Pre-Travel Preparation Tips

There are so many things to consider before leaving your home for a much-deserved vacation. Not only you have to prepare for the trip ahead, but also what you leave behind. Here are some things you have to do before taking that trip of a lifetime:

Get a haircut – Nothing beats looking clean for your trip. Sure, haircuts overseas can be cheaper, but barbers in other countries usually do buzz cuts, which you may not like.

Have your gas tank filled – Even if you are going to leave your car for the trip, keeping the gas tank full has its benefits. For one, a full tank is less likely to gather condensation while your car is parked. Also, you may never know if gas prices increase drastically once you head home. Consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank if you will be gone for over a month. Also, ask a family member or friend to start it every couple of weeks to prevent your battery from dying.

Turn your car insurance off – Since you will not be using your car for some time, call your car insurance provider to have your plan go into “park” mode in the meantime. This only covers your vehicle in case of theft, as well as greatly reduces your rates while you are away. Note that park mode should only be used if no one else will be driving it.

Call family and friends before leaving home – Overseas calls are expensive (and even prone to unclear reception), so make the most out of your pre-trip preparations by calling close family and friends.

Confirm your flights – If you bought your flight tickets months in advance, call your airline–preferably until 72 hours before departure–and confirm your itinerary for any flight changes.

Insist on packing light – You may second guess yourself and be tempted into putting some little extras to your luggage, but do not fall into temptation. Excess baggage weight comes with additional fees, remember that.

Take a photo of yourself – Try this fun suggestion: Make a “before” picture of you prior to your trip. Have someone capture your photo, wearing the clothes you will use when departing with pack in tow. Take another photo of yourself once you arrive and see the difference.

Have your phone suspended – International roaming rates among wireless carriers can be hefty, which is why many travelers opt buying a local SIM card while on vacation. In doing so, contact your mobile phone provider and ask if it is possible to have your service suspended or edited to the lowest possible rate to save money. If your smartphone is locked to a single SIM card, purchase a cheap unlocked cell phone so you can still send messages to friends and loved ones.

Source: Start Backpacking

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