1. Check your passport. Is it up to date? Make sure it doesn’t expire within six months of your travel dates. All passports must be valid for six months after any international trip. You must have a passport or passport card for most travel out of country. Note that it takes up to six weeks to get a passport unless you request and pay for expedited processing. Check out http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html/ for more info and applications.
2. Make copies of all your documents and keep on your person and make sure your traveling companion also has copies. This includes copies of your passport, itinerary, contact numbers/addresses, flight numbers, etc.
3. Be sure to notify your credit card company about your travel plans. Otherwise, most will block ‘suspicious’ activity, which includes out of country transactions, multiple transactions on the same day, and high dollar transactions.
4. Make sure about money and technology. Make sure your mobile carrier will not bill you for roaming charges or look for FREE Wi-Fi signs or sign up for Skype. Be sure you have adapters AND converters, if necessary. Remember that your phone or device charger is worthless if you don’t have any way to plug it up to recharge it! Load your phone or tablet up with good travel apps, such as Viber and HotelTonight. Make sure you will be able to exchange currency upon arrival or soon thereafter so you can pay for a cab or a cup of coffee, if need be. Make sure you have camera SIM cards, batteries, charger cords, etc.
5. Make sure you have enough medications to last for at least a week past your return date, in case you get detained. Make sure they are in their original prescription bottles. If carrying needles for medications that must be injected, be sure you also have a doctor’s note. Make sure you have any other remedies you might need, such as aspirin and allergy relief.