Here is the ultimate checklist of things you should do and things you should take with you on an international trip. I admit that I forget some of this ever so often, and this list has made itself because of my past experiences, my hits, and misses.
During one of my past international trips, I flew from Bangalore and before my flight; I was with a friend who suggested a shopping spree at the Brigade Road. I had some last-minute shopping to do and I had more than a day to spare, so I went ahead with her idea and we had an amazing day. But amidst this fun-filled day, I forgot my last minute check for the international trip I was about to take the next day, and as a result, I missed buying an international adapter. What a bummer, right?
[Check out my post on best travel gadgets of the year for my list of favorite gadgets I like to travel with.]
Another time, I spent the day catching up on sleep because I was going on an international trip right after a trekking trip in the Himalayas, and I was exhausted. I did not consult my checklist and I forgot taking a print out of my documents – which comes in very handy even in the times of digital India.
This is how my checklist for international travel was born! I hope this list helps you in planning for your international trip.
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Few weeks before your trip:
- Check the expiry date of your passport.
- Consult your doctor for vaccinations required for the destination, for emergency medications you can carry legally.
- Speak to your bank about international credit/debit cards, travel cards and currency exchange. charges etc. This will help you in getting an understanding of how to plan your budget during the international trip.
Few days before your trip:
- Keep an eye on the currency rates and get your currency exchanged – plan this well and decide how much you want to carry in cash and what cards do you want to use, and taxes.
- Weather check. Find out how the weather conditions are at the place you’re visiting and carry clothes accordingly.
- Make a list of items to pack.
- Keep a track of news items and current affairs about your destination.
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Make your packing list:
- Must pack items: Example International adapter, copies of important documents etc.
- Clothing: sweaters/jackets if its cold, or tee shirts and tops if its not. Socks, PJs, swim wear, etc.
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, lotion, shaving items for men, sanitary pads/menstrual cup for women, deodorant, chapstick/Vaseline, etc.
- For the journey: Headphones, travel pillow, book/kindle if you like reading, games/videos on your phone or tab for entertainment, bottled water, emergency snacks etc.
- For the destination: Power bank for your devices, map or guide, local language help book, backpack, money etc.
[You will like my travel blog post on Israel titled Top Ten Things To Do In Jerusalem, please read it here.]
Other things you might want to consider:
- International calling card – if you don’t want to activates international roaming on your phone from your existing service provider.
- Currency converter apps on your phone.
- Local travel-help apps.
- Antibacterial wipes.
- Metal/reusable water bottle.
Also, my one last tip would be to check if your hotel has any offers going on that you can avail during your visit – especially a spa or a foot rub. Because I tend to walk a lot when I travel and I get exhausted, and to find the energy to explore a new place the next day, I really want some massage or a foot rub. A luxurious spa if I can afford it!
So, after I spent my day shopping and having fun with my best friend and forgot an important item for my upcoming international trip, I landed back In Bangalore and the same friend called me to tell me she had booked a Spa for me as a birthday gift. It was one of the best gifts of my life, considering I had just got back from an international trip where I walked and walked and walked a lot.
And needless to say, I remember consulting my international trip checklist every time ever since. Hope this helps you as well.