The very first thing to check is your passport. If you’re traveling out of your home country, is it current? Did you get any visas that are necessary? This is your responsibility whether you are on your own or on a tour. Make copies of your passport to take with you and to leave with relatives or friends.
It never hurts to check to see if there are any travel advisories for the countries you will be visiting. (Many governments issue travel advisories… check with your own government and another one or two for a rounded view.)
You should be up to date on any vaccinations that are recommended or required.
Know whether your airlines tickets are paper tickets or e-tickets. If they are paper tickets, make sure to take them with you. If they are e-tickets, take documentation with you…. make sure your pre-departure checklist includes the printout of your confirmation.
Decide how you are going to deal with money. Are you going to take traveler’s checks? If you do, be sure to store the documentation and numbers separately from the traveler’s checks themselves in case of loss.
You want to have a safe place or two to store your money and valuables…. something like a money belt. If you’re traveling with a partner, split things up between you.
You’ll probably be using your ATM. Find out what the daily withdrawal limit is…. and know what that means in the currency you will be withdrawing. 300 US Dollars is less than 300 Euros. Make sure that your PIN will work at your destination. Contact your credit card companies to tell them you will be traveling.
If you’re packing a camera, make sure you have plenty of batteries and/or battery chargers…. and the plug adapters that will allow you to plug them in! Make sure you have enough memory or film. Sure you can buy it there, but you don’t want to miss the perfect picture while your looking for it.
Here’s a good one for your pre-departure checklist…. Pack any ID cards that you might need. Cards that might get you discounts such as student IDs or Auto Club cards (like AAA in the U.S.) or Senior Group Cards (like AARP in the U.S.)
You should pack a little more prescription medication than you will need in case your return is delayed. Also pack an extra set of glasses or contact lenses. And you should have a copy of prescriptions for both glasses and drugs in case of an emergency.
It’s also a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with someone, and contact numbers if you have them.
Find out the address and phone number of your country’s embassy in the country you are visiting. Some governments suggest that you register with the embassy so they know you are in the country. While this may seem a little extreme, it makes things easier for your embassy if there is a natural disaster or general emergency.
There are many things to think about when you are preparing for a vacation. This pre-departure checklist only includes some of the things you might forget. Make your own checklist, then when you get on the road, you’ll have a great time because you didn’t forget anything.
What’s on you re-departure checklist? Please share them in the comments below.