In less than two days we are heading to our next destination: Israel. As you prepare for travel abroad, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by all the things to remember. We made a list of the essential things you’ll need to do before strapping on your backpack
1. Get a Passport
The first item to arrange before leaving your country is a Passport, without you can't enter any other country. Traveling without your Passport wouldn't take you further than your country's Airport or Border control. If you already have a Passport, check your expiration date. Most countries won’t let you in if the expiration date is less than 6 months away. If you still need to arrange a Passport apply as soon as possible, although most of the times you will receive your passport in less than a month it can last up to 3 months before arriving.
2. Check for a Visa
Always check if the country you are traveling to requires a Visa. Depending on your nationality each country has different arrangements, and requirements change often. Not every country offers visa on arrival, so sometimes you have to submit for a visa at an Embassy. Waiting for a Visa to be approved can take a month or more, so submit your visa application early and ensure it will be valid for your entire stay.
3. Check your Bank Card
Most banks have switched to chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad accept the outdated magnetic-strip cards. To avoid running out of money, be sure to have a bank card which has a chip.
4. Check entrance/exit fees
Some countries require travelers to pay an entrance or departure fee, which can cost as much as € 250,-. These fees are not included in the price of your airline ticket, so budget accordingly.
5. Tell your Bank
Inform you bank that you are traveling to other countries, with most banks nowadays you can activate your bank card for different destinations online. Just fill in the date and continent. When activated most of the time you can withdraw money without any problems.
Tip!: Add your bank’s phone number to your contacts to ensure you can quickly call when in an emergency.
When you are using medication, always be sure that you have enough to last out at least the duration of your trip. (It is better to bring some extra, in case something happens).
Tip!: When crossing borders it is important to bring a copy of your medication records. When you are being stopped by Security, you can show that you are allowed to carry these specific medicines.
7. Arrange International Medical Insurance
Ask your medical insurance provider if your Policy applies overseas for emergencies. If it doesn’t or if you need to add an extra package to be medical covered international.
Tip!: Read our blog about ''how to survive a hospital abroad''.
In many countries in South-America & Asia, it is necessary to vaccinate against a certain amount of diseases like malaria or hepatitis. It is important that your vaccinations are recorded in your yellow ''International Vaccination Passport''. It is important to always bring it when traveling since some countries won't let you enter without proof of vaccination.
9. Make Back-ups
Set up an account with a service like DropBox or Google Drive before you leave so you can backup your photos and computer files on the road. It’s peace of mind in case you lose your electronics.
10. Make copies of documents
If something happens to your passport or wallet, you’ll need all of your identifying information. Scan in your documents and sent them to yourself by mail. In this way, you always have your documents on hand when you need them. For extra reassurance, pack color copies of all your important documents in your backpack.
11. Buy Public Transport Tickets beforehand
Tourists can often get a special discount, many cities offer a pass that offers free or discounted admission to major attractions and transportation.
12. Research your destination's activities
Although, there is much information available at your destination. Doing a little of research about the main attractions can help you to plan your trip better and will spare you time to do other things.
13. Download Travel Apps & Offline Maps
Download several Travel apps like Agoda, Airbnb, and Skyscanner to book accommodation and tickets easily while on the road. For navigation, it is important to download the offline maps of your destination. Google Maps or Maps.ME has very detailed maps available which when downloaded does not cost any of your data bundle.
14. Check if there is an embassy.
If there’s an unforeseen problem in the country, this will alert your government where you are and get you to safety. It’s also smart to know the address and contact information of the local embassy.
15. Get a local sim-card.
Buy a local sim card at your destination, this is way cheaper than switching on global capabilities on your phone.
16. Share your travel plans.
Let family & friends know what you’re up to during your travels. In the unlikely event of a disaster or catastrophe, knowing where you actually are may put their minds at ease.