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Know Before You Go – A Pre-Departure Checklist

Getting ready for a departure, especially for a long trip, can be a stressful time. We here at AirTreks understand. To help take the hand-wringing and nail-biting from your last few days at home we’ve put together a nice checklist to remind you of some important and necessary to-do’s.


Make sure to get all of your documents in order well before your departure date. Your passport should be valid at LEAST 6 months from the END of your trip. Many countries nowadays require this to permit entry. Also, make sure you’ve researched the countries where you’ll be needing visas in advance. Some of the most commonly visited countries US citizens need visas are Russia, India, and China. It’s a good idea to check on the consular websites of every country you intend to visit (AND TRANSFER THROUGH) to see if you need a visa.

Immunizations & Prescriptions Specific to Travel

Visit a travel clinic to make sure all of your shots are up to date. Common immunizations are Hepatitis A and B, and Yellow Fever. Check with your doctor regarding anti-malarial drugs and antibiotics you may want to carry with you. These are the immunizations and basic considerations you’ll need to stay healthy on the road.

Current Medications/Vitamins

Make sure you have enough prescribed medication to last through your entire trip. AirTreks recommends traveling with the WRITTEN prescription in hand as it may be necessary to have this to get through a country’s customs checkpoint if you have prescription drugs in your possession. Carry vitamins in their original packaging when possible.

Copies of your Tickets & Passports

Make several copies of your plane tickets and passport before you leave. Carry one copy with you in addition to your original documents, and leave a copy at home with a friend or family member in case of an emergency. See these indispensable safety tips for passports.

Home Life

Make sure you have set up automatic bill-pay or recruited a friend to pay your bills while you’re away. Forward your mail to a reliable person or talk to the postal service about a solution for a long absence.  If you’re subletting your house or apartment, find someone to manage the property in your absence.

Check Credit Card Expiration Dates

The last thing you want is to have to get a new credit card while you’re on the road. It only takes a second to double check that your credit cards will be valid for the extent of your trip. You may want to tell the credit card companies you’ll be traveling internationally too. They’ll often decline charges that are coming from outside your home country. If you’re wondering whether to pay for your trip with credit or savings, read this. 

Write Down Your Accommodations

This may prove beneficial when first arriving in a new country. Just hand the paper with the name of your accommodations (in the local language, if type is different) to the taxi or bus driver upon leaving the airport, saving you the awkward hand gesturing and guidebook pointing.

Leaving Details

Make sure friends and family know that you’re leaving, where you’re going and how long you’ll be there. They may need to contact you in case of emergency. Give your email address to everyone you know! It can’t hurt, plus it will keep them from worrying.

Know Local Culture & Laws

While traveling in a foreign country you are absolutely subject to its laws, which may differ extensively from what you’re used to. Read over the US State Departments website for useful safety info about the countries you’ll be visiting.

Review The Itinerary

It may sound silly but it could have been months since you booked your trip. Go back over your list of places to visualize when and where you’ll be there. If you’ve accidentally booked any conflicts it’s best to know before you get there.

Have Fun!

This is a holiday, treat it that way!

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