Over-packing can be heavy and costly, but there’s no doubt that under-packing can sometimes leave us worried we’ve forgotten something. Leave the anxiety at home with our list of five important things to always remember before a trip!
CHECK VISA & VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
Every country has different tourist visa and vaccination requirements, so make sure you abide by the guidelines and meet requirements well in advance. This user-friendly interactive guide is helpful in starting your research to ensure you are well prepared. Health updates regarding country-specific illnesses – like the current Zika virus outbreak – should also be monitored regularly.
GET TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance can cover the cost of lost or stolen personal items, trip cancellations, and even medical emergencies – this can prove to be beneficial in the event of an unplanned disruption of your trip. Just as you insure your home, car, and even your phone, make sure to insure your trip to avoid costly penalties! Different insurances cater to specific needs to travelers (low-cost, medical, international travel) so choose one than fits your travel style and budget.
MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Although nearly everything is sent via email or saved on a back-up drive now, it’s important to realize the value of hard copies. Should your travel documents be lost or stolen, it’s critical to have them saved elsewhere. Keep a folder of these documents on you at all times (in your purse or carry-on) while traveling, and email them to yourself before your trip for added precaution.
- Passport (Identification page with photo.)
- Travel Insurance
- Driver’s License
- Credit Cards (front and back.)
- Travel Itinerary
- Airline Tickets
- Reservation Confirmations (hotel, rental car, cruise tickets, etc.)
- Vaccination Certificates
It may be tempting to be spontaneous and book your hotel rooms or lodging on a whim, but it’s not usually something I recommend. Events like holidays and festivals can be a nightmare if you don’t already have accommodation booked.
Don’t be stuck with the leftover, low grade rooms and instead book at least a month in advance. Hotel staff insiders even admit that those who book through their website or over the phone usually get better rooms than those who book last minute or through other online booking sites. Be sure to read online reviews, and beware of additional charges like parking, cleaning, and pool/spa fees.
HAVE A WELL PACKED CARRY-ON
In addition to your travel documents (and copies), you’ll want to have some basic essentials within arm’s reach:
Headphones: Thin hotel walls and noisy plane passengers are inevitable, so come prepared and pack a pair of headphones that can easily plug into your phone or iPod.
Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals: Better than any generic ginger chews on the market, Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals contains the clinically-tested ginger dosage required for preventing and treating motion sickness common on planes, boats, and windy drives.
Scott and I both suffer from motion sickness on rocky boats and flights, but we’re hesitant to take something that is going to make us drowsy. I tried these Non-Drowsy Naturals on a recent trip to Kauai –during a zodiac tour of the notoriously choppy Na Pali coast as well as a bumpy helicopter ride — and I did not feel a hint of nausea! These are our new go-to motion sickness pills and it’s something I will not leave home without.
Hand Sanitizer: Don’t overestimate your immune system; the last thing you want on your vacation is to catch a cold. Hand sanitizer, or antibacterial hand wipes, should be compact and easy to stash in your carry-on.
Power Converter: One of the most important things travelers often forget to bring on international trips is a power converter. Check online to see which converter you’ll need for the country you are visiting. I always bring at least two because I have so many electronics to charge.
Reusable Water Bottle: Leave it empty as you pass through security in the airport, of course, but carrying a water bottle with a filter attached will save you money regardless of where you fly! No more shelling out money for bottled water or worrying about catching an illness internationally.