Whether you are studying abroad, backpacking through Europe, or traveling around the world, there are some things to do before traveling for months. From refilling prescriptions to updating your passport, here is my list of things to do.
Things to Do Before Traveling for Months
I am spending 101 days traveling around the world. As exciting as that is, leading up to the trip my days were filled with lots of boring yet necessary tasks.
1. Refill prescriptions, including contact lenses
I packed enough prescription medications, vitamins, doctor recommended supplements, and contact lenses for the length of my trip.
2. Get a checkup and any vaccinations
It’s always smart to get a checkup before a long trip. You might need to visit a separate travel clinic to get vaccinations for your trip. While you are at the doctor’s office you can ask for prescription medications for things like altitude sickness, traveler’s diarrhea, and malaria – if you could encounter these situations in the places you will be visiting.
Check the state department website to see which vaccinations are recommended for the countries where you will be traveling. In some cases, you might need to bring proof of vaccinations with you.
3. Check your passport
You want to make sure that your passport will be valid for at least six months after you return from your trip. Some countries may not let you in if your passport is about to expire. You also want to make sure that you have enough blank pages for any entry visas you will need. Many countries require visas that you can obtain on arrival, but you need an entire blank page for them.
4. See if you need to apply for visas in advance
You can get this information on the state department website. This is also the place to check to see if any vaccines are recommended.
5. Extra passport sized photos
These photos are often needed for visas and having them ready will save you time.
6. Copy your passport
Be prepared in case your passport gets stolen. I make sure that someone at home has a copy of my passport so that I can use that to help me get a new one. I usually keep a copy of my own passport in my bag at the hotel too.
7. Know what to do if your wallet gets stolen
Have the phone numbers you will need to cancel your cards written down. Have a plan in place for accessing more money.
8. Do your research and share your itinerary
Check the State Department website to see if any of the locations on your itinerary have any safety concerns. Write out your travel itinerary so that someone will always know where you are. Share this with trusted family and friends who you will be checking in with regularly.
9. Pause any monthly subscriptions
You might want to pause accounts for Netflix, hulu, etc.
10. Stock up on supplies
This is a little different for everyone, but if you have a face wash you can’t live without, make sure you have enough for the length of your trip. For women, I always recommend packing a box of tampons. I always travel with a small bag of medications too. If you are sick in a foreign country, you don’t want to be searching stores for Sudafed. It’s much easier to just pack some, and it hardly takes up any space in your bag.
11. Find high-quality essentials
When it comes to packing for a long trip, less is more. Invest in waterproof hiking boots that will last. Get a rain jacket that gets the job done, lots of “rain jackets” are water resistant not waterproof. It’s these details that really matter.
12. Have a plan for paying your bills
Sign up for online bill pay so that you won’t miss any bill payments.
Have you ever traveled long-term? Am I missing anything on this list? Let me know in the comments!