Traveling overseas? Want to go somewhere abroad? The earlier you start planning, the better. You tend to be able to get cheaper deals when you’re able to research and book early, not to mention the benefits of sitting back and relaxing, knowing you’ve got everything sorted ahead of time. But whether you’re booked early or late, there are some important must-dos before you go overseas. Check out these top five:
1. Check your passport’s expiry date
There isn’t much worse than showing up to the airport and not being allowed to board your flight because your passport is expired. It only takes a few minutes to check, so make sure you do. Typically, it takes weeks for your passport to be renewed but there are ways to speed it up through the express appointments.
Also be aware that some countries require your passport to be valid for a length of time before your arrival date. In the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Turkey, for instance, you need a minimum of six months to be left on your passport from your time you land.
2. Get any immunizations you need
Be sure to get any immunizations required at least eight weeks before you’re set to travel. Always phone your doctor first to see whether your existing immunizations are still covered for the period of travel. Doctors will know what injections you will need for the country you’re visiting. The immunizations they will be able to vaccinate you for include:
- Diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
- Hepatitis A – including when combined with typhoid or hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B when not combined with hepatitis A
- Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis
- Meningitis vaccines
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Yellow fever
Source: NHS Choices
3. Allocate a daily budget
Don’t leave it until the last minute to decide how much money you need to bring with you. Research your destination and allocate yourself a daily budget. By planing ahead, you won’t fall short with cash or end up to excess amounts of foreign currency left over.
In places like Western Europe you can easily spend $100 or more a day, however in places like Asia you can spend half of that. The answer? Be scrupulous with your money – making a budget is the Secret Travellers number one tip for would-be explorers.
4. Tell (relevant) people where you’re going
Letting your closest friends and family know where and when you’re going, as well as how long you’ll be gone for is very important. Whilst you shouldn’t overly publicize when you’ll be away from home, especially online, it’s important to let your loved ones know where they can reach you.
It isn’t as important these days with all the technology, but the bank may need to be informed, so they’re not alarmed by any unusual spending activity when you are in another country.
5. Secure your home
When you return home after your trip overseas you want to feel relaxed and stress free. Nothing will spoil your post-vacation good mood like coming back to find out your home has been broken into. To avoid this, be sure to set a house alarm or ask ask a neighbour to keep an eye out and collect your mail.
Be sure to double check your doors and windows to make sure they are secure. This involves fixing any loose handles, faulty locks and taking enough time when you’re leaving to make sure you don’t forget to lock up. As the Travel Supermarket points out, if you were to incur a break-in while you were on vacation and you didn’t secured your home properly, your insurance policy could actually be deemed invalid. Taking the time to do this really is important.
What do you do before you go away? Share your tips with us!