Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (2023)

If you are traveling abroad for the first time or you are a traveling sage, there are things to doand know beforegoing outside of the USA. Before you leave,read this overseas pre-departure checklist to help understand my tricks and tips. Learn how traveling abroad is different than traveling in the USA. By being prepared, you I feel you will improve your safety, make travelingmore comfortable and avoid expensive additional fees. Undoubtedly, Travel Planning fees can add up andcould leave a sour taste towards future travel abroad. Proper planning makes a better trip!

Planning for Overseas Travel

Before Leaving Home – Travel Planning

It is essential to be informed and prepared foroverseas travel before you leave home. These tips are ideal for the solo woman traveler and their friends.As an American citizen, you will need to check if you need a Visaand if there are anytravel restrictions at Stepthat may affect your planned overseas travel. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about the shots and medicine you need for the trip.Watch the exchange rate online and jump on the rates when they are low. Exchange rates tend to be the worst during the summer season. Anything below 1.2 Euros is typically a deal these days and rates tend to drop around January.

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist – Step by Step List


Never post your passport and boarding pass on social mediabecause vandalism of your home may happen. Additionally, your identity may impersonate and even worse. Humbleness is the way to go, and there are other things to post besides where you are going and when you will be gone. If you want to secure your home, doorbell security system,hardwire it to your electrical system and add it to your Wifi. You will see everyone who rings your door over your cell phone. Better yet, one of Rings partners can monitor your home and call the authorities iftrouble happens. You will have peace of mind, and your home willbe secure.

The Money Part ofthe Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist

ATM Usage Overseas

  • Money is different inEurope, and especially Italy. Primarily it’s a cash culture. Americans hardly ever carry cash. Bills higher than a $20 are suspect and require changewhich the shops don’t always have. They will count out small coins just to prove that they don’t have change.
  • ATMs mostly dispense large denominations. Learn to cherish 5’s, 10’s, and 20’s and try to purge your $50’s, unless you are in Vietnam where you get a premium exchange rate for them.
  • These days, all you will need is an ATM and debit card with an electronic chip. Make sure you are not wasting any of that hard-earned cash on transaction fees and international charges, so check with your bank for which ATM’s to use while traveling.


  • If you are a Bank of America (BOA) user, use the BOA’s affiliate banks. Customers can take money out for free – no service or ATM charge. BOA’s member banks if youuse a BOA is the same as being at home. Be careful only to use approved ATMs.
  • If youuse, Chase banking use Chase affiliates when traveling abroad.
  • Charges on foreign ATMs can range from $5 -10 dollars, depending on the banks involved and that can add up after an extended overseas.
  • Some banks have packages available for foreign travel, which include a certain number of international withdrawals, but you’re likely to exceed them.
  • Do your homework. If you plan to use your ATM exclusively and are planning on doing a lot of traveling, make sure you do your research the fees and associated costs.

Credit Cards

  • Always have at least one credit card on hand, as part of your Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist. I recommend reading the terms of the card. Be a wise credit card consumer. I always use American Express and only stay in places that take Amex. I findhotels that accept American Expressare higher quality establishments, and if there is a dispute, I like the way American Express advocates for the customer.
  • Credit cards in Europe can be a bit expensive. Check with your bank, but international charges can range from around 3%-6% per purchase.
  • Unfortunately, American Express isn’t valued by shopkeepers in a lot of places in Europe and Asia.

Cost of Using Credit Cards and Charging

  • If you bring a credit card, keep in mind that VISA is your safest bet as far as acceptance. There are also some great credit cards available now that have NO international fees. Be aware that they can have a much higher APR and a substantial annual fee.
  • Consider Chase Sapphire card, just to name one for low fees and APR. Plus you can use the points you gain to help get your parents a flight out to visit youor a ticket to another dream destination. Just remember to pay your bill!
  • American Express offers points for travel too –consider using a Delta American Express card if you like Delta Airlines.
  • There is no guarantee a restaurant or store takes credit cards. Therefore, always think cash and plan when going out to dinner.

Typical Issues while Traveling Overseas

  • The maximum ATM withdrawal amount is something to be considered. Typically, a bank only allows a 250 Euro a day to withdraw. Usually, they will put a one or two week limit onwithdrawals for your safety. Just plan think about what you are buying and make sure you have funds/ cash or credit card.
  • When using international ATMs, only use those associated with banks and not those connected to stores or freestanding units.


