What’s on your travel planning to do list?
A well-executed trip rests in the details. While booking transportation and hotel accommodations take center stage, there are a host of other items that can make or break your well-deserved visit to your preferred destinations. We’ve gathered some (certainly not all!) items to place on your before-you-go list:
Medical Insurance: Contact your provider to get a clear picture about what is and isn’t covered while you’re out of town, state or country.
Medications: Confirm with the locations that you will travel to and through about what over-the-counter and prescription medications are allowed.
Weather Forecast: Check (and recheck) what the weather has in mind during your visit. Remember that temperatures along coastlines or near bodies of water tend to “feel” colder than indicated.
Social and Political Climate: Do your research before you arrive. Apprise yourself of any current or potential unrest, including worker strikes, which could affect your personal safety, access to transportation or access to special destinations. (Some museums, for example, will close for strikes or if demonstrations are on or near the site.) Visit travel.state.gov to begin your research.
Phone Plans: Dial up your provider to confirm out-of-the-area phone and text rates. (Check into WhatsApp for photo sharing with family and friends at home.)
Prebook Museum Tickets: Save time (and your patience) by prebooking museum or other touring destinations. Be sure to understand how and if you can cancel or rebook your visit or tour. Keep that information with you, so you don’t have to work around language barriers or internet service if you need to make a change.
Previews: There never seems to be enough time to read all the information at a tour stop or museum. Do a bit of preparation by researching some of the artifacts, artwork, locations or moments (and people) of history that you’ll be viewing on your visit. Doing so can provide informational context and save time during your trip.
Religious or Sacred Venues: While packing, review the clothing and headwear protocols in place for these locations.
Walking/Hiking Shoes: While some like to have brand spanking new kicks for their trip, at the very least, break your shoes in at home a few weeks ahead of departure. Your arches and blister points will thank you.
Traveling with Kids?
Pack snacks that double as “activities.” For example, snack-size, chocolate-covered candies can be sorted by color, counted and organized into a graph before eating. (This works with animal crackers, too!)
Bring comfortable headphones that can be used on the airplane. (The complimentary earbuds available on some flights don’t always work for petite ears.)
If the in-air video entertainment suffers a performance glitch, or you prefer other types of entertainment, slip some old-school activities into your carry-on: activity sheets, books, flashcards (that focus on a part of your trip), playing cards, travel games, etc.
For information about traveling with personal electronics, read our February 2023 article—Safety First: How to Smart Travel.