Ahhh… the holidays! It’s crazy how much we love them! And it is non-negotiable to make the most of it: find plane tickets at the best price, organize your activities in advance, carefully prepare your suitcase… However, even the most seasoned travelers sometimes forget a few essential steps in their organization before weighing anchor. Because no one is safe from small (or big) unforeseen events, we have concocted some tips for you to go on holiday with peace of mind and in complete safety.
1. Check the validity of your official documents
You are very proud to have booked THE flight to THE destination of your dreams for which you have been saving for a long time. Only then, a few days before the big departure you realize, oh great despair, that your passport will expire very soon. There follows the attempt to take the necessary steps to redo your papers in time, but in vain… It is too late!
- To prevent this kind of unfortunate situation from happening to you, here are some tips to add to the top of your Traveler’s Check List:
- Check the validity of your passport or identity card! Beware of the trap, some destinations impose a validity ranging from 3 to 6 months after the planned return date.
- Find out (well in advance) about the need for a visa to enter the destination, its cost, the delay (sometimes very long) as well as the terms of issue.
- Like your ID, if you plan to rent a cheap car locally, it is wise to check whether your travel destination requires an international driving license or not. In which case, you will have to check with the embassy or consulate concerned. Remember that you must always have your national license in addition to the international license if necessary.
2. Secure your travel documents
If administrative tourism is not your cup of tea, we recommend that you always have a copy of your important documents with you (passport, identity card, visa, travel insurance documents, confirmations of your tickets plane, your accommodation, your activities, the car rental contract or the map to reach the city center from the airport, etc., on different media (Drive, USB key, email, photo on your phone or in paper version… It doesn’t matter!). Believe us, it can save you a lot of trouble.
3. Be careful with your payments
Traveling also means having to juggle between your bank card and unknown currencies. This is why, before you fly abroad, always have the reflex to inform your banker, to note the emergency contact number of your bank, to check your limits of withdrawal and payment in the country concerned, but also and above all, to make sure that the destination accepts your bank card! If this is not the case, be aware that there are online banks today providing a free MasterCard and to which you can make transfers at any time from your smartphone. Their goal ? Say goodbye to foreign bank charges! You will still have to anticipate to receive it in time.
4. Put your health first
When traveling as in everyday life, we can all be subject to health concerns. So here are some steps to follow before spinning. The first: find out in advance about the mandatory vaccines for your destination, their cost and the deadlines to be fully effective. The second: if you take specific treatments available only on prescription, remember to check their validity or make an appointment with your doctor. If you plan to practice intense or special physical activities on site, take the opportunity to ask him for a certificate of sports aptitude. Third advice intended to get you back on your feet after indigestion, an infection or simply a small headache, remember to carefully put together your medicine and pharmacy kit as well as the prescriptions that go with it (some countries can be picky). Finally, and since you can never be too careful, it may be wise to take with you an emergency contact card allowing you to reach one or more of your relatives, your up-to-date travel vaccination record and a map emergency numbers of the destination visited.
5. Travel with travel insurance
While some bank cards offer travel assistance, the quality of coverage depends on your bank and the type of card you have. And even some high-end cards sometimes have their limits! Thus, in order to avoid finding yourself in the middle of nowhere having to be treated by a charlatan, for lack of being able to pay for real care, we suggest that you take out travel insurance including at least: the cancellation of your trip, repatriation and above all coverage of your medical expenses abroad. Other guarantees can be offered to you for even more peace of mind, such as: loss of luggage or identity documents, cancellation or delay of a flight, etc.
Good to know: if you are traveling in Europe, remember to order your European health insurance card at least 1 month in advance. On simple presentation of this card, you will be able to receive treatment free of charge in all the countries of the European Union.
6. Secure your home
Are you one of those who are somewhat anxious at the idea of leaving their accommodation before the big departure? To prevent the mice from dancing when the cat is not there, here are our tips for securing your home and leaving with peace of mind. Above all, a home alarm remains by far one of the best options for limiting the risk of intrusion in your absence. You can invest in a surveillance camera to control any intrusion into your home yourself via your phone, or entrust your security to professionals by investing in an alarm system with remote monitoring. This more complete system allows you to entrust the surveillance of your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to a remote surveillance company which, at the slightest attempt at intrusion, will be able to watch what is happening in your home remotely and prevent law enforcement if necessary; leaving you the freedom to go about your leisure without worrying about what is happening at home. Finally, it is also preferable to inform your entourage and your neighbors of your departure, even if it means entrusting them with a copy of your keys, so that they can intervene in the event of a water leak or other glitch.
7. Find out about your mobile data usage abroad
Did you miss your mom, so did you ignore the costs of a call from abroad to hear her voice for a few minutes on the phone? Only here, just after hanging up, surprise! Here you are with an exorbitant non-package bill on the other side of the world. To avoid this kind of mishap, remember to study the options available to you before your departure. You can, for example, buy a local or international Sim card once there (useful if you plan to cross several countries). You can also contact your mobile operator to subscribe to a specific subscription for the duration of your trip. Don’t forget that you can use the internet for free to call abroad; but for that, you have to make sure that a wifi network is nearby. Finally, always remember to deactivate your data abroad on your smartphone; this avoids the hidden costs of using the Internet, sometimes without you realizing it.
Good to know: many useful travel applications for getting around, getting your bearings, recording music or films can be used without internet!
With all these practical tips in mind, you can set off on an adventure with complete peace of mind! 🙂