  • ATM card fraud happens and is a total pain to deal with when traveling; keep an eye on your bank statements.
  • To avoid any possible issue with your debit card be sure you call your bank and let them know you will be traveling!
  • Give your bank and credit card companies your exact travel dates and the countries. Some countries are such high-risk countries like Israel; banks won’t authorize ATM or Credit use of the card in some countries. Check with the credit card company, and bank for you leave home for more details on your specific cards.
  • Plan todecrease the chance of hacks while traveling. Sometimes banks may freeze your account which happened to me at the Prada discount outlet in Italy. It’s easily fixed with a phone call (the store maymake the call for you), but can still result in up to 24 hours without access to your account.

If you want to get your hair done you ought to go to the ATM first – most hair salons, unless in a major hotel, only take cash. So stop at the ATM first before you begin to experience local businesses and services.

(Video) What to look up before International Travel | Research Checklist 2022

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (1)

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist

Packing list – Do’s

  • Packing Ask these questions and pack accordingly
    • Did you check the weather?
    • Do you know how much your luggage weighs and how much you will carry your bags?
    • Are you going for Fall, Spring, or Summer?
    • Do you tend to change clothes once a day or once a week?
    • Are you planning any special trips, events or special occasions?
    • Are you goingto tropical or subarctic locations? Packing should be based on place and time of the year that you are traveling. See my packing list suggestions on this site.

Packing list- Don’tbring

  • Take No clothes that require dry cleaning.In general, dry cleaning and laundry services are far from perfect. For example, laundry services washing machines can be hard on clothes, so consider washing your clothes in the bathtub or sink by hand.If you need to send things out, you do so at your risk. Leave the high-maintenance shirt or dress at home. When in doubt, keep it simple.


  • Hoodies, sweatpants or sports team clothing is not wise to wear outside of the USA.These quickly identify you as an American, and you don’t want to do that. Italians for example and most Europeans have very high standards of appearance and “sloppy” is not cool. One pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt for the colder months, in your hotel room, is ok, but that’s it.Going out, even just to get a coffee, means getting dressed and making an effort. It’s not a requirement, but people will stare. You will bring unwanted attention to yourself.


  • Uncomfortable shoes.Get great walking shoes; I recommend The Walking Store. Buy a pair of Italian leather shoes if you know what fits your foot. Go to Nordstrom or the Walking Store and buy your favorite pair of flats. You may find some cute, souvenir worthy shoes built for walking streets but shoes can hurt. Just know buying shoes on vacation may mean you arelugging around one more thing. Bu shoes at home, try them at home and only bring what works for your feet.


  • Purses without zippers.If you have a bag without a zipper, you are ten times more likely to be targeted by pickpockets. Leave the open tote at home and bring the safe zippered suitcase instead.


  • Appliances. Buy appliances like hair dryers, flattening/ straightening irons, women’s shavers, and other pluggable bathroom products that work in the EU – Leave your American appliances at home unless they are universal or accept EU current and voltage.


  • Cell phone cameras are great because they are portable and take high-quality pictures.
  • I bring a point and shoot camera a Canon typically and my Nikon D300 because of its indestructible with my 18:200 lens.

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (2)

Everyone uses cell phones in Europe

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Cell Phones

  • Bring your unlockedsmartphonefrom the states.
  • Local sim cards work in unlocked phones. Some Blue cellphones and Microsoft Lumia phones have room for two sim cards one for theUS cardand one for local sim cards and calls.
    • Unless your phone is “unlocked” by the carrier meaningthe cell phonecan use the sim card from any other airline, you will not be able to use this the phone as a local cell phone.
    • Be careful with JailBroken phones. The JailBroken cell phonesmay not function in Europe as promised by foreign carriers.

All Carries are Not Equal

  • An American phone with an accompanying plan will receive and make calls at an exorbitant rate. Is your Cell Phone CDMA or GMS? It makes a difference, so ask your carrier if the phone will work where you are traveling.
  • Even if you don’t answer a call or merely receive texts, charges may accrue. This is very, very costly unless you have an international plan.
  • Without an international plan from the US, cell phone carrier is sure to go to your settings and turn of the calling features and put your phone in airplane mode. You can still use your phone when on a WiFi network.

Most people use their cell phones for photos. Don’t carry a big camera if you don’t have to – it makes you stand out in a crowd.

