Travel Checklist: What You Need to do Before Travelling Abroad

Ready to start planning your next trip? Planning a trip can be exciting! But it can also be overwhelming as you try to remember everything you need to do before a trip. A great way to keep organized is to keep a travel checklist like the one below. As you finish each step on the list, cross it off so that you can easily keep track of what you have done and what you have left to do. By being prepared and organized you can help ensure that you are ready for your next trip – instead of rushing at the last minute!

A lot goes into organizing and planning international travel. These travel tips will help make sure that your next excursion runs smoothly. Below are 8 main steps for planning your next trip, what to do up to one month before your trip, and what to do up to one week before your trip. Happy planning!

8 Steps for Planning Your Next Trip

1.Choose a location

First of all choose a location. Where do you want to go? What will the weather be like during the time you plan on visiting?  Is it safe for tourists? Will you easily be able to easily travel around?

2. Choose a date

Once you’ve chosen a location the next step is to choose a date. When is the best time to go? Do you want to go during peak season or off season? How much time will you need?

3. Set a budget

When planning a budget, it’s always better to overestimate than underestimate. There will always be unexpected costs that popup. It’s better to have extra money near the end of your trip than to run out of money and have to cut things out of your trip.

4. Start Saving

Now that you know how much you’ll need for your trip start saving! If you are looking for ways to spend less to help save for your next trip you may find my article 12 Ways to Save Money for Your Next Trip.

5. Plan ahead to find deals

Research ahead to find the best deals on accommodations, flights, and tour packages. As a result, you could save money by taking advantage of deals and sales.

6. Create a loose itinerary

You want to be prepared but not over prepared. Therefore, plan for spontaneity and give yourself flexibility in your schedule. In order to have an idea of what the location has to offer, research places and things you would like to see.

7. Research documentation requirements

Next, check to see if you need any vaccinations or special medicine for where you are going. Get you vaccinations done well in advance. If you plan on getting travel insurance, make sure you do this ahead of time. Insure your passport is valid for at least 3 months (some countries require it to be valid for a longer period). See if you need any special documents like visas and apply for those well in advance.

8. Start booking

Finally, once you are sure of where you want to go and when you want to go start booking flights and accommodations. See if you can save on certain things by buying advanced tickets (attractions and events).

Planning Your Next Trip Travel Checklist

This checklist is divided in to two sections. The first is what you need to do at least one month before trip. The second is what you need to do up to one week before trip. Rather than leaving planning to the last minute, start as early as possible. Many things can take time to prepare and organize. Leaving things till the last minute can result in unnecessary stress and forgetting to bring essential items.

Travel Checklist – At least 1 Month Before Your Trip

  • Are there any visa requirements for the countries you plan on visiting? If so, they can often take several weeks to obtain. Research which documents (if any) you will need and begin the process of acquiring the documents, giving yourself wiggle room for unexpected delays.
  • Which vaccinations, if any, do you require. Talk to your doctor and see if any vacations are required or recommended for the country you are travelling to. Some vaccinations require more than one treatments spread over a period of time in order for them to be effective.
  • Purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance will cover you if you get in an accident or become ill and require treatment or medication while travelling.
  • Refills of prescriptions and medications. Trying to refill medicine and prescriptions abroad can be impossible or near impossible. Make sure that you have all the medications you will need for the duration of your trip.
  • Order contact lenses, if required. If you plan on wearing contact lenses while traveling, make sure you pack enough to last you during your trip, with some extras in case you loose a pair.
  • Passport – insure your passport is valid for at least three months after your planned return date. Some countries even require your passport to be valid up to 6 months after your planned return date, research what the requirements are ahead of time in case you need to get a new passport.
  • International driving permit, if required. If you plan on driving in a foreign country you may be required to get an international driver’s license.
  • Prepare foreign currency. Go to the bank to exchange your currency into the currency you destination country accepts. You might not be able to access a bank machine right after landing.

Travel Checklist – Up to 1 Week Before Your Trip

  • Notify banks of your travel dates
  • Research network roaming and data plans
  • Insure you have a copy of all reservations and bookings
  • Print off maps and directions
  • Bring a copy of your itinerary
  • Photocopy important documents and IDs
  • Charge portable devices (phone, computer, kindle)
  • Find out which transportation is available from airport
  • Get all chargers, batteries, and memory cards you require packed
  • Pack any adaptors and converters for electrical devices you need
  • Find contact information for the closest embassy or consulate abroad
  • Research the culture and etiquette of your destination
  • Check online baggage allowance


Once you’re prepared for your next adventure make sure your home is prepared with this Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home Before Vacation. Are there any other items you would add to your travel checklist? Let me know in the comments.

Enjoying and planning your next trip! Happy travels,


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7 thoughts on “Travel Checklist: What You Need to do Before Travelling Abroad

  • Gary Pyatt
    July 2, 2016, 6:24 pm

    Going to LA in July

      July 10, 2016, 11:39 pm

      Nice! Enjoy your trip! You’ve won a free city walk app 🙂 Just let me know for which city you would like it and I’ll send you a code. You can find the available cities here

      July 3, 2016, 6:45 pm

      Thanks Vanessa! Let me know where you’re planning to go on your next trip and you’ll get a free city tour app!

  • June 23, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Cool! I’m off to Edinburgh and Reykjavik next! But I hate travel planning so try to keep it to a bare minimum 🙂

      July 10, 2016, 11:38 pm

      Nice! Enjoy your trip! You’ve won a free city walk app 🙂 Just let me know for which city you would like it and I’ll send you a code. You can find the available cities here

  • June 20, 2016, 1:18 pm

    You’re absolutely right to encourage forward planning ahead of travel. It’s always best to run through the kind of checklist you are suggesting than to be left without a key document or piece of kit when you need it.

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