Special Guest Post!
Tickets, money, passport – it’s easy to remember the essentials as you’re packing and planning for a trip. But there is no worse feeling than heading out on your way to a dream vacation with the nagging feeling of forgetting something.
OK, well, maybe there is something worse – being in the middle of a situation and realizing that you don’t have a crucial piece of information or the proper gadget or tool to get what you need.
So in addition to counting out how many pairs of underwear you need and charging up your iPod for in-flight entertainment, make sure to add these items to your “must remember” list for your next vacation.
1. Notify your bank that you are traveling
To cut down on losses from fraud or stolen credit cards, many banks have automated systems that keep track of the purchases you regularly make. If the system notes that you are making strange purchases, or are in a different location, the bank can freeze your account until it hears from you. This is definitely something you don’t want to happen while you are on vacation in an unfamiliar place!
However, a simple phone call to your bank or credit card provider can take care of this possibility. If you tell them where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, they will note it in the system and your account won’t be frozen. You’ll have piece of mind, and they’ll appreciate it, too – they won’t have to go through the hassle of sending you a new card or dealing with an irate customer!
Another note regarding your bank and credit cards – as a convenience for their customers, they have toll-free numbers you can call. But those numbers are only valid if you’re calling from within your own country. If you’re traveling overseas, then you’ll want to get the international numbers from them during that phone call, and write them down in two different places – one you can get to online, and one you keep with you.
2. Have all the proper immunizations
For most countries, you’re not going to need immunizations, so it’s easy to forget that you for more exotic places you will not be allowed in the country without having had certain shots. This goes double for those traveling on a tour or by cruise; since you think you’ll be in a place for only a day or so, you may mistakenly think that immunizations are not necessary.
But you don’t want your vacation to end before it’s even begun! So, while you’re in the earliest planning stages of any foreign trip, make sure to do the research and find out which immunizations you need.
Why so early? For many countries’ immunizations, it’s a process. You may have to go back a few times to your doctor to complete all the shots. You don’t want to leave it to the last moment.
Another reason is because of the nature of immunizations. They essentially give you doses of the illness itself, so that your body can build up tolerance to them. As such, at times you can feel the effects of these illnesses – and you don’t want to feel that way while you’re on vacation!
3. Bring the right power plug adapters
Your camera. Your phone. Your laptop. Your MP3 player. Your iPad. Your hair dryer. In this day and age, it seems like half your suitcase gets taken up with chargers and plugs for an ever-growing number of electrical devices. But even worse than that is when you can’t even use them, because the plugs don’t fit into the electrical sockets.
Groups of different countries use different-sized electrical outlets, and therefore their devices and appliances have different plugs.
4. Purchase travel insurance
For many travelers, insurance can seem like just another fee tacked onto an already expensive trip. But really, travel insurance can be a life saver – sometimes literally – if you encounter a wide variety of problems while on the road.
Comprehensive trip insurance covers lost luggage, missed connections, trip cancellations, medical assistance and evacuation, refunds, stolen items and documents, and much more. Think of travel insurance like your personal fixer while on vacation – and don’t leave home without it.
5. Be prepared regarding your medication
If you use prescription medication or an insulin kit, make sure you have enough to last you the duration of your trip, plus at least one week’s worth. You never know when a delay might keep you at your destination for longer than you had anticipated.
The same goes for any non-prescription medication, too. If you have a preferred brand of antacid tablets or headache pills or remedies for stomach problems, bring them with you. Obviously other places in the world have these items, but when you’re feeling poorly you don’t want to have to deal with something unfamiliar or trying to figure out packaging that may be in a foreign language.
Written by Michelle Cleary for Australian Travel Cover. Australian Travel Cover offers comprehensive and budget travel insurance for Australians, with a discount on Suresave policies booked online.