When planning out a vacation, there are several tasks to check off the travel list—from what and how to pack to purchasing the right carry-on, signing up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry or even buying travel insurance and the best portable WiFi. Although these to-dos are usually checked-off months or weeks before departure there are a few things to consider the day before you take off. So to make sure you’re 100 percent prepared here’s a pre-departure checklist to help keep your entire travel experience stress-free.
Prepare Credit Card(s)
Traveling internationally? Make sure to call your credit card companies—only the ones you plan on using—so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you try to pay for something but your card ends up being declined. Some credit card companies have a feature that you can note your travel plans right within the app, whereas others require you to call. Some credit cards like those from American Express, don’t need to be notified at all. We also recommend to turn on push notifications of any purchase below $0. That way, you can always be informed of your expenses while on your getaway. In the event your credit card information is stolen without you noticing, you will know right away if an unauthorized purchase is made and take immediate action.
Get an International SIM or Plan
Unless you specifically pay for an international plan, your carrier’s international fees may skyrocket if you end up using data at any tie during the trip. Don’t pay for an international plan? Avoid any fees by either setting up a temporary plan for however long you will be gone for, or purchase an international SIM card when you arrive at your destination. Even if you’re traveling to multiple countries, it’s cheaper to use a SIM card from the same continent you’re going to be in instead of wherever you’re from.
Make sure to review all your reservations, including your flight the night before. The last thing you want to have happened is finding out your flight has a major delay or cancellation, or there’s an issue with your hotel/hostel/Airbnb. Thinking of upgrading? If you’re in a hotel room, you can see if they have availability (sometimes, you can even upgrade for free).
Check the Weather
The weather can change so quickly you may end up with the wrong set of clothes or not enough of them. Even if you’re going to a warm country, for instance, rain or a storm may have made its way there, and you want to make sure you arrive prepared for anything. Checking the day before you depart is the best time for the most accurate weather forecast.
Consider a Separate Wallet
Do you have a thick wallet with lots of cards, cash and receipts? Consider either reorganizing and cleaning out whatever you don’t need or plan on using (including credit cards you won’t be taking), or bringing a completely separate wallet designed just for traveling with only the necessities.