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Travel Abroad Checklist: Don’t Forget to Pack These 10 Items

 When you’re traveling internationally, there are a number of essentials that you definitely don’t want to forget to pack. These are the type of items that will come in handy in a number of situations, ones that will be difficult to track down, and those that are specific to you or your family.

To save you the trouble of having to deal with the repercussions of forgetting these items on your trip, we put together this handy dandy travel checklist of the top ten things you’ll want to remember when traveling abroad–check them out: 

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When you’re traveling anywhere, it’s absolutely critical that you remember to pack any necessary prescription medication, as it can be difficult and time consuming to get a new prescription in a different place. This is especially true when you’re traveling abroad, where regulations for prescription medications are likely different and you may not even be able to access yours at all. Pack some in your checked bag as well as your carry-on to ensure that you have access no matter what happens! In addition to prescriptions, consider packing any over the counter medication that you might need as well, such as allergy or pain medication. Again, your destination might not carry the prescription you typically use or you may have to search for a long time to find what you need. Avoid the headache–literally–by packing a supply of medication in your first aid kit, which we’ll get to in a minute!

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Other Toiletries

If you have any other necessary items that are specific to you, such as glasses or contact lenses, make sure you pack those too. For things like contacts, definitely bring a few extra sets in case you lose or damage one during your international travel. Getting a new set of contact lenses in a foreign country will be time-consuming at best and impossible at worst, and you want to be able to see all of the sites without issue while you’re on your adventure. Definitely worth adding to your travel checklist!

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First Aid Supplies

In addition to prescriptions, a basic first aid kit can really come in handy while traveling –emergency or not! You can either choose to purchase a kit that’s already prepared with the necessities, or just put one together on your own. If you opt for the latter, we recommend taking a look at this list of items to include from the Red Cross. You may not need all of them on an international trip, but you can use your discretion to make sure you’re as prepared as you’d like to be!

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Copies of Travel Documents

Obviously, you’ll need to be sure to bring the necessary travel documents with you when you’re traveling abroad. More often than not, this means your passport and another back-up form of ID (if you have it) and potentially a visa, depending on where, when and how long you’re traveling. In addition to your actual original travel documents, however, you’ll also want to make copies to bring with you on your trip. That way, if anything happens to your belongings and you find yourself without the originals, you’ll have some proof of identification to get you back into the country. If you lose your documents, contact the nearest embassy immediately for assistance in replacing them. If your documents are stolen, you should file a police report as well. In either case, having copies of your documentation will make a huge difference in terms of obtaining new identification (and will speed up the process!). If you should need it, you can find your nearest embassy here

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A Small, Safe Bag

Speaking of keeping your travel documents safe on your international trip, you’ll want to make sure you bring a small bag with you where you can keep them on-the-go, in addition to money and credit cards. If the place where you’re staying has a safe, you can always keep some documents and a credit card there, but you’ll want to make sure you have at least one credit card and one form of identification with you when you’re out and about in case you need it. In order to keep your bag as safe as possible, we encourage finding one that is concealable or designed specifically for anti-theft purposes to add to your travel checklist. If you purchase travel insurance, your personal belongings might be covered if lost or stolen.

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Whenever you travel, wherever you’re going, check and double-check that you’ve brought any and all chargers you’ll need for your electronics. In addition, you’ll want to bring adapters for your chargers so you can use them in your destination. As you may know, power outlets often look different in different countries and the amount of electricity that they emit varies too. If you don’t have an adapter, even if your plug fits into the outlet, you might blow a fuse if you don’t have the appropriate adapter. To make it easy, you can opt for a universal travel adapter that will allow you to plug into most outlets and convert the charge to the right voltage. 

Important Note: If you’re planning on bringing a digital camera to document your trip, we advise adding an extra memory card to your travel checklist in case yours gets full or damaged during your travels! 

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Weather Gear

In most places where you might travel abroad, the weather can be quite unpredictable. No matter what the forecast says, it’s best to be prepared for anything–especially if you’re going on a long trip. To start, make sure you pack appropriate gear for sunny skies. This means sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and any other essentials you typically bring when you know you’ll be out in the sun for a long period of time. On the other hand, you never know when you’ll experience rain during travel either. If you pack a light rain jacket and umbrella, you’ll be covered (literally!) if it does end up raining. Just these few items can make a huge difference in terms of comfortability and budget since you won’t have to buy them with your travel money or credit card.

Important Note: If you’re traveling to a destination where extreme weather is expected, be sure to pack appropriate pieces for that climate! This list just includes the key items you should pack no matter where you’re headed. 

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Reusable Water Bottle

You’d be surprised by how much money you’ll save if you bring your own reusable water bottle with you. Starting at the airport, where you can bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up on the other side, and at every point throughout your trip, you can reuse your bottle free of charge as you travel. Also, in many cities, you can fill up your water bottle with fresh spring water from fountains on the streets. In Paris, for example, there are public drinking fountains scattered throughout the city where it’s perfectly safe to drink the water. Just make sure you do your research before you fill up to make sure that the water you’re drinking is clean! If there won’t be public drinking fountains where you’re headed, consider bringing a portable water filtration system so you can filter your water on-the-go. These days, you can find really compact and easy-to-use options that’ll come in handy in a variety of situations!

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Laundry Stuff

When traveling for a long period of time, you may find that you accumulate a good amount of dirty laundry. If you pack a big bag, you’ll want to bring a separate collapsible bag for laundry storage, so you can keep the dirty stuff separate while you’re traveling. If you’re packing light and want to do laundry while on-the-go, we recommend bringing travel size detergent so you can wash in the sink or hit up a laundromat, depending on where you’re headed. 

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This one might sound silly to add to your travel checklist…you can buy snacks anywhere, right? But the thing is, we all have our favorite snacks and it’s very possible that you won’t be able to find them in your destination. This is a good tip especially if you have certain food allergies –check out more about traveling and food allergies in our blog post. Each country–city, even– tends to have its own local snack options, which may or may not appeal to you. Packing snacks is especially important when you have kids in tow. While we definitely encourage you try out the local cuisine and encourage your kids to do the same, packing your own snacks as well will ensure that you have options in case the local snacks don’t jive with your taste buds. 

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Bonus Tip

Of course, we always recommend making sure you have travel insurance before you leave on your trip –it’s the best way you can prepare for travel! You might not have major medical coverage if you travel out of the country, so it’s important to double-check. If you’re ready to protect your trip with travel insurance, get an instant free quote and start comparing plans. If you’re not sure what kind of coverage you need, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to help you!

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