7 Things You Mustn’t Forget When Traveling Abroad
Many of us forget items like toothpaste or sunglasses when travelling abroad. As irritating as this can be, it’s usually not the end of the world – such items are easy to replace once you’re out there.
However, there are other items and documents that you can’t afford to forget. In some cases, you may not be able to travel without these items. In other cases, your health could be at risk by not remembering them. Here are just 7 essentials that mustn’t forget when travelling abroad.
Without a passport, you won’t get further than the airport. A passport generally isn’t needed when travelling on a domestic flight, but for any flight or boat trip abroad it will be mandatory.
If you don’t have a passport, you should give yourself a couple months to apply for one. Passports expire after time, so it’s also important to check the dates and renew your passport when necessary (some flights don’t allow you to travel on a passport that has less than six months on it, so you may want to renew your passport before it runs out just in case).
Many countries also require you to apply for a visa before entering the country. There are usually different types of visas depending on whether you’re travelling as a tourist or travelling for work. Tourist visas tend to be fairly cheap and straightforward, whilst working visas can be pricier and more complicated.
Nowadays most visas are electronic – you may not automatically get a paper copy (although it can be worth requesting one). To apply for some visas, you may need other documents. For example, you may need a flight reservation for a visa or you may need proof of accommodation. Make sure to do your research so that you have everything you need – there are companies that can help with visa application process.
Unless you plan to beg whilst you’re out there, you’ll need some money (or at least, access to money). Some countries may not even allow you to enter without proof of available funds. It’s often worth having a combination of cash and card – some countries will be largely cashless, whilst others may rarely accept card, so having both forms of payment covers all bases.
In the case of cash, it’s sometimes cheaper to buy currency whilst you’re out there, so you may only have to bring a card. Alternatively, you may find it’s cheaper to buy cash beforehand to get the best rate. There are pre-paid travel cards that you can also look into to avoid exchange fees – you’ll want to buy these beforehand.
Most of us are so attached to our phones that forgetting them is unlikely, but it can happen – particularly if you leave your phone on charge overnight and have an early flight. In most cases, it’s the charger that gets forgotten. Whilst you may be able to buy one abroad, your phone may die before then if you’re on a long-haul flight.
You technically don’t need to take a phone (people used to travel without them), but most people wouldn’t dream of it nowadays. Besides, apart from offering emergency contact, phones are often used for navigation, translation, taking pictures and various other purposes.
If you need medical attention when abroad, it could pay to have travel insurance. Without being able to afford treatment, some hospitals may refuse it.
Travel insurance can also be handy for reimbursing you if your flight is cancelled or if baggage is lost. You should shop around for insurance before you leave to find the most affordable and comprehensive plan. Make sure to print off confirmation documents too just in case they are required.
Hotel/flight booking confirmation
Most hotels and airports will have booking information stored online, but in cases of technical problems or admin issues, it’s worth taking paper copies of your booking confirmation as a backup. Paper copies could also be useful for finding flight information or directions to a hotel if your phone isn’t working.
Certain medication could also be important when abroad. If you have a serious allergy, you don’t want to forget your EpiPen. Similarly, you don’t want to forget malaria tablets when travelling to a high-risk malaria zone. A basic first aid kit could also be useful in the case of an emergency.