Here are 5 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO LOOK INTO BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME.
1 - Passport
2 - Visas
3 - Money (Credit cards, travel cards, debit card, cash etc)
4 - Travel Insurance
5 - Vaccinations
Have you got one? Yes. Good.
Now check the expiration date (how long it is still in date for), some countries require that you have at least 6 months validity left before you enter.
Check the requirements of entry for the countries you plan on visiting. Some countries you pay for a Visa upon arrival, others you will need to sort out before you leave home. These can take 1 month + to apply for. Get planning!
Have a look here for information, www.visamapper.com/# or check with the consulate
Money makes the world go round, and having a credit card or two as a back up is not only smart but also a safety net. If something goes wrong on your trip and you absolutely need to book a flight home that day it is nice to have the security of a credit card to get you out of there.
Also a lot of places may require a Credit Card to hire a vehicle.
Depending on your home country, there are many options as to taking your money overseas. Whilst in the Western world we are used to paying for everything with plastic, many amazing travel destinations deal mostly with cash. Prepaid travel cards and some special international debit cards are generally much safer than carrying around wads of cash, however all of these tend to have their own fees and costs, some more hidden than others. Do your research thoroughly and look for the most up to date information, as prices, fees and circumstances are always changing.
Get it. Travel insurance is an ABSOLUTE MUST on any trip, be it 7 days in Bali or 12 months trotting around the globe, you need it. Overseas medical bills can reach the hundred of thousands mark very easily, and that is not something you want to be dipping into your own pockets for.
AND travel insurance isn’t only for medical coverage, it covers everything. Lost your suitcase? Stolen Camera? Family emergency back home? You’re covered. It’s something everybody needs, but that you hope you never use.
Travel insurance pricing can vary quite a lot between brands but there are a few things to check and double check:
- Medical & Dental: Make sure the cover is UNLIMITED, you never know what could happen.
Lots of policies have unlimited medical but only a small amount of dental cover, make sure your policy is unlimited for both!
- Cancellations: Make sure the amount is MORE than whatever you have already paid/still need to pay for your trip. You never know if you’ll need to cancel everything last minute! (Unfortunately we've been there, done that, with family health problems meaning that a trip to Hawaii was cancelled in the week before our flight!)
It is important here to note that lots of travel insurance policies can cost LESS than your private health premiums that you pay in your home country. So for the small price (some lower than a dollar a day) you’d be an idiot not to get it.
Shop around for travel insurance too. Many large companies with quality coverage will happily price-beat their competitors. You may be able to get the best possible coverage at the cheapest possible rate!
Also, remember to talk to your private health insurance provider about putting your home country private health insurance on hold, especially if you are going on a trip longer than 1-2 weeks. Save your cash here and use it on travel insurance!
Visit your GP to check what vaccinations you will need before leaving, and anything you may need to take over there (i.e. Malaria tablets). Also once you've got your vaccinations keep a record handy for when you're travelling, some countries need proof of certain vaccinations (such as Yellow Fever) to enter and/or exit.
A great website to check out with lists of vaccinations necessary listed by location is: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel/vaccines_index.shtml