Pre-Trip Checklist for International Travel

Pre-Trip Checklist for International Travel

The trip planning is finished. You wait…what next?
Travel Planning

Before you go on your trip

30 Days out to do checklist

Double check flight details

  • Add airline app to your mobile device if you do not already have it
  • Make sure your legal name is on ticket and matches passport
  • Make sure the dates are correct and add to calendar
  • Clarify times as many international flights are overnight
  • Make sure your TSA/Global Entry number is on airline ticket
Make sure passport is valid with accurate dates
  • If you’ve had a name change, make appropriate changes
  • Check to see visa restrictions on countries you are entering or if you will need a tourist card. Countries that require a Visa  Double check with individual government site.
  • Some countries require 2 pages remaining in your passport. Check to see that you do.
Do a 30 day itinerary check up

  • Confirm hotel dates, amenities and cost. Remember to consider tax and currency exchange
  • Confirm excursions booked. Remember to consider tax and currency exchange
  • Do research on the tipping custom in the country you are visiting
Buy trip insurance

  • Trip insurance is so worth it. Besides covering the expected like airfare, trip expense and lost, delayed luggage, it offers peace of mind. You will be evacuated in the event of a natural disaster, terrorism,  and health care and dental coverage while visiting the country.
If you are renting a car

  • Check with your insurance company if you are covered in a foreign country
  • Make sure you have an International driver’s license as the rental companies will not let you pick up the car without the IDL. How to get an IDL
  • Do a review of the traffic laws specific to the country. If you have a complicated traffic circle near home…practice:)
Arrange for a pet sitter if you have a pet and a plant sitter if you have beloved plants
Temporarily suspend your mail online – Hold Mail at the USPS
Research your phone plan for Europe
Here is a post about packing for a cold climate trip 

  • Your own provider’s plan what are the details and cost
  • I have had luck with Skyroam Solis  order if you decide on the skyroam

1 Week out to do checklist

Download Google maps offline

  • Imperative if you are renting a car as you may not have wifi all of the time
  • Offline Google maps will not give you walking directions, but better to have something offline if you are lost.
  • How to use Google maps offline
Research best transportation from the airport

  • Train – How to buy pass as you’ll be tired upon arrival
  • Uber – does the City you are visiting have ride share options
  • Taxi
  • Walking
Research credit card

  • Fees
  • Best place to withdraw money in the country you are visiting
  • Do they have a travel rewards program benefits

Read this article about researching credit cards from Money Magazine – best travel credit card options

Double check airline baggage restrictions – They can vary widely for airlines
  • Measure your bags to the top of the handle and bottom of the wheels
  • Look at their weight restrictions – buy a luggage scale
  • Look at the personal size bag restrictions
Pack your bags the weekend prior to leaving 5-7 days out 

  • You will not have to wash the items prior to leaving
  • You will be 95% complete and reduce your stress
  • You will not be running around looking for items
Here is a post about packing light for a 3 week trip to Italy

3 Days out to do checklist

Make sure you home is clean

  • It is so nice to come home to a clean place
Prepare travel documents and put in a safe place where you will not forget

  • TSA Card
  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • International Driver’s License
  • Credit Card with your name on it for rental car company (sometimes you will need 2)
Use an app to start preparing for jet lag such as timeshifter

  • Get up 1-2 hrs earlier going East
  • Stay up 1-2 hrs later Going West
  • Limit caffeine at certain hours
  • Limit light at certain hours

Day of departure to do checklist

Remove perishables from the refrigerator
Turn lights off except 1 in a window
​Make sure to grab all of your bags and important documents
I travel internationally often and this is my routine. You can tweak it to work better for you, but hopefully this will help relieve some of the stress that goes along with International travel.
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Published by Judy Hughes

I am a small group trip leader for 2 travel clubs. We check out cool and off the beaten path places around the World. Adventure is our specialty. I love to take notes and share the travel tips with you in my blog! Hope you check it out!