Ultimate International Travel Checklist: Don’t Leave Home Without These Must-Haves

Ultimate International Travel Checklist

Planning your next trip? Use our extensive international travel checklist including tips and advice so you don’t forget any travel essentials.

Whatever your plans are this summer, being prepared in advance is always a good idea. With things tending to get hectic right before a trip, chances are you’ll end up leaving the country and asking yourself how you could have possibly forgotten your…fill in the blank. That’s why we’ve compiled an extensive international travel checklist to see to it that you don’t forget anything important at home.

Documentation

Remembering to take your passport and visa with you may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at the things you could end up forgetting while you’re in a hurry (just think of the movie “Home Alone” as a reference). If you need any special visas to enter certain countries you shouldn’t leave those behind either, and your airline ticket is a must as is your international driver’s license. If you happen to have airline frequent flyer cards now’s the time to get them out of your sock drawer. Make a copy of your passport picture and visa pages and put those elsewhere in your bag just in case, and write down the information for your medical insurance.  And last but not least, remember to take your international credit card and in case you’ve got them, your traveler’s checks.

Pack Light

We all tend to overpack, and instead of sticking to the “must haves” on our international travel checklist, we end up putting quite a few “just in case” items into our suitcase. Once you’ve decided on what type of luggage you’ll be taking with you, aim to pack as lightly as possible while taking into account that you’ll mostly likely end up wearing the same pair of jeans and just a few shirts for the majority of your trip. Remember, you can always hand wash your undergarments and socks so take as many of each per day that you will be away. It might go without saying, but definitely take the weather into consideration when deciding on your clothing items. We also recommend checking out travel abroad checklists online for a full list of the clothing items and shoes you should be taking with you.

Medications

Forgetting any type of medication is a big no-no. Your health matters most and if you don’t feel well, your entire trip might become less enjoyable. Make sure to get your prescriptions renewed in advance so you don’t run out of certain medications during your trip, and add a small first aid kit just in case as well as a card listing your allergies and medical conditions. You should also pack a thermometer, pain and fever relievers, cold medicines, diarrhea medications and allergy medicines, anti itch cream and motion sickness pills and anything you think might be suitable for your specific destination’s travel checklist.

Electronics

We know you can’t go anywhere without your smartphone or computer nowadays, and traveling abroad is no exception. Other than making sure your smartphone is unlocked, you want to see to it in advance as part of your checklist for international travel that you purchase a phone and computer charger that will work where you’re going as well as a calling plan that will leave you money to enjoy your time abroad properly.

Viber users will be able to enjoy free calls, video calls and messaging services to any other Viber users no matter where they’re located. However, if your loved ones don’t have a Viber account or even a smartphone, or if you’re planning on venturing out into a country with no reliable Wi-Fi access, opting for Viber Out’s low rates and quality calls is your best option.

Choose from these Viber Out calling plans in advance to make sure you can reach your family and friends using your phone, computer or tablet.

Credit plans:

  • Credit plan is perfect for anyone traveling for a short amount of time and is added to your balance when you purchase any amount. With your credit, you can choose whom to call for however long at a low Viber Out rate.

30-day calling plans:

  • If you’re planning on going away for around 30 days, this is the plan for you. Make international calls to any destination for a month at a low rate.

Monthly subscription plans

  • If you’re planning on traveling for more than a month or have family members outside your own country who you’d like to stay in touch with, Viber Out’s monthly subscription gives you the flexibility to make international calls without having to renew your plan.

Other than packing your smartphone, laptop or tablet, remember to take your digital camera as well as an extra memory card, battery, charger, and cable for downloading your photos. You might want to consider adding a GPS device to your travel checklist if you aren’t that great at reading maps or navigating through foreign countries. Don’t forget your headphones and consider bringing along an old school music player if you need to save up your phone’s battery for other things.

Toiletries

Before cramming every cosmetic item you own, ask yourself what toiletries you simply can’t live without for a short period of time. Make sure to pack any type of liquid bottle like your shampoo or conditioner in a sealable plastic bag, so that it doesn’t get all over your clothes in case of a suitcase mishap. If you wear contact lenses, don’t forget your solution and check that you’ve got enough to last you for the entire trip. If you’re planning on going away for a while consider taking a laundry soap with you and add a sewing kit to your bag as well as earplugs and an eye mask