WHOOP WHOOP! So you’ve got all your flight’s booked and you’re leaving on your next adventure soon. I know you’re super excited BUT WAIT- there are a lot of pre-trip steps to take before heading to the airport. Here are 10 of my top things to do before leaving!

1. Research!

Make sure you spend a little bit of time reading up on the destinations you’re going to. Check out the tops places to go, top things to see, best foods to try, exchange rates, and even try to learn a few phrases in whatever the local language is there. Take a few minutes and try to familiarize yourself with the city and the transportation you’ll be using to get around and download any transportation apps ahead of time. I find that blogs and YouTube videos are the most helpful for researching.

2. Young Mula Baby (Money)

Money, Money, Moneyyy! The number ONE most important thing to do is to let your bank know when and where you’re traveling. Nothing sucks more than your bank putting a hold on your card. With that being said, I also suggest taking the money you have for your trip and splitting it into two separate bank accounts. This way if one bank puts a hold on your card, or someone steals one of your cards, or whatever reason, you’ll have some money to get you through until you can sort out whatever needs to be done. My last tip is to try to skip the currency exchanges, they’re a business who needs to make money and how they do this is by taking a hefty percentage of YOUR money. So stick to the ATMS if you need cash.

3. Plan Your First Day

Trust me, I’m a fan of the “go with the flow” and “wing it” attitude, but when you arrive in a brand new city (especially if it took you 36 hours to get there) it can be a bit overwhelming. So I highly recommend you book your hostel/hotel for the first night or two.

4. Wear Your PJ’s

Okay, so I don’t mean your ACTUAL pajamas (even though I wouldn’t judge you) but make sure you wear comfy clothes. You don’t want to be stuck on a plane for 12 hours wearing high waisted shorts that dig into your crotch (sorry was that too detailed?). Also make sure you wear layers that way you can keep warm if the AC is on full blast or you can take off a few layers if you get too warm, though I’ve never been too warm on a plane except for the one time I didn’t want to pay for baggage so I wore ALL my clothes for a MONTH LONG trip to Thailand on my body all at once but that’s for a different blog.

5. Pack Right

Check out airport and airline regulations. Double check whats allowed and what not. Sometimes things you think will be okay, arent. Like power banks in China even if you ONLY have a layover!! Ugh. I’m still salty about it. It’s happened to me a few times so just make sure you double check!! The rules change and vary by location so please do your research. I don’t want any of yall to have to throw away anything valuable like an $80 power bank or worse! Also use a clear plastic bag for any liquids you plan on bringing and remember the limit is only 3 oz!

6. Visas

This is SUPER important you guys!! Check if you need a Visa where you’re going. Most countries allow tourist to travel anywhere from 30-90 days Visa-FREE. You need to check online whether or not you need a visa BEFORE you leave because some countries have a process that can take a few hours up to a few months. You can check HERE to find out. Do you need a visa for a week in Thailand? How do you get a visa for China and how long does it take? Can you get a visa on arrival in Vietnam?

6. Travel Insurance

Now Travel Insurance isn’t totally necessary, but it’s one of those things you don’t really think about until its too late. Traveling can be a LOT of fun, but it can also be dangerous. It’s easy to get hurt driving a motorbike in Bali or cliff jumping in the Philippines. Maybe you get food poisoning and need to go to the hospital. That might sound over the top but the chances of those things happening to you are pretty high when traveling abroad. Travel Insurance isn’t just for medical stuff though. It can also protect against lost luggage, theft, airplane tickets, hotel reservations, and more. You may end up not using it, but it’s definitely worth the piece of mind.

8. Health

So while we’re on the subject of taking care of ourselves, let’s talk a bit more about health. Stay hydrated! Long flights can leave you feeling tired and dehydrated and drinking a bunch of alcohol will only make it worse. Bring an empty water bottle with you, then once you get through security fill it up for free at a water fountain. It can be really easy to eat poorly while traveling so make sure you eat a good and proper meal a few times a week. That will help you stay healthy therefore allowing you to keep having a good time on vacation. I also like to make a little medical emergency bag and bring it with me. Pack things like any medications you need, Imodium for travelers diarrhea, Advil, and band-aids. Sure you can usually find those things abroad but sometimes it can be tricky to find, and you might want it immediately.

9. Copies

This one is also really important if you’re traveling abroad. Make a hard copy of EVERYTHING. All your hotel reservations and directions to them, flight confirmations, passport, emergency phone numbers/emails, and your travel insurance policy. Print them out and give a copy to a friend or family. Then email those copies to yourself and print out another copy for you to keep on you when you travel so you can access them whenever. Imagine landing in China, no phone service, no wifi, and you can’t even check your Gmail because of their “great firewall”. How would figure out where to go?

10. Relax

Relax!! You’ve read up on everything, you’ve watched a few YouTube videos on where you’re going, and you’ve done all your prep work! Now it’s time for your vacation, so chill out and relax a bit. Try to get a good night’s sleep before you leave- everything’s going to be fiiiine!