How to Prepare for Any Trip in 7 Easy Steps

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The dates of your trip are quickly approaching.

Your trip is planned.

And you might start to feel a little overwhelmed with the “nitty gritty” travel preparations.

The passport, packing, your phone and credit cards.

Everything is piling up.

Preparing for a trip is stressful.

Here are the things you need to do before you take off and travel!

Whether you’re traveling with an organized travel group, like EF Ultimate Break, or on your own, preparing for your trip departure doesn’t have to be exhausting.

Here’s the list of things we do before we leave for our trips so we are well prepared!

1. Make a Packing List

By making a packing list, you can see what kinds of things you might need to purchase for your trip and so you don’t forget anything! Check out our packing essentials blog here. As you’re developing your list, think about the things you might need to purchase so you can buy it well in advance. This is a good time to evaluate your luggage. Is your bag big or small enough for your needs?

Packing A Month in a Carry On

2. Decide How You’re Going to Document Your Trip

Are you someone who likes to write in a journal? Or do you think taking photos on your Instax camera for a scrapbook? Before you leave, think about how you want to document and remember your trip. Some people mail themselves postcard home from every destination. We like taking lots of photos and keeping all of your tickets and brochures for scrapbooks. It’s a good idea to think how you want to document your memories before you leave, so when you get back you don’t regret doing something.

3. Check Your Passport.

There is for international trips. Make sure your passport is up to date or if you need to get a passport, give yourself enough time to apply for you. Typically, it’s a 6-month process, so start it early enough! Also, some countries require visas, so check where you’re traveling so you can start the process!

4. Get Your Phone Ready

If you want to use your phone abroad, talk with your phone provider about your options.  If you’re planning on taking most of your photos on your phone, make sure you have enough storage on your phone. There’s nothing worse than getting the not enough storage notification. If storage is an issue, you can download Google Photos and have your photos push to Google instead of your device.

5. Contact Your Bank and Credit Cards.

Let your banks and credit card companies know that you’ll be out of the country so they don’t freeze your card for suspicious oversees transactions! There’s nothing worse than not having access to your money when you need it.

6. Plan Your Free Time Wisely

Whenever you have free time between tours and booked activities, don’t try to “overbook” the time with tons of things to do. If you have a free day or afternoon at a destination, only plan for 3-4 activities. This gives you enough time to get from place to place, eat meals, and explore. You don’t want your travel experience to become a long checklist of activities that become burdensome to complete. You don’t want to feel so “on the go” that sightseeing becomes stressful or that you miss the experiences you wanted to have!

When planning your time, look online for unique things to do. Of course, everyone wants to see the highlights of a location, but search for local or off the map experiences. Some experiences require booking ahead of time, so start looking early for bookings and make sure you don’t miss out on tickets. You don’t want to miss seeing something because you didn’t book a ticket in advance.

7. Start a Travel Fund

If you’re like us and living on a student budget for travel, start setting aside some money here and there so you have some extra to spend on your trip. There are lots of easy ways to start saving money. Some of our favorite ways are setting aside loose change and adding some ones and fives every couple of weeks! It will start to add up. We also set aside a fixed amount from each paycheck for travel.

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