Summer is not so far ahead, and you are probably starting to make plans about destinations and dates, asking for days off at work and looking at flights. Here are a few tips to make it even more enjoyable.
The first thing on my holiday check list is your passport. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but the last thing you want is rushing off to have a new passport issued one week before you leave, so make sure your passport is not expired or expiring soon, and check the visa requirements for your country of destination.
A close second is shots and meds like malaria treatments. Some shots you will have to space a month apart and you should rather have plenty of time to do it at your own pace.
While you are at the healthcare facility, you should also ask for a refill on your prescriptions, to bring enough on your trip.
Next, go online and request a European health insurance card, which will allow you to pay local prices and get partial refunds on treatments within the 28 countries of the European Union.
I also create an emergency email with all my emergency contacts, such as your bank’s phone number so you can call and report a lost or stolen credit card, and I scan all important documents like visas, passport or driving license to keep a copy on file.
If you go on a business trip, or to a country whose language is radically different, you may want to have a few documents translated by a professional company, such as 1st Transnational Translation Agency.
It can be your list of food allergies, the paperwork for your vehicle, your birth certificate… anything important you don’t want to get wrong. Scan a copy as well, just in case.
My travel essential include an A4 ziploc bag to keep those documents safe from water spills and getting damaged in a backpack.
Other things you may like to bring include plug adapters, and a multi plug charger in case the hotel only has one outlet so you can charge your laptop and phone at the same time, extra batteries for your camera, and a laptop case to protect it. All those small items cost a lot of money at the airport, so thinking about it a few months in advance will help you get the best rate, online or at your local store.
For phone calls and internet, I generally buy a SIM card at destination, which is much cheaper than using roaming on your mobile. You can investigate which company has the best short term phone and data plan, and if you are like me and lose things everywhere you go, you should bring an old phone instead of your latest smart phone, to put the SIM card and use during your holidays. Some countries like Morocco or Guatemala also offer USB modems as an option to get connected online without a phone. A modem costs around $25 and comes with a free month worth of internet. Just be careful about data usage as they rarely give you more than 1Gb or two.
It is perfect to browse email in remote locations, and you can use the hotel’s wifi when you need to download bigger files.
Most travel amendments will have to be made online, like changing the date of a flight or a rental car, and being able to connect from anywhere is really worth the extra cost.
What would you add to my list so you have everything covered before your holiday?