Planning a vacation is an exciting time, but there’s often a lot to think about. Whether you’re going away for an extended amount of time, or just a short trip, the planning procedures are often quite similar.
To help you get started on the road to planning your next vacation, I’ve drawn up a list of the top 5 most important things to do before you travel.
Depending where you are from, and where you are going, you may need to organize a visa before departing. Applying for tourist visas around the world can take anywhere from 1-day to several weeks, so it’s very important that you look into the requirements for your destination country, long before you travel. The sooner you apply, the less stressful it will be.
Whether you’re going to be in a city, or in a jungle, you should check with your local GP to see if you will need vaccinations for the destination you are traveling to. Vaccinations are often only required if you are traveling to a specific region of a country, or during a certain season. Some vaccinations require you to receive them well in advance of your trip, so start researching early to be safe!
Photocopy Your Passport
Assuming you’ve already checked your passport and that it’s still in date for least 6 months after you return, you should also make a full, color copy and email it to yourself. This can come in extremely useful should you lose your passport, and need to reference any of the details on it. It will also help speed up the process of applying for a new one, should you need to. Most convenient, however, is it allows you to travel around a city or country without having to bring your real passport for identification. You can simply leave it safely in the deposit box of your hotel.
Get Travel Insurance
Next, you should be looking into travel insurance. There are lots of great options for travel insurance, suited to every travel need and style; whether you’re going to be traveling alone for an extended period of time through several different countries, or you’re a family going on a short break. I always choose World Nomads, as they’re great value, reliable and very helpful when you need them (which we did when Andres broke his foot in Chile!).
Hold Your Mail
Notify your local post office, or even a neighbor, of your upcoming travels. Ask them to hold your mail for you in the post office, or have the postman deliver it to your neighbor so you can easily pick it up on your return. Make sure to also notify any telephone, internet or electricity providers of your upcoming absence, so they can hold your mail and help you set up direct debit for when you’re away.