We’ll admit it. Travel insurance isn’t a particularly satisfying purchase. Most of us would love to cross our fingers and bank on the hope that our travels will go smoothly and as expected. But life happens. Whether it’s finding out you have to cancel weeks before you go, or needing emergency medical attention during a trip, it’s best to pursue peace of mind and know that you (and your bank account) will be covered if and when the unanticipated happens. Get an instant, no hassle quote from our best in class partner, World Nomads.
Get Ahead of Your Packing List
When you travel, sometimes all that you’ve got control over is what you’re physically carrying. While that can be a freeing feeling, it also speaks to how much your packing choices matter. Feeling prepared with the right clothing and gear choices mean you’ve got the best chance at being physically and culturally comfortable. Pack breathable layers, especially for warmer climates. Comfortable, practical shoes and garments that can transition from a day’s activities to a night out on the town are ideal. For itineraries on the move, it will be hard to get laundry done. Consider quicker drying fabrics in case you have to do some sink washing and overnight air drying.
Check Visa Requirements and Vaccination Recommendations
There’s no question you’ll need a passport if your travels will be taking you out of the U.S., but visa requirements will vary from country to country. Some will grant you an automatic tourist visa upon entry, others will require that you pay a fee in customs, and for some countries, you’ll have to apply for and secure a tourist visa before you go. As for vaccinations, some are highly recommended in certain higher risk regions of the world. Better safe than sorry here, as nothing will bum you out more than getting typhoid on vacation. Your tour operator will be a great resource for this kind of information, but always be sure to double-check with the U.S. State Department on Travel: https://www.state.gov/travel/ as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/.
Learn Basic Foreign Language Phrases
Fortunately for the English speaker, you can get by without knowing the local language in many countries around the world. But if you’re traveling to a destination where English is not a native or predominant language, it’s best practice to bring a traveler’s phrase book — no need to bring a full dictionary unless you’re planning to attend language school or stay abroad for months on end. Though you probably won’t be able to carry on any profound conversations, you’ll be stoked for the ability to communicate about the basics. And most importantly, your humble attempts will most likely be appreciated by the locals.
Budget for Fun Extras
Many tour packages include at least accommodations, and some guiding, meals, and activities. But you don’t want to have to turn down scuba diving in Cuba solely because you failed to bring $50 of extra cash. Always plan for more. While traveling, you’re often somewhere you may never again be in your life, which is not the time to deny yourself the right to that spontaneous splurge.