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Once all the activities and itineraries are planned, you always have that nagging feeling that you forgot something, right?
Having traveled to 15 countries on six continents, I’ve picked up a travel tip or two. These are my best tips to make sure you’re prepared for a worry-free trip.
1. Make a color copy of your passport photo page to carry with you
Before leaving home, make a color copy of the photo page of your passport.
Once you get where you’re going, you likely won’t need your passport with you at all times. Lock it in the hotel safe (as long as you feel that it is safe) and just carry the copy with you. Then you won’t risk losing your passport, or having it stolen during your outings. Just don’t forget to get it out of the safe when you check out.
When you are carrying the original, pack the copy in a separate place. That way, if one gets lost or damaged, there is a chance that you may still have the other.
2. Tell your credit card providers that you’re leaving the country
Credit card companies may block your accounts if they see “suspicious activity” from foreign transactions. You don’t want that to happen when you’re trying to pay for your hotel room, or purchase a great souvenir.
To prevent this, it’s as easy as calling them up and telling them which dates you’ll be traveling, and which countries you’ll be visiting. Check the back of your card for the number to call.
3. Make a copy of the front and back of any credit cards you plan to take with you
While you’re copying your passport, also make a copy of any credit cards you plan to take on your trip.
Copying the front and back of the card captures all of the important information you may need if your cards are lost or stolen. Keep the copies in a safe place at home, or leave them with a trusted person who will not be traveling with you. That person can help you contact your bank back home, if needed.
4. Pack the essentials in your carry-on bag
In addition to your e-readers and noise canceling headphones, don’t forget to pack the necessities in your carry-on as well.
You should pack in your carry on:
- Change of clothes for one day (or at least under garments) If your luggage gets lost, you will be very glad to have these.
- Paper copies of all travel itineraries and documents. Don’t count on digital alone.
- Medications in original packaging. Always carry your prescriptions with you. Make sure they’re allowed in the countries you’ll be visiting.
- Car/house keys. Lost luggage becomes an even bigger headache if you also lose your keys with it.
- Sanitizing wipes. You can buy individually wrapped hand wipes. These are great for wiping down arm rests and tray tables on your flights. You’ll also want to use them before eating, when there isn’t a convenient place to wash your hands.
- Toothbrush! You’ll be happy to have this handy during a long trip. Check the travel section of a drug store for cheap single use brushes. Some come with toothpaste already in them, so you don’t have to worry about carry “liquids, gels, or aerosols.”
- Ear plugs. On long trips, the noise of the plane can get exhausting, and headphones can be irritating after several hours. Plain old ear plugs can be a sanity saver. These may also come in handy later, if you have trouble sleeping in your hotels.
For more great tips like these, you can download the Home Deconomics Travel Checklist.
This free gift is a handy reference that has all of our best travel tips in one place. Use it as a guide for preparing and packing for all your trips.
Get it free for a limited time.
5. Put your contact info and travel itinerary inside your luggage in case your bags get lost
Lost luggage ruins any trip in a hurry. If your tags get ripped off your bags, it can take much longer for your luggage to get to you. If you ever see it again.
Help airport personnel (and yourself) out by making it as easy as possible to get your bags back to you. Put a sheet of paper inside your luggage, right on top, that includes:
- Your Name
- Contact Information
- Flight Numbers
- Travel Origin and Destination
6. Bring outlet adapters for foreign countries
Who knew electrical outlets would be different in other countries?
If you’ll want to use any electrical devices during your international trip, you will need to have appropriate outlet adapters. You may need to bring more than one if you’ll be visiting multiple countries. You can find these in the electronics section of a store like Target, and at some airport shops.
Other countries also use different voltages. Check items like hair dryers and electric razors for alternate settings, so they can handle the power supply.
7. Dance for a cause
You’ve arrived in paradise, and are just getting relaxed on the beach when you start to wonder, “Did I lock the front door?”
Save yourself this anxiety by making these mundane moments memorable. As you’re leaving the house, and locking the door, do a little dance. That way you will definitely remember that you did it, and won’t have to waste any vacation time worrying about it.
You can do an I-turned-off-the-oven waltz, and a curling-iron-is-unplugged jig. Have a little fun, get a little exercise, and have peace of mind later.
I admit, I stole this last tip from a friend, but it’s fun and it works.
And don’t forget to download your free copy of the Home Deconomics Travel Checklist to get all these tips and more all in one handy guide.
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