The Top 5 Things you Need to do Before Packing for a Trip

Check your passport

Yes, I’m even talking to you, seasoned travelers. We can get sloppy, arrogant, and cocky, which tends to lead us down a road where checking off the basics doesn’t apply. However, before you do anything else, check to see if your passport has already expired or will be expiring soon. This is especially important now that there are longer years in between having to renew; what may be time-saving now may end up being a time-crunch later on. No one wants to miss out on a trip because of negligence.

Get your Shots

Everywhere in the world offers an array of viruses and diseases just ready to be caught.


There are some that are preventable by a pill (malaria) and some that are preventable by a quick shot or two (Hep A & B), and then there are certain viruses where no preventable will help you and you need to keep your smarts. There are even viruses that can cause your family planning to take hiatus until the grace period is over. Zikka and West Nile pose threats to those who oppose bug spray, and to those who spray it on like it’s the newest scent from Marc Jacobs. Whatever country you’re visiting, make sure you consult your doctor about diseases and viruses that can affect you.

Buy the Damn Health Insurance

Saving that $50 bucks isn’t going to change your life – or your trip. Just buy the damn health insurance and start adulting. There are plenty of options and some companies have travel health insurance built right in. Unfortunately, a lot do not. Make sure you read up on your company’s policies (like if you have to pay for everything up front and then they reimburse you) before you head out of the country. If there is nothing available through your employment, make sure you purchase insurance before your trip. Remember Canadians: this includes the States. America is a different country (which is more evident with each passing day at this moment) and that means health insurance is a must. No one wants to be saddled with a $30,000 hospital bill for something we take for granted at home.

Make sure you have your Visa’s in Order

No, I don’t mean the kind you use to go shopping. Although…
There are certain countries where you need a visa to enter such as Brazil, China, Vietnam. Visa’s aren’t something you can walk around and you must listen to the restriction and specifications. Especially, on certain visa’s that have you leaving the country at specified times. Even if you think five minutes late is okay to meet a friend for coffee, doing the same in Russia will not grant you an eye-roll and hug to greet you.

Make sure you have your Visa’s in Order

Now, I mean the ones about shopping. Let your credit card company know that you are abroad and make sure that you’re starting with a clean balance or that you have an extra card for back-up.

shopping online

Things happen in day-to-day life and even more things happen when you’re thousands of miles from home. While having an empty credit card for emergencies on the side can be helpful, as well as a primary one for activities, shopping, and restaurants, it isn’t a reality for most people. I’ve gone on a trip with a balance on my credit card before and no issues occurred, but I’ve also gone on a month-long excursion with a clean card that ended with nearly the entire continent I was on grounded due to a natural disaster. Plan accordingly and factor in for extras that may get in the way of fun activities and even getting home.

Journal your way through your journeys and make sure you never forget anything at home, again:
Get Shit Done!: To Do Notepad, Planner and Journal

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