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (3)

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist


  • Walk.Use your legs. Your legs are your friends! You will be amazed by how much you can walk. Later that night, when you’re eating mountains of high-calorie cheese and great food, you’ll be happy youwalked upwards to eleven miles a day. You deserve to indulge in an extra dessert!
  • Local Transport.Taxis, buses, bikes, andtaxis are standard across Europe. They’re not super cheap, but they are reliable.
  • Private Transportation – Consider a private car especially if you have physical needs

Hotel Transportation

  • If you’re in a hotel, have the hotelcall a taxi for you. If you have a cell phone, program one or two taxi phone numbers, so you havea way to call a cabwhen you need one.
  • If you forget to add a cab number to your contacts,just ask anyone local, andyou will find people are amiable andshould know at least one taxi number to call. Make sure you know the address where you are. Some taxis will allow you to reserve for a very early pickup and others won’t. If you do pre-order, there may be an extra charge.

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (4)

(Video) Travel Checklist: 37 Things to Do Before Your Next Trip

Hire a private car. It may not be as expensive as you think. Plus quality transportation will save time.

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist


  • Eat local and where ever there is a crowd. Use the web, search for the latest ‘foodie’ sites and follow the recommendations.
  • You won’t always be able to buy local food with a credit card at a grocery store, street vendor or small caféso still make sure you have cash.

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist (5)

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist

Where to Stay – Hotels, Airbnb, and More

  • Use or another site like Trivago.combut always pre-book at least a few nights. Your loyalty plans can also help with hotel stays and can save money, sodo use whichever you prefer. Probably it’s unlike to be able to use both but ask, why not ask it can’t hurt.
  • If staying for a while, negotiatedirectly with the hotel and pay directly to them without the use of a travel site. The hotelearns a fair profit from your stay, and you get the best deal. If they have loyalty points, take advantage ofit. Negotiate the best rate, this way, and the hotelknows you areserious, and ifyou are coming and going, you will have a place to call home and a place to store your things. Even better will find them there when you return.
  • If you plan on staying for more extended periods of time, I feel AirBnB or an apartment are a good value.

Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist

Now that you have read the Overseas Pre-departure Checklist you are prepared for a safe, fun, well-planned trip. You are ready to build the relationships and memories of a lifetime when you are relaxed and present – you are prepared for your next adventure, keep on traveling. Letyour journey begin.

Want some more information – check these articles out to add to your Overseas Pre-Departure Checklist.

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(Video) Executive Assistant's Travel Checklist


What do I need to prepare for an overseas trip? ›

7 Things You Must Do Before Your Next International Trip
  1. Make sure your passport and visa are up-to-date. ...
  2. Check for health advisories and travel warnings and advisories. ...
  3. Register your trip with the State Department. ...
  4. Stock your wallet with acceptable methods of payment. ...
  5. Buy travel insurance. ...
  6. Pack appropriately.

What is needed for travel checklist? ›

General travel checklist
  1. Documents. Passport, visa. Tickets for airline,boat,train,bus. ...
  2. Travel aids. Suitcases, backpack. Itinerary. ...
  3. Financial. Foreign currency. ...
  4. Appliances. Cellphone, charger. ...
  5. Clothes. Underwear. ...
  6. Toiletries. Toothbrush, paste, dental floss. ...
  7. Health. Medications, pain reliever. ...
  8. General activities. Swimsuit and big towel.

What are five important things to bring with you when you travel to another country? ›

Here are some of the things you almost always have to pack for a trip abroad.
  • Sturdy Travel Bag. Your travel bag of choice may vary depending on your travel style and how long you're traveling. ...
  • Day Bag. ...
  • Universal Travel Adaptor. ...
  • Reusable Water Bottle. ...
  • Passport and Visas. ...
  • Travel Insurance. ...
  • Medications. ...
  • Debit or Credit Card.
23 Mar 2021

What are the steps to travel abroad? ›

8 Essential “To-Do's” Before You Travel Abroad
  1. Get a passport. ...
  2. Get any necessary visas. ...
  3. Visit the doctor. ...
  4. Find out how to communicate with home. ...
  5. Get insured. ...
  6. Develop a budget. ...
  7. Learn about your destination. ...
  8. Pack.
31 Mar 2022

What are the 2 important things that you decide before going on a trip explain with example? ›

Things to keep in mind before selecting a destination

Check out the best time to visit all destinations. Usually, the ideal season to visit beaches and mountains is completely different. Consider the cost factor while picking a destination. Some places are more enjoyable in a luxury budget than others.

