With all the excitement and anticipation of heading somewhere new, it can be easy to forget certain essentials before leaving for your trip. It's important to be prepared before you head out because the last thing you want is to spend your time resolving it (or just regretting it) while on vacation. Here are just a few things you should do before you head out so you're better prepared for when you arrive in your new destination.
These might seem obvious but, it's important to have all your essential documents printed and easy to access. Print out your flight and hotel confirmations and keep them together along with your passport and any other travel documentation like Visas and personal itineraries depending where you're going. Putting them all in a ziploc bag and in an easily-accessible part of your carry-on or on your person makes for a possibly faster trip through the airport; and not having to dig around your bags for them keeps you from getting distracted and losing something important without you realizing it.
Plan a few activities
Have a few activities in mind before you go so you can get to them as soon as you get there and not spend time looking for things to do. Places or attractions you need to see, restaurants you have to try or making sure you have tickets to a concert or sporting event before you get there. That being said; many people travel to break away from their daily routine, so don't stick to a rigid itinerary. Leave some wiggle room to explore and find random things to see and do.
Check the weather
Though we can't do much about the weather, we can prepare for it. If you're booking a last minute excursion, planning around great weather is a good way to go. For trips planned way in advance, try to get a good idea of the seasons in the country you're going to and if it should generally
have the weather you're looking for during the time you want to go. Double check clsoer to your departure day so you can make sure you're properly packed.
Be smart with your money
Be sure to create a comprehensive budget for yourself before leaving, making sure you have enough spending money as well as emergency funds in case anything goes wrong. Also, get in touch with your bank before you go to let them know you'll be travelling so they don't see your foreign transactions as "unusual activity" and freeze your account. Carrying large sums of money is generally a bad idea, so skip the exchange counter and stick to credit cards that are accepted worldwide as well as taking out cash from local, bank-affiliated ATMs. It may also be a good idea to pack a "decoy" wallet with expired credit cards and a small amount of cash, in the unfortunate event that you're forced to give it up.
Ask someone to check up on your place
Especially for a long trip. Ask a friend to house sit while you're gone for peace of mind, especially since things like packed & unchecked mailboxes can be a safety hazard, as they make it obvious that nobody is home & many home thefts occur during those times. If a full-time house sitter isn't possible, give a close friend a spare key so they can make periodic check-ins to make grab your mail and tend to your pets if you have any.
The most important thing to remember is that travel is meant to be relaxing, so taking a few extra precautions to avoid stress while abroad is important in order to get the most out of your trip.