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International Travel Checklist: 9 Essential Tips

International travel requires advance preparation. Use my international travel checklist below to help make things a little easier.

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Visa Policy

Check the country’s visa policy. There are some countries where you will need to purchase a visa to enter. This process can take some time.

Purchase your plane ticket

I love using Google Flights because it emails me when a particular flight is going up or down in price. You can also see how the flight has increased or decreased in price over a period of time. I also love Airline Equality to decide which airlines have the best reviews. Some tickets are really cheap, but it’s good to know a little about the airline as well. I talk more about this in my trip planning post.

Book your hotel

One of my favorite sites is Agoda. I have used them several times. There are lots of ways to narrow down your search, since, let’s be honest, hotel shopping can be very overwhelming.

Purchase Travel Insurance

I’ve needed to replace a damaged suitcase and I was reimbursed for the new one, no questions asked. If you’re interested in seeing what travel insurance actually covers for your specific trip, click here.


Make sure your passport is up to date. (Many countries require you to have at least 3 months until your expiration date, in case you have to stay in your destination longer than unexpected)

  • Photocopy your passport and email a copy to yourself. It doesn’t hurt to bring along a printed copy as well. Also email or give a copy to any friends traveling with you.
  • Leave your contact info and a copy of your passport with someone back home.


Purchase any items you will need for the trip to avoid last minute crazed Target runs.

Check for Vaccination Requirements

Check with the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) to see if you need any vaccinations before your trip. This is not a good thing to do last minute. (I’m learning this the hard way right now.)

Call your banks

Call your banks to let them know your travel destination and dates so they won’t see your overseas activity as suspicious.

Choose your airplane seats

Book your airplane seat within 48 hours of departure if you haven’t done so already. Check out my airline guide post to choose the best place to sit.

I hope that this international travel checklist is helpful. Currently, I’m planning an international trip for later this month. More details on that to follow. See where I ended up going here.

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