things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

9 things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

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Getting everything ready for a trip can be the most exciting thing in the world (second to actually going on the trip), but it can also be a little stressful if we don’t feel we are properly prepared. Over the years, I’ve hit a few obstacles while double-checking things before going on a trip, which are often just part of the journey but we should do our best to avoid them if we can. From applying from a visa too late to having to replace my passport due to a slight tear, here are my 9 things you need to double check before you go on a trip:

Double check your passport

Check to ensure you have at least 6 months validity on your passport. Some countries will deny entry if visitors don’t have at least 6 months beyond the date you plan to leave that destination so it is crucial to double check this before you go on a trip, allowing enough lead time to organise a new passport if needed. This can change depending on which country your passports is from.

Alongside validity, ensure that you passport is intact and has no damage (tears, rips, water damage, etc). Damaged passport can result in refused entry into countries.

TIP: Always store your passport in a safe and dry location. When I’m traveling, I will either keep my passport in a simple ziplock bag, passport cover or a neck wallet

Organise any visas

Of all the things you need to double check before going on a trip, this one is crucial to look into well in advance. Check what visas you need for each destination you’re travelling to, how to apply for them and what is needed well in advance.

Reliable visa information can usually be found on government websites. The Australian government travel website, Smartraveller, has links to legitimate visa applications for most countries.

things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

Purchase travel insurance

I once read that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel and, after hearing that and countless horror stories, I will never travel without it. It’s worth noting that if you own a credit card, some credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance, however, I highly recommend confirming that this provides adequate insurance for your needs.

Check your vaccinations are up to date

See a travel doctor to ensure you are up to date with any required or recommended vaccines for your destination/s, and you’re equipped with any necessary medications.

Some countries, such as Tanzania, require you to have had your Yellow Fever vaccination as a requirement to enter the country.  Seeing a doctor, who specialises in travel medicine, will also equip you with clinical information so you can make an informed decision about how you can take care of your health while abroad. This might included advising which vaccines or medications would be advisable based on disease risks in certain areas you are travelling to.

I’d also recommend getting a note from your doctor advising which medications you’re travelling with, just incase any questions arise going through customs in any particular place.

things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

Purchase travel adaptors

Given that most of how we organise our travel is now done online (emails, apps, confirmations and bank access), having a charged up phone is usually pretty important for most travellers so it’s crucial to be equipped with the correct travel adaptor for your destination.

I always travel with two universal chargers to reduce the number I need to take and it means I also have a backup.

Know the local laws and customs

Research the laws of the destination you’re going to because some countries have laws vastly different to what you know. (For example: Chewing gum is banned in Singapore.) Some things that might be commonly accepted at home, may not be the same overseas and could have serious consequences.

You’ll also want to make sure you’ve researched local customs, including dress codes, to ensure you are packed appropriately.

things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

Check the weather

It’s important to have an understanding of what time of the year you’re visiting a country – and their seasons. If you’re planning to travel for snow or the summertime, you’ll likely want to know which months produce the best weather for your trip.

Knowing what to expect climate-wise is also key to packing properly for any trip. I highly recommend doing a bit of research around what to expect of the weather and day-to-night temperature ranges.

Get to know the currency

It’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of the currency you’ll be using when you travel (and specifically how it converts to your own currency). This will help you with your day-to-day budget if you’re spending in local currency.

It’s also important to understand accessibility of ATMs, EFTPOS and if cash is king so you can go prepared! There’s nothing worse than the stress of worrying about accessing your money abroad.

things you NEED to double check before you go on a trip

Check your Government’s travel advice

Government travel advice is a great tool to use for accurate information for its citizens. For Aussies, check out Smartraveller, which is a really good resource for legitimate visa application websites, laws, entry requirements, potential health risks, travel warning, and other crucial information that will inform you when preparing for your trip.

For Australians, the government ratings can also affect your validity of travel insurance, which is always handy to check!

Thinking about going on a trip and need a hand with your planning?

For a more comprehensive guide on how to prepare for an overseas trip, check out “A step-by-step guide to planning an overseas trip“.

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  1. Another tip, especially important if you have organised the trip yourself, is to make sure all bookings and tickets run to the expected places and timeline.

    Two examples of my own are having to rush across Los Angeles because my plane arrived at one airport, and the connection left from a different airport, and once finding I’d booked a hotel for the wrong night and had to pay again when I arrived a day late.

    In both cases, everything had looked fine on the original plan, but I hadn’t actually checked the tickets.

  2. Your tips for trip prep are fantastic! Your pointers on government travel advice and currency tips are so valuable. Thanks for sharing these savvy tips!

  3. So on point and you covered all the bases. They’re on my list as well. Quite important to know of these things before embarking on a trip. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great tips. The 6 month rule on your passport expiration is a real thing. Two of my friends were held up on their trips because their passports were less than 6 months from expiring.

  5. Such important tips, it always amazes me how many people don’t think of some of these.

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