There’s more to do before you travel than just renewing your passport and getting your visa. That’s why we’ve put together a list of things to do to prepare before you travel on your trip.

What to do to Prepare Before You Travel

Photocopy Your Passport

Before leaving home, be sure to photocopy your passport and credit cards. Take a copy with you and keep it in a safe place, separate from the originals in case you happen to lose your wallet along the way. (Note: Never keep copies of these documents inside of your luggage). Also, leave a copy at home with your family in case of emergency.

If you want to skip the paper, you can also scan and email your documents to yourself using a secured email address.

Alert Your Credit Card Company

Call your credit card company and let them know the countries or states you’ll be traveling to so charges in a new destination won’t raise suspicion. Be sure to check your credit limit and the foreign transaction fee as well.

Contact Your Bank

In addition to contacting your credit card company, you’ll want to call your bank, too. We don’t want you to lose access to your account while you’re out and about!

Contact Your Mobile Phone Carrier

If you plan to travel with a cell phone or tablet, confirm what coverage you have.  If you are traveling internationally, ask about international plans so you don’t get hit with a surprising bill.

Sign up for STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You’ll receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, and can help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Check Travel Advisories

Make sure you’re up-to-date on any travel, safety, or health advisories that may be in effect leading up to your scheduled trip. Check here.

Other Things to Prepare for at Home

If you’re headed out for a while on the adventure of a lifetime, don’t forget to tidy up responsibilities and logistics at home, like:

  • Making sure your bills are paid and up to date, especially if you plan on being gone for a long period of time.
  • Putting a hold on your mail at USPS. Alternatively, you could ask a family member or neighbor to pick up your mail until you get home.
  • Remember to find a pet sitter or set up a kennel stay for your furry friend.