What documents do I need to fly internationally? ›

You'll need your passport for international travel, and you can use your passport to verify your identity at the TSA checkpoint instead of a REAL ID-compliant state-issued driver's license.

What do you need before going to airport? ›

Adult passengers 18 and older must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.
  1. Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) ...
  2. U.S. passport.
  3. U.S. passport card.
  4. DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

How do I travel abroad for the first time? ›

Here are some tips to get you ready for your first trip abroad.
  1. Check your documents. ...
  2. Consider signing up for a travel rewards card. ...
  3. Give yourself a long booking runway. ...
  4. Be selective about lodging. ...
  5. Consider the not-so-common essentials. ...
  6. Pack right for the flight. ...
  7. Give a heads up to your credit card issuer.
7 Apr 2022

How far in advance should you plan an international trip? ›

For big and important trips, start planning 6-12 months in advance. This will give you time to find the best price on airfare, lodging, and activities. It's also plenty of time to save money for the trip, get/renew passports, learn a little about the language and culture, and research your destination in depth.

How do I travel internationally at the airport? ›

If you're traveling anywhere overseas, you need a passport to board an international flight and to enter the country. Passport cards will not be accepted as form of I.D. for international air travel. Keep in mind: Some countries require your passport to be issued at least 6 months before the day you arrive.

Why is it important to plan before going for a trip? ›

Planning a trip in advance gives everyone time to thoughtfully consider where they'd like to go and what they'd like to experience, as well as what their ideal time frame is for traveling. The same applies even if you're planning travel in advance for just yourself.

What are the 10 travel constraints? ›

The major constraints affecting travel are social, political, physical, financial, time, health, family stage, lack of interest, fear and safety, lack of transportation, companionship, overcrowding, distance, and limited information about potential destinations (Carneiro and Crompton, 2010, Jackson, 1988).

What are the factors you will consider when choosing a travel destination? ›

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Travel Destination
  • Budget. ...
  • Duration of Your Trip. ...
  • Time of The Year. ...
  • Your Travel Bucket List. ...
  • Type of travel experience you want to have. ...
  • Travel companions. ...
  • Exchange rate. ...
  • Visiting a new travel destination or returning to an old destination.

What do I need to travel abroad Covid? ›

1. Check foreign travel advice for the countries you want to go to
  1. show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
  2. quarantine on arrival.
  3. complete a passenger locator form to enter the country.
  4. show proof of vaccination status (plus any rules about vaccine expiry or vaccine boosters)

How do I travel abroad for the first time? ›

Here are some tips to get you ready for your first trip abroad.
  1. Check your documents. ...
  2. Consider signing up for a travel rewards card. ...
  3. Give yourself a long booking runway. ...
  4. Be selective about lodging. ...
  5. Consider the not-so-common essentials. ...
  6. Pack right for the flight. ...
  7. Give a heads up to your credit card issuer.
7 Apr 2022

How do you get Covid certificate? ›

COVID certificates are available for international travel and domestic use. To apply for a Travel certificate, you need to create a verified nidirect account. Parents and guardians can apply through their nidirect account, for Vaccination certificates for young people up to the age of 17.

Do you have to be vaccinated to fly internationally? ›

The CDC recommends that you do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. Please review additional CDC guidance for fully vaccinated travelers. The Department of State recommends U.S. citizens who travel internationally purchase travel insurance.

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 before I travel? ›

Testing. Consider getting tested with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) before travel. Make sure you know your test results before travel. Don't travel if your test result is positive.

What do you do at airport for international first time? ›

If you're flying for the first time or haven't flown in many years, you're probably anxious or even fearful about what to do before the flight, at the airport or aboard the plane.
At the Airport
  1. Arrive early! ...
  2. Check in at the airline desk. ...
  3. Go through security check. ...
  4. Find your gate.
1 May 2017

What do you need to fly on a plane 2022? ›

You must present an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport, state-issued enhanced driver's license or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. You will not be allowed to fly if your identity cannot be verified. Review the complete list of acceptable identification.

How do I pack for a 2022 flight? ›

10 Carry-on Packing MISTAKES you're making | 2022 ... - YouTube

Can I bring water on a plane? ›

Again, the answer is yes. According to the TSA What Can I Bring page, there are no specifications for certain water bottle materials. As long as the water bottle went through the security checkpoint empty, you can fill it up in the airport and bring it with you on the plane.


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