You’ve been counting down the days, narrowed down your packing list, and scheduled your trip down to a science – now you just have to sit and wait until your adventure begins. Am I right?
Not in the slightest.
There are a few details that often get overlooked in the hustle that could impact your trip. However don’t stress, here’s my guide to making sure you’ve got the bases covered – with the 10 essential things to do 48 hours before you leave.
01. Notify Your Bank + Credit Card Providers
Some may argue whether its cheaper to use cards or cash while traveling, but in my personal opinion it’s always cheaper, safer and more convenient to use a credit/debit card overseas than to travel with cash and deal with the hastle of exchanging it.
That being said if plastic is going to be your main source of funding on your adventure, make sure to notify your financial institutions where and when you are going. Trust me the last thing you want is for them to cancel or block your cards as they think there’s been fraudulent activity.
02. Photocopy Your Passport
While on the move between border crossings, vehicle rentals, hotels and whatever else you have planned there is a real possibility of leaving your stuff behind – whether accidental or not. Some places will even ask for a copy – so having one handy never hurts.
03. ICE List – In Case Of Emergency
The last thing you want in an emergency abroad it to be scrambling for the proper contacts. So I suggest always putting together a document with all the useful numbers you or a bystander may require in an emergency. Some contacts I would suggest to include:
- Family contact information
- Insurance claims helpline
- Embassy contact
- Bank + credit card help lines
04. Cancel Any Bills / Subscriptions
Nothing bothers me more when I see a charge hit my account for some program or app I am currently not using – especially if I am out of the country. Make a list and either pause or cancel everything you don’t need before you leave; which will ultimately give you more money for your adventure.
If possible I like to start my journey equipped with local currency for the first few days or until I am able to find an ATM that won’t hit me with a million service fees. It also doesn’t hurt to have a few crisp US dollars for emergency funds if you need to make an exchange in the middle of nowhere.
06. Ensure Your Mobile Device Is Ready For Travel
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your phone on while abroad only to come back to hundreds of dollars in roaming fees. There are some great apps, which can help you on the road without a data connection as well as ways of storing maps offline.
If you plan on using your phone contact your service provider and inquire about travel programs.
07. Know Where Your Going
While you may want to wing it – it is always a good idea to have at least your first night accommodation sorted out in each city you are planning to visit. This will save you from some serious anxiety and ensure your first night in a new city isn’t the worst.
08. Double-Check Your Travel Plans
Confirm all of your bookings – you’ve made it this far – don’t blow it on some stupid oversight. Ensure Visa requirements are met, and vaccination records are readily available in needed
09. Be Prepared
I hate to break it to you, but sometimes your luggage just doesn’t make it off the carousel no matter how long you wait. That being said plan for the worse and ensure that all your essentials are in your carry-on including any medication, passport, documents, toiletries, and a spare change of clothes.
10. Double Check All Of The Above And Charge Your Shit
We’ve run through the other 9 checkpoints and are almost ready to head out. Now is the time to say your goodbyes, so make sure your electronics are charged. You don’t want to miss all of those Instagramable moments because your battery died.