Make sure your passport is up to date. Go to the government website below to find out qualifications and renewal information.
Use long term parking and a shuttle to the airport rather than parking at the airport. If you are departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, consider FLL Park Safe.
Know if your insurance covers you while travelling. If not, there are price comparisons out there. Consumer Reports does a good job of explaining if travel insurance is needed.
Get vaccinated. Be informed about which vaccines are recommended for the region where you are travelling. The Center for Disease Control also displays travel health notices.
Know whether it is safe to drink the water or if you need to bring and buy bottled water. The Center for Disease Control offers a drop down menu to select the country you wish to travel to and tips. If you are backpacking in the wilderness or want to treat your own water, REI offers information on options.
Check out embassy news and world-wide travel alerts.
Subscribe to or read online regional papers prior to travel and while traveling.
Have the correct and valid currency. Often currency can be changed in the airport. Travel checks and credit cards can be useful so you don’t have to carry as much cash, but be aware not every country or business will accept American checks and cards. You may have to find a bank.
Have an understanding of local customs, laws and regulations. There are many books and online resources targeted to specific countries, cultures and situations. Below are two websites which offer general travel etiquette.
Be aware of what is and isn’t allowed to be transported across borders. Some things might be obvious like animals, drugs and explosives but there are other items that might be less common like local crafts made from straw.
Stay informed about the documents and medical information required for travel. Having photocopies of passports, itinerary and other documents is also helpful. Some international airports require a letter from a doctor as proof of your prescriptions. The most important advice is to research what is needed for the specific area you are travelling to.