid packing too many clothes or things you wouldn’t need while traveling. Here’s a general list of things that you can use to ensure you leave nothing important behind:

  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • Purses/bag pack
  • Sweater/jacket
  • Tops/ tank tops/ t-shirts
  • Sandals/ boots/ walking shoes
  • Swimsuits
  • Extra towels
  • Toiletries such as shampoos
  • Facewash
  • Sunscreen/ face moisturizer
  • Hairpin/ fingernail clippers
  • Medications
  • Earbuds
  • Snacks for the trip
  • Eye masks
  • Movies/ Music
  • Sunglasses
  • License
  • First aid kit
  • Face mask and hand sanitizers
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Other necessary traveling documents

Access to Your Funds

If you’re flying overseas, ensure you have full access to your bank account, as you could need it at any time. You don’t want to fly miles away from home only to discover that your bank has suspended your credit cards. This will ruin all your traveling plans. Most banks allow withdrawals from other banks in a foreign, but you have to pay a fee. To avoid a potential headache, check with your bank before your trip to determine which ATMs you can use, so they don’t suspend your account for suspicious activities.

It’s also a good idea to keep some cash on hand so you can use it in case you’ve been stranded and don’t have your wallet or credit cards.

Taking Care of Your Home While You’re Gone

If it’s your first time traveling, it’s important to prepare your home while you leave for a vacation, especially if you have plants or pets. Ask someone you trust, i.e., a friend or a family member, to take care of your pets while you’re gone and ensure your plants are watered. If you have a mailbox, ask the post office to hold your mail while you’re away.

Plant pot on a windowsill

Investing in a security system while you’re gone would also be wise. This way, you’ll be notified if someone is at your door or there’s a security threat. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected while you’re away. Don’t forget to turn off all the appliances and electronics before leaving the house.

Pro Tip: Clean your house and put on fresh bedsheets so you can come home to a clean space. You can rest without worrying about cleaning the house.

Getting Travel Insurance

Although many people may think that travel insurance is just an unnecessary expense, it can provide protection in the event of a medical emergency or severe weather event that can cause you to cancel the entire trip.

Travel insurance can cover a lot of damage, such as credit card cancellation coverage, travel delay, dental or medical emergency, stolen luggage, and other losses. If you decide to invest in travel insurance, read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure it covers all the activities you will be participating in during your trip.

Getting an International Driver’s License

If you’re planning on traveling overseas for a long time, it’s best to get an international driver’s license so you can rent a car or drive when need be. You may save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on a flight or public transport.

Keeping Emergency Contact Information

Always keep your emergency content information with you. Keep a list of a home phone number and other numbers where you can be reached while abroad. Share the content information with your family and close friends so that they have a way to contact you in case of an emergency while you’re abroad. You should also carry a list of things you’re allergic to in your bag pack.

Traveling Apps

If you’re a frequent traveler, many apps can help you plan your trip and make the most of your time abroad. They can help you find accommodation or give you direction when lost. Some apps also have a translator so you can speak in a different language if you get lost or get in trouble. Instead of downloading a language app, you can use a travel app.

Traveler using an app

I, Irina Bukatik, am a self-proclaimed foodie, a coffee snob, and a popular travel blogger! I love to write about my most incredible travel experiences and share them with my readers. If you’re a frequent traveler or a food lover, you shouldn’t miss my Food Travel Blogging website, Wanderlust Food!

You can also follow me on my social media, where I regularly update my followers about my newest adventures and talk about the food I love.

Connect with me via the contact form here.

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