They say planning a vacation is part of the fun. After all, crafting a Pinterest board full of gorgeous pictures can certainly stir excitement. Yet, when you get down to the logistics of scheduling flights, packing your bags, securing passports and getting vaccines, suddenly the fun factor goes by the wayside. Triple that if you’re going international.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, planning a trip won’t always bring waves of panic and feelings of being overwhelmed if you do it right. That’s why we’ve provided this handy list of tips to make your next international vacation as stress-free and fun as possible.
1. Obtain Travel Insurance
Want to put your mind and safety at ease? Obtaining travel insurance should be at the top of your must-do list. Most health plans don’t cover international travel. Therefore, it’s imperative you purchase insurance that allows for emergency medical services and medical evacuation, should the need arise. Made travel arrangements months in advance? Cancellation and trip interruption insurance may be the ticket to saving yourself from unnecessary and unanticipated loss.
2. Allow Yourself Some Time to Unwind
Planning an international vacation is not for the weak. It typically takes a lot of work to pull things off without a hitch. That’s why it’s important to create ways to unwind — both in and outside of work. In that vein, grant yourself breaks from all that prep by maintaining your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Additionally, use a relaxation app or improve your breathing to remind yourself that there are bigger concerns than where you’ll sleep for a night.
3. Plan Your Wardrobe Accordingly
Many international trips involve travel to colder climates. Since there are few things worse than being stuck in a constant chilly downpour without a proper jacket, bringing along a dependable winter jacket or parka can mean the difference between rave reviews and a giant thumbs-down. Don’t get caught without top-of-the-line apparel and gear to make your vacation memorable for all the right reasons.
4. Adhere to Security Information Advisories
Before heading to the grand canals of Italy or the picturesque valleys of Israel, make sure you take a pit stop to check out any travel advisories that may be in place. Since 2018, the U.S. has been using a four-tiered system that ranks every country based on its safety and security conditions. Whether it be a heightened risk of terrorist attacks or a great deal of civil unrest, getting caught in the cross-hairs of such tension is a recipe for disaster.
5. Make Appropriate Financial Provisions
Whether you intend to use cash or a credit card for all your traveling expenditures, certain measures should be taken in advance. If you’re using cash, be sure to gather enough money in the currency desired, so that you’ll be able to cover any unanticipated expenses.
On the other hand, it’s a good idea to inform any financial institutions of the countries you intend to visit if you’re going the route of debit or credit cards. Otherwise, you risk having your transactions flagged as fraudulent. Keep in mind traveler’s checks are no longer universally accepted, so having an ATM card is your best option for withdrawing funds.
Create Some Memories of a Lifetime
As you prepare to head overseas, make sure to keep these travel tips in mind. Doing so can greatly decrease your stress levels, both prior to and during your vacation. Most of all, enjoy the process, as you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.