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It’s 10:25pm on Friday night and your flight out is at 5:00am in the morning. Once again, you have not packed yet! If you’re flying domestic, that’s not a problem! You will most likely travel by car. Pack an extra day of outfits and if you forget anything, it’s sold when you arrive. If you’re headed out on an international travel adventure, you’re a bit behind!

Planning international travel should ideally be done months ahead, specifically in the following areas:

  • Logistics / Optimal Route
  • Communication
  • Micro-climates
  • Currency
  • Medication & Vaccinations
  • Travel Insurance
  • Etiquette

Logistics

Personally, logistics is usually the greatest stressor as outside of major cities, you cannot expect Lyft or Uber to pick you up at every whim. Sometimes, renting a car and driving is not an option either with international license requirements, opposite traffic patterns and stick shift. After walking through monsoon floods and skidding backward in mountain mud, I suggest you plan your mode of transportation ahead of time! 🙂

logistics

Communication

Your domestic cellular network may offer free overseas data service abroad. If not, you should purchase a local SIM card starting at ~$7 USD abroad.

Weather

When visiting islands like Hawaii or Costa Rica, expect micro-climates in which local weather on each coast may vary greatly. I always pack a waterproof windbreaker.

Currency

Always exchange currency before flying at your local bank or outside of the airport. It may be worthwhile to enroll in an online bank account that reimburses ATM fees abroad.

Medication & Vaccinations

Vaccinate at least a month before visiting areas that may pose a health risk. You can always refer to the CDC for the latest information.

Travel Insurance

Many travel credit cards already include travel insurance so make sure to check your card benefits! My cousin had to be air-lifted from her Bali honeymoon to Singapore to correctly diagnose and operate on appendicitis. I highly recommend signing up for a travel credit card if you do not already have one. Look out for one that allows you to earn points on your HGV dues 🙂

Etiquette

Please be mindful of local culture and customs, especially customs around dining and personal space.

If you do your research and plan ahead international travel will be a breeze. Next time, we will go further in-depth on apps to help you plan travel.

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