Checklist For Overseas Travel: 8 Essential Things You NEED To Do

Checklist For Overseas Travel

Before traveling to another country, I always consult my travel checklist. Here are 8 essential things to do before traveling abroad.

Essential Things to do Before Traveling Abroad

Overseas Travel Checklist


1. Get Visa Information

Do you need a pre-visa for the particular country you are visiting? We just recently went on a trip to Southeast Asia. We did not need a visa for the length of time we were staying in Thailand, and we planned on getting our Laos visa at the border of Thailand and Laos.

Luckily, I stumbled upon the information that Vietnam’s requirements are a little different. They require a pre-entry visa, which you can get in Thailand or Laos, but only if you are staying in one place for about 5 days. We didn’t want to take any chances, so we rushed an application to the Vietnam Embassy in D.C. and got our Vietnam visa shortly before we left on our 6-week trip.

2. Register with the nearest Embassy

Before you leave, it is wise to register with the Embassy of each country that you will be visiting. It helps the Embassy to better assist you in case of an emergency, such as a lost or stolen passport. It will also be easier for the Embassy to help you in the case of a natural disaster.

3. Travel Medical Insurance

I always purchase a travel medical insurance policy before I travel to another country. This will cover important things like emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation, and baggage delay. We use and trust World Nomads for our travel insurance policies.

4. Required Travel Vaccinations

Check with your local travel clinic about any vaccinations that are required and suggested for that particular area.

5. Copies of Important Documents

Make a copy of your passport, any credit cards you will be bringing, drivers license and travelers checks receipts. I usually keep a copy with me and also scan a copy to send to my email. Also, bring extra passport photos of yourself for visas.

6. It’s a good idea to join airline mileage programs to earn miles for all the flights you take

We have a couple favorites such as Continental and American that we use whenever we can. If I am taking a flight and they are not partnered with either of my main airline mileage programs, I always create an account with that airline.

You never know when you will be taking that particular carrier again and it doesn’t hurt to get credit for those miles. In order to be sure you get all of your mileage points, keep a copy of your boarding pass!! The mileage program will ask for a copy when you call them to find out why they have not credited your miles.

7. Print out some currency conversion charts for the currency of the places you will be visiting

If you are bringing an ipod, download the conversion rate and you can use this instead of carrying around a bunch of paper.

8. Print out common phrases for the language of the country I am visiting

If you have a guidebook, they usually have this information in them. But I don’t always want to carry around my guidebook and knowing how to say, “thank you,” “hello,” “I’m sorry” and a few other phrases are a necessity whenever I’m visiting a country.

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  1. visaforvietnam says:

    This post helped me a lot in my last time of packing for my vacations. I loved the post.

  2. Joel Tillman says:

    This seems like a silly one but I have one to add. I always carry a roll of toilet paper wrapped in plastic with me at all times. Usually in my carry on luggage or backpack if i’m out and about. I can’t tell you how many times that one roll has saved me for so many different scenarios.   

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Thanks, Joel! I always forget to pack the TP and usually end up using napkins which is not fun!!

      1. Joel Tillman says:

        hahaha aww. I laughed because I have been in the same situation and know your pain. I’m not sure if you ave traveled in the Asians but some of the time they wont have fresh tp in the bathrooms. They will have a bin for “recyclable” toilet paper (yeah, it’s exactly as bad as it sounds.) Get trapped using that stuff one and napkins are a godsend :p