An expired passport can put paid to a trip before it’s even begun, while a second-rate insurance policy can prove worthless should the worst happen. Desperate for a drama-free trip?

Below are 7 of the most important things to remember before dusting off your suitcase and heading off on your travels.


1. Ensure You Have a Valid Passport and Visas

There’s nothing worse than spending months planning an international trip, only to find out at the last minute that your passport is about to expire.

Your passport should be valid for a full 30 days after your planned departure from a country. However, the general advice is to never plan an international adventure without at least six months on your passport before its expiry date. If your passport does need updating, don’t leave it until the last minute unless you’re happy to pay a premium for an expedited renewal.

You’ll also need to consider the visa situation. While some passport holders don’t need to worry about visas, most do. Sometimes, a visa is issued automatically upon arrival, but certain countries require you to source one before your departure. While they’re generally inexpensive and quick to obtain, you shouldn’t leave this bit of travel preparation until the eleventh hour.


2. Vaccinations and Prescription Medication

You might have gotten all your shots as a child, but you won’t be protected against many serious diseases commonplace elsewhere in the world. Check health department websites to find out which vaccinations are recommended when visiting countries on your itinerary.

Do you take any regular prescriptions? If your medications are issued monthly, speak to your healthcare provider about obtaining a stockpile so you’re covered if you’ll be out of the country for longer than that.


3. Consider Where to Go

Research destinations to see where appeals to you and consider what you want to do. Whether a city break, a beach holiday or an overland adventure, you can find so many amazing activities.

You have to think what your interests are, do you want to go in search of ancient temples, see beautiful islands, explore bustling modern cities or mix everything, you find so many amazing places to go.

If you are worried about going alone or being overseas for the first time you might want to consider groups tours. This is a great way to meet new people, and get guided to the best locatitons in a destination whilst having a lot of fun in a safe way. 


4. You Might Lose Access to Some Websites

One of the most inconvenient aspects of international travel is geo-blocking. It’s not uncommon for jurisdictions to restrict access to popular websites and apps enjoyed without a second thought elsewhere in the world.

Thus, you might not be able to experience live blackjack on your favourite website or you won't be able to watch the new season of your preferred show on your VoD platform. Bear in mind that everything will come back to normal once you are home.


5. Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a globetrotting adventure on a shoestring budget, it’s tempting to avoid purchasing travel insurance. While you may never need to fall back on an insurance policy, this is one safety net you don’t want to be without.

In many parts of the world, medical care isn’t free, with some countries charging a small fortune for even the most basic treatment. If you get stuck while abroad, even a minor mishap can set you back a fortune.

What’s more, there’s also the risk of missed transfers, lost luggage and stolen belongings. A comprehensive travel insurance policy will ensure you’re covered for every eventuality.


6. Think About Your Finances

If you’re going to be travelling internationally for weeks or many months, make sure you have enough money to cover your trip.

Check your debit and credit cards are not going to expire anytime soon. You won’t be able to easily obtain a replacement card when you’re stuck in a different hemisphere.

You’ll also need to look into international transaction fees. If you’re fortunate, your account provider will only charge a nominal fee. If you’re not, the premium attached to everyday purchases can quickly stack up.


7. Cancel Your Subscriptions

Heading off an open-ended adventure? Chances are, you’re probably not going to need an active Amazon Prime subscription or maintain your gym membership. It’s worth cancelling subscriptions like this while you’re away from home, with the money you save redirected to your travel fund. You can always renew your subscriptions once you’re back on home soil.


8. Make Copies of Anything Important

It’s easy to misplace an insurance policy or hotel reservation when travelling abroad.

To avoid any issues, make sure you’ve got copies of all those important documents before you set off. You’ll also want to make a copy of your passport and any visas you’ll need. Paper versions are fine, but these are easily misplaced. Store digital copies on the cloud, and you’ll always be able to retrieve them.


Start Planning a Trip

Preparing for international travel can be exhausting, but investing time and energy into planning your trip pays off in the end. By preparing for every possible eventuality and putting contingencies in place, you’re free to focus on exploring and enjoying yourself once you arrive at your first destination.