There are many things to think about before heading out on a trip, and making sure to tick off all the boxes for responsible travel before departing. Before I began travelling more frequently, adopted a dog, or lived away from my parents, I didn’t take into consideration many of these important things to do as you prepare to leave on a trip.
Purchase Travel Medical Protection
It’s not something you want to think about, but what do you do if you’re injured while travelling and can’t leave the country on your own? What happens if you have hospital bills to pay?
It’s important to think beyond your general travel insurance and consider other types of travel protection. Most insurance programs don’t include transportation from a hospital in your destination country to a hospital back in your home country, which is the place you want to be most. Organizations like MedJet offer travel protection membership programs that help arrange transport when an emergency occurs.
Finding a Place for Your Pet
Now that we have Locke, we have to think about where she’s going to stay when we’re travelling. The easy answer is with family, but that isn’t always an option. Even when it is, I have to think about how to get her there and how to pick her up.
Kennelling is another option to look into. There are a lot of great doggie hotels that make your trip like a vacation for your furry friend, too!
Getting a Friend to Water Your Plants
This might sound a bit lame, but when you’re gone for even a week, your plants can suffer! If you want your plants to survive, ask a friend to check in on them while you’re gone. It also isn’t a bad idea to have a friend check in on your place, turn the lights on, and park his or her car in your spot to make it seem like someone is home.
Figure Out Your Finances
Are you using cash or credit? Does the country you’re staying in use ATMs? What’s the transaction fee for your credit card? What’s the exchange rate? There are so many questions to ask about money in another country, and it’s important to think about them before you arrive at your destination.
This happened to me in New York. My debit card, which was supposed to work across certain ATMs in the U.S., didn’t work. I had to credit everything instead.
Don’t let this happen to you. Talk to your bank or credit card company, look into low-fee travel credit cards, and see if it’s possible to take out some cash before you leave.
Do Your Research
Even seasoned travellers and people who travel on the fly have to do some research about where they’re going before they leave. When we went to Thailand, I made sure I had a general idea of what we were doing and where we were going, even if I didn’t know how many days we were doing it for.
If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, at least research the place where you’ll land and where you might go on your first day. This makes things a bit easier, especially if it’s a long trip. Finding a warm or cool place to sleep after a long flight isn’t at the top of my wish list upon starting my vacation!
What things are on your pre-travel checklist?