While the prospect of international travel is always exciting, it comes with a lot of pre-travel planning. You have to plan everything way ahead of time; from flights to accommodation and even the tickets for major sightseeing. However, that’s just one half of the work, the other half comprises of preparing for health, safety, and financial cover.

Never forget the essentials

Most of the trip’s essentials usually go in your carry-on and not the checked baggage. From passport and visa, medications, insurance and ID cards, cash and debit/credit cards, to eye masks and sleeping pills make sure you’ve got your carry-on ready way in advance.

Focus on the insurance – safety first

Travel insurance costs just a couple of dollars per travel day, and can cover anything from a broken camera to a medical emergency, potentially saving you much more money.

Get vaccinated

It’s best to get vaccinated a few weeks in advance because that is how long it usually takes to build up full immunity. The protocol for vaccines varies for different countries, so talk to your doctor about getting the CDC-recommended shots, the vaccinations and medications you will need. Remember to keep your vaccination certificate handy in case customs requires it before you enter the country.

Study up your destination

It is always better to know as much about the country as possible before visiting it. From currency exchange rates to useful phrases to tipping norms and cultural customs, it is best to go prepared.

Download your entertainment

Sometimes what we pack in our smartphones is more important than our luggage. Download everything from offline maps, e-books, movies, TV shows, music and anything else that you may need for your long-distance journey. Also keep documents of your passport and visa on your phone incase things go awry at any point.