Home travel How to prepare your trip abroad and make  it stress-free

How to prepare your trip abroad and make  it stress-free

How to prepare your trip abroad and make  it stress-free


When you prepare your trip abroad, it’s easy to overlook some annoying administrative details. However, any of them could easily spoil your holiday, so here are the most important things to prepare before your next international trip.

Check your passport expiration date

Most countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months from the entry date. That is a surprise you don’t want to have upon arriving at your destination after a long flight. So, check your expiration date, and it’s less than nine months, see about applying for a new passport.

how to prepare your trip abroad - check your passport and visa

Do you need a visa?

Another vital formality upon entering another country is to have a valid visa. Check if your country of destination requires a travel visa and if you need to get it before arriving there.

You can check the visa requirements here. Depending on your country of residence, some countries will allow visa-free entry, others may accept a visa upon arrival, but for others, you need to apply for a visa before traveling.

Will you rent a car?

If you plan to rent a car, you need to pay attention to two things. One, have a valid credit card, and the limit necessary to cover the deposit required.

The other is a driver’s license accepted by your country of destination. To be able to drive in some countries, you need to apply for an international driving permit before traveling. You will need an IDP even if you’re driving your own car, in countries that require an international permit.

How to prepare your trip abroad – medical tips

Do you need additional vaccinations or tests?

Depending on your destination, you may need specific vaccinations. Check the recommended vaccines for your desired destination as early as possible, and speak to your doctor about it. While you’re at it, if you’re on any medication, make sure you have enough of it for your trip and bring your prescription with you.

Don’t forget the basics – I always pack a few pills when I travel for headaches and stomach, plus a couple of bandages. Depending on the destination, I add sunscreen and mosquito repellent. I don’t want to look for pharmacies on my trips if I can help it.

Additionally, keep track of the current COVID situation and the specific requirements your country of destination has for testing or vaccinations.

Prepare your credit cards

Make sure your bank allows international transactions. Some banks will need to be notified beforehand about your travel plans so you don’t have any surprises if the bank considers your transactions abroad suspicious and refuses them.

It’s also a good idea to check the exchange fees for your credit card and take with you the card with the best exchange rates and fees. Also, check if your credit card comes with any additional travel benefits, like travel insurance or airport lounge access.

Will your phone work internationally?

Make sure your phone will work abroad. You might need your phone company to activate international calls. Check the charges for calls and internet traffic abroad. Some plans have a certain amount of international minutes and internet traffic included, but the excess can be quite expensive.

Buy travel insurance

Travel Insurance is indispensable these days. Of course, it’s ideal to never make use of it, but so many things can go wrong when you travel, and one way or another, they all end up costing money. Flight delays, lost luggage, or having to cancel the trip for medical or family reasons? The right travel insurance can cover all of them, so you can enjoy traveling without worrying about everything.

Save your documents and have them available

For safety reasons, you can save photos of your documents on your phone. Create a folder with your ID, passport, driver’s licence, international driving permit, visa, and any other important document you might need. If you lose any of them, it will be easier to identify yourself and have the documents replaced. 

As an extra tip, organize all your bookings, boarding passes, and other tickets into a special folder for your trip. This way, everything will be easy to access even if you don’t have internet access at some point. Furthermore, the folder will be easy to discard after the trip.

Final notes on preparing your international trip

For everything to go smoothly and for you to be able to fully enjoy your travels, it’s best to have everything ready before leaving your home. The above tips are essential to preparing for any international trip. See my travel resources page for additional information about planning your next trip.


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