I wrote about my pre-travel check list not too long ago and know how important it is to make a list that works for you. Pre-travel planning is one of the best ways to make your next trip more productive and enjoyable. It’s also one of the best ways to remove pre-travel stress. Although the experienced traveler keeps a basic travel check list available on his or her mobile, it’s essential to adjust specific details relating to the travel destination.

You’re likely to be thinking about “the weather” at the destination, but it’s important to consider ultraviolet light from the sun, too. Intense sunlight can make wearing sun-protective a good idea. A really bad sunburn—with fluid-filled blisters–can prevent all the fun activities you’re planning from happening.

Perhaps the best advice of all is to make the pre-travel check list ahead of time. Consider these items before your next trip, whether short or long-term:

International Safety

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The world is an exciting and sometimes dangerous place. Sign up for international e-mail travel warnings and alerts from the U.S. State Department! The Transportation Security Administrationis another good site for travelers. You can also arrange www.google.com/alertsto stay up to date on current events at the destination.

Passports and Visas

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Some countries such as China, India, Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and others, may have special visa requirements. Contact the national embassy about the requirements of travel to your proposed destination to make sure everything is in order. Your pre-travel check list should include enough time for this important step.

Moving Arrangements

If you’re planning on traveling for an extended period of time, you may have to break your lease and/or move your thingsto a storage unit. If you are going to move with things, then, of course, the best time to move is summer or early autumn. According to Corrigan Moving: “Many of the top van lines and movers have recently begun using an activity based pricing model to price their moves. This means that if you can move on a slower day, you will receive better pricing on your move. Fridays and Thursdays tend to be the busiest days of the week for movers, so you will usually be able to get better pricing on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, the last week of every month is always the busiest for moving companies, so moving in the second or third week of the month will also help you get better pricing on your move.”

Travel Arrangements

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Once passport and visas are secured, it’s always wise to plan ahead to save on travel costs. One of the secrets to saving money on air fare or hotel rooms is to use a travel consolidator. Not all travel sites are alike, so it’s a good idea to check out sites like Condorto save money. Early booking can also mean better plane seat selection, a four or five-star hotel room at less cost, rental car upgrades, and so on.

Before going on an international trip, contact credit card companies to inquire about international fees. A little advance planning about where to exchange money will help to identify unnecessary hidden charges that some exchange kiosks or banks charge. It’s also a very good idea to let card companies know you’re planning to go away. If spending location or amounts vary, the card issuer’s fraud department may suspend privileges until they hear from you!

Obtain railway, boat, bus, subway, ferry, or other tickets you’ll use on vacation now. Discounts and special offers will extend your travel budget, but most require advance purchase.

Maps

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Collect information about important locations on vacation, including the U.S. Embassy, hospitals, police stations, airports, etc. It’s easiest to pinpoint or star these important points on a map (in relation to the hotel or hostel you’re staying at). Keep the map handy for easy reference, because it will save you lots of time.

Medical Preparation

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Ask your doctor about any shots or vaccines needed before your trip. You can also check the Centers for Disease Control, or this resource equivalent in first world countries. Check insurance policies, either travel-specific or others, about terms and conditions relating to international travel. Take out additional insurance before the trip if necessary. If you take medications for a chronic illness, have the medicines needed on hand several weeks before the trip. Your doctor may provide a scrip for the medicine just in case.

Communications

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Many people feel lost without Internet and mobile access, so check this out now. You may need a new mobile device or communications plan. Think ahead if you’re heading to a gorgeous but remote area!

Cultural Considerations

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Behavior between the sexes differs around the world. For example, unmarried persons sharing a room in EMEA locations can be considered inappropriate or improper. Cultural awareness can help avoid a tense moment on vacation.

Pack Light

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Bring only those items you absolutely need for the trip. Checked luggage can get lost or stolen. It’s fun to buy clothing, toiletries, and other incidentals at the destination, and overweight luggage is expensive to check on most airlines.