When you're getting ready to travel to another country, the emotions start flowing: the excitement, the daydreaming, the hype and...the stress?
To some degree, we all get a little stressed right before a big trip, and while a little bit of it is good to keep you on your toes, you can eliminate the majority of your stress by getting all your ducks in a row the night before.
Read on to see how you can kick off your big trip the night before.
1. Do a final run through your checklist
This may seem like an obvious place to start, but if you've created personal check-lists in different places (your work laptop, your personal laptop, your phone notes...etc.), you'll want to consolidate those lists and run through them to make sure you have everything you need already packed away.
2. Check wallet for credit cards + cash
Two common mistakes travelers make that are easily avoidable are not having cash and not having credit cards cleared for international use. Make sure you've called your credit card company to let them know you'll be traveling out of the country – otherwise, risk having your cards declined in a new country! Some credit card companies allow you to do this online, but a quick phone call works fine. As far as cash, make sure to take enough to get you through your basic transportations and a few meals.
3. Check for IDs/Passports (Updated and Valid)
While this is probably something you should have covered a few weeks prior, still checking that your IDs are not expired is important to make sure that if you can make a call or swap an old ID for a more recent one, you do so immediately.
4. Lay out anything you'll be using the next day
Clothes, toiletries, electronics, IDs, plane tickets...anything that you're planning to use the next day, pack at the top of your luggage or backpack and make sure it's accessible to avoid rushing or messing with your perfectly packed suitcase.
5. Charge Your Electronics
There is nothing fun about waking up to a dead phone (or maybe not waking up because you missed your alarm!?). Charge all of your electronics, and if possible, charge them all in the same space to avoid forgetting to pack them the next day.
6. Double Check your Itinerary
Do a quick run-through of your itinerary to check for flight details (and check-in to your flight if you haven't already!). Look for details in dates, host or contact information, and anything else that might be important.
7. Do a home check
Make sure everything that needs to be off in the house is off, and everything that needs to be on...is on. Make sure any pets and plants are watered and fed before their assigned caretaker shows up, and that any home instructions or keys are placed where they need to be placed.
8. Communications: Emails, Neighbors, Friends, Etc.
When you're traveling internationally, it's not always easy (or desirable) to get back to people on important matters via text, call or email. Make sure whatever you needed to get done in terms of emails, coordinating with neighbors, friends or family, is all done so you're not scrambling for Internet or phone service while traveling.
9. Share you Itinerary with Trusted People
It's always smart to let a friend or family member know where you'll be traveling through. Even if that just includes some contact information for your accommodations, hosts, or names and dates for places you'll be visiting, that information could go a long way in case of an emergency.
10. Drink lots of water
If you're traveling internationally, being in transit for several hours might be exhausting both physically and mentally. Try to use your prep time to be extra hydrated so that your body won't feel the impact of your travels as much (and to avoid bloating on long flights!).
11. Sleep well
If you don't do anything else on this list...at least get a good night's rest! You'll thank yourself in the morning when you're well rested and ready to take on any challenges that your travels might present (like bloating or fumbling through your luggage!).
12. Embrace the excitement
Don't let any bit of stress overrule your excitement! Run with the positive emotions and things will turn out fine. If they aren't quite unraveling as you'd wished, just remember...it will probably turn out to be a good story you'll be telling your friends and family for years to come.
Once you've covered all of these steps, you'll be EXTRA prepared to take on the world and you'll be on your way to kick of the BEST. TRIP. EVER.
🌍For travel ideas and upcoming group trips to beautiful places around the world, check out FTLO's master calendar.