Today, I want to share with you six things to do before leaving on vacation. Since I’ve been doing it, I’m sure I won’t forget anything and I’ll be able to travel with peace of mind.
1. Important documents
The first thing I think about when planning a trip, whether in France or abroad, is our identity papers. The expiration date can quickly arrive and our flight passes us by. Once this element is verified, I take the opportunity to inquire about the necessity of a visa and the delay to obtain it before booking our plane ticket. Then, I take a look at our driver’s licenses and I order an international license if a rental is planned. Finally, I look at the vaccinations to be updated and renew if necessary the application for my European identity card.
2. Take a package valid abroad
To communicate with my family and friends, I also check my cell phone plan. Even if you use your phone in a limited way, using it abroad can quickly become very expensive if the package is not made for it. In order to avoid a bad surprise when I come back, I always anticipate to have an international mobile package adapted to my needs. Between the offers with commitment and those without commitment, there is no lack of choice. In Europe, the end of roaming charges since 2017 means that you don’t end up with a hefty bill at the end of your trip. Outside Europe, it’s not the same story. Whether in North America, South America, Asia or Africa, communications are quickly expensive. Opting for a special package can therefore help you avoid overcharging, which can considerably inflate your travel expenses.
3. Think about practical tips
In terms of practical elements, I usually download as many useful applications as possible for my stay. This is the case for guidebooks, currency converters and translators. I also download Google Maps offline. It can happen that the network coverage abroad is not good and that there is not enough reception. Downloading the maps allows me to find my way around even without an Internet connection. Finally, I don’t forget to put a universal adapter in my suitcase. It avoids bad surprises and to find myself with a phone that can’t be recharged. For the purists, the paper version of the maps are very good. With them, no battery problem.
4. Find out about your payment method
Before leaving for Canada, I didn’t want to have any bad surprises on my bank account. That’s why I think it’s important to find out about the conditions for withdrawals and purchases abroad. Some banks offer partnerships with other countries in order to avoid additional fees. It is also important to take advantage of this to check the expiration date and to increase the withdrawal limits.
5. Make yourself understood abroad
While surfing the web, I came across a great book that allows you to make yourself understood all over the world without speaking the local language! Speak in travel 100% visual by Harrap’s is easy to put in your suitcase to save a delicate situation and allows you to remain autonomous.
6. Prepare a program
A trip is a time of discovery and wonder. I, therefore, take every possible precaution to prepare for it as well as possible and enjoy it fully. Among the elements that I find important to plan, the itinerary. In order not to run out of time and miss places or activities, I opt for a schedule. Of course, this schedule can change according to the weather and the discoveries on the spot, but it allows me not to disperse myself too much and to be able to do the most things possible. If I go there without being organized beforehand, I find that I risk losing time on the spot and not fully benefiting or missing something interesting.