To fully enjoy your travel adventures, you must prepare! While I’m infamous for showing up in a city/country not knowing a thing nor where I’ll be staying, we should all at least follow these top tips for how to prepare to travel!
1. Clean Your Home!
That’s right, clean! Nothing is worse than returning home to a disaster! I make sure my home is as spick-and-span and organized as possible before leaving. As if I’m preparing for renters. That way, when you get back after a long, arduous travel day, you walk in knowing you won’t have to spend 3 hours cleaning the mess you made before you left. And won’t have mildewy, sweaty clothes in the laundry bag. If you run out of time before you leave on your trip OR don’ t want to clean yourself OR had renters at your place, hire a cleaning service to do the dirty work. Either way, ensure you’re returning home to a clean nest. You’ll thank me in the future!
2. Notify Credit Card Companies!
Because identity and credit card theft is a huge problem in today’s world, you should always tell your bank and/or credit card companies that you’ll be traveling, especially if internationally. You do not want to show up in another country without access to money.
3. Change Cell Phone Plan!
When I was 20, I traveled with a flip phone that used an international calling card. I truly don’t know how I did it! Today, it’s all about the smart phone and for good reason: you can find out any and everything you’d ever want to know, which is especially helpful while traveling in an unknown area. Make sure you activate international calling and data usage (for, if nothing else, emergencies). With Verizon, while in Mexico, I could upgrade to the next plan tier in data so international calling and texting was included. Then, when I returned home, I switched my plan back. Easy!
4. Passport Ready!
If you’re going international, you gotta have your passport on hand. Make sure it’s not expired and you have the correct visa requirement/stamp.
4. Have Your Neighbors Be On The Lookout!
Tell your neighbors you’re leaving. If there’s any suspicious activity on or around your property OR if you simply need help with a mailman delivery, you can rely on some help.
5. Research Local Customs!
If traveling to an unknown area, be sure to do your due diligence and research their customs and culture. This will in particular help you pack if, for example, bare shoulders aren’t acceptable. Also check out the “What To Pack” travel tips post for other great suggestions!
6. Get Required Vaccinations!
While I’m personally not a huge vaccine advocate, when it comes to the flu vaccine, I realize certain vaccinations will save your life! A yellow fever shot? Malaria pills? Nothing at all? Search here to find out what each country requires.
7. Contact Your Embassy!
As I’ve mentioned in my “How To Stay Safe While Traveling” post, if traveling internationally, contacting your embassy will help mitigate extra stress in case of emergency.