Getting ready to travel often comes with a mix of excitement and anxiety. What should you pack? What should you prepare in case of emergencies or setbacks? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your next adventure, whether you’re traveling within the United States, or venturing out into the world!
Book your accommodations ahead of time. Don’t be caught scrambling as the sun goes down to find a place to sleep for the night; you never know when an area will be sold out.
Where you stay is just as important as where you travel! Don’t just rely on chains: take the time to research and uncover hidden gems that will boost your adventure to the next level. For example, if you’re venturing to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Historic Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant is a boutique hotel that’s rooted in a deep love for the environment. Whether it’s mountain adventures, vineyard or distillery tours, or a quiet peaceful time with farm-to-table food, it’s a gorgeous time in Georgia to look forward to.
Medications: Do you have enough to last you for the duration of the trip? What are your options if you run out or lose the medicine? This is especially important for prescriptions that must be taken without interruption, so make a list of your essentials before you start packing.
First-Aid. Put together a travel kit in case of injury. Some common items are sunscreen, insect repellent, alcohol wipes, and Band-Aids.
Safety: Keep copies of your credit cards and other valuables in a separate location from your wallet. Be aware of pickpockets and thieves who work in the tourist areas.
Clothing: You only need a week’s worth of clothing no matter how long the trip is. If you’re packing for a weekend trip, you’ll need even less! Also consider what you’ll do in unexpected weather. For example, you’d be surprised how many people are stuck in rainy weather without a raincoat!
Going on an extended trip? Make sure your home is in order!
- Have the post office hold delivery.
- Set up an email autoresponder, unless you plan to correspond when you’re away.
- Do you have someone ready to take care of your pets?
- Will someone come by to mow your lawn and water your plants?
- Also, consider what to pack for clothing. For long trips, choose fabrics that can wash and dry quickly and easily.
If you’re traveling by air, be ready for TSA guidelines when you go through security.
- For liquids, keep to 3.4 ounces or less per container.
- Place all liquids in 1-quart size, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
- 1 bag per passenger for both carry-on and checked baggage.
- If purchasing a baggage lock, be sure to look for those that are TSA recognized.
- Pack large electronics on the top layer of the carry-on for screening accessibility.
- Wear easily removable shoes.
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Traveling internationally? Here are some additional steps to take to ensure a fantastic time abroad!
Prepare and carry a list of medications and your emergency contacts in case you are incapacitated and cannot share the information yourself.
Check your passport and visa expiration dates. Make sure that your passport is up to date, has as least six months of validity, and has enough blank pages for any stamps.
Be aware of local laws and customs when traveling abroad. What is typical in America can be deeply offensive in another country. Take the time to research what’s appropriate for clothing, hand gestures, and personal hygiene habits.
Learn a bit of the language. Don’t depend on English! Being able to say “hello” and “thank you” in the country language can go a long way in a foreign country.
Will you be driving on the unfamiliar side of the road? Be sure you know how to drive safely, especially in unfamiliar areas.
Have what you need to charge your technology. Realizing you can’t charge your phone, laptop, tablet, or camera can ruin a trip. Remember to pack electronic adapters and converters.
Your carry-on bag is your best friend on a long flight. Consider bringing comfort items like a blanket or pillow, a change of clothes, compression socks, as well as an empty water bottle to fill up post-security. Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer are always good to have on hand; wipe down frequently touched surfaces, like the tray table or the armrests of your plane seat.
Get vaccinated as needed. Vaccines differ from country to country, and not having the right ones can end up with you being denied entry. TravelBug Health is a full-service travel clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, that offers a one-stop shop for several vaccinations. Their clinic is also certified by the World Health Organization as an official yellow fever vaccination center. Contact them today to schedule a pre-travel consultation!
Wherever you’re planning on going, whether it’s your first trip or you’re a travel expert, it’s always helpful to have a checklist to review. Now, go enjoy your vacation!