Now that you have decided on the destination, you will need to start planning your pack. This is why we decided to help you with a checklist, which will make sure nothing is disregarded. Of course, we have not included clothing and accessories since you already got that figured out. Next, you will find the important aspects you need to consider before traveling abroad, things usually people forget about, especially if you are going out of the country for the first time.
1. Flight ticket & Check-in time
Make sure you purchase the flight tickets well before your travel date so as to avoid the last minute surge in price. Many countries require round trip ticket for entry. Take a printout and keep it near your luggage. It would n’t be good to miss the flight just because you forgot your ticket at home. Also double confirm the date and check-in time. It can be confusing when the departure time is around midnight.
2. Your passport and its copy
As you know, you won’t get further than the checking gate at the airport with out a valid passport. So make sure you put it well, together with your traveling ticket, as these two go together. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the start of trip. Keep a copy along with your luggage. If you loose the passport while on the trip, report at the nearest police station, embassy and let them know where you are staying.
3. Check Visa requirements
Visa is something which you should consider upfront, almost immediately after deciding on your destination, as it may take a while to get it. Research and see the visa requirements of the country you are planning to visit. Indian citizens have visa-on-arrival access or visa-free access to 52 countries in the world. For some among the rest, visiting visa can be obtained by applying online. For the remaining, you will have to go to the local embassy, with your passport, and unroll the necessary steps in obtaining it.
4. Currency/Forex card
It is obvious that you will need the local currency to be able to pay wherever you go. Don’t expect to get Indian rupee exchanged on the spot, and you probably don’t wish to search for a bank each time you need some money. It is ideal get the currency exchange done here in India, before you go. You can buy foreign exchange online also. Carry both currency and a forex card. You will get better exchange rates on forex card and it has got many other advantages. You can use it in an ATM, to withdraw cash if you need. But it is advisable to swipe, as the commissions will be lower this way. You can carry 12 different currencies in a multi currency forex card.
5. Travel insurance
No matter where you go, you will need a travel insurance. Is not that you have to think that something bad will happen, but sometimes unfortunate accidents do occur. And it would be bad if you end up having to pay for hospitalization and treatment in a foreign country. Every country has its health system, so it is better to make these preparations before leaving India. For a 1 month trip to the US, it would cost less than Rs 2000 per individual for a coverage of rupees one lakh.
6. International SIM card
An international sim card is one thing which would save you a lot of money. By using an international sim card, you can get rid of the of insanely high roaming charges charged by your service provider in India. You can receive incoming calls for free in most countries. Calling back to India or within the visiting country would be way cheaper. What you get will be a permanent number which you can use while on trips to multiple countries. You can also divert the calls to your Indian number if required.
7. Confirm the maximum luggage load
If it is hard to find out what’s best to pack, it would be advisable first to know what’s the maximum weight accepted, regarding your luggage. Traveling by plane will mean more cash if you exceed the weight. Not to mention that if your luggage goes in the shipping room of the plane, or on another plane, it will take a while to get it back. You can also make good use of the hand baggage allowed. Make sure that you are not taking anything that is not allowed on an airline.
8. Hotel contacts and reservation proof
Once you reached the destination, it would be very easy to have the hotel or hostel’s address and contact number, to find it more quickly. You may also wish to have the reservation document or proof when claiming the room, just to avoid any misunderstanding or error. If you have booked the room via any of the online portals, you might have to produce the same card you used for making the transaction at the time of check-in.
9. E-mail personal documents to your inbox
Very few people consider this aspect, but it may happen to lose your personal documents or worse, to be robbed. These are negative scenarios, but you won’t be the first one to experience them. And trying to explain the local authorities that you don’t have any ID anymore, plus the time you will have to wait for them to acquire the needed documents from your home country, will take quite a while. Not to mention that you cannot leave a country without the proper documents.
10. Check if you need any vaccinations
To your surprise, you may need to get some vaccines in case you are visiting certain parts of the globe. Each area has its specific viruses, which may be entirely new to your body. So to avoid any serious health issues, check to see if you need any vaccines to travel to the chosen destination. And keep the vaccination proof with you, as the local authorities may ask for it. Many countries in Africa demands specific vaccines to be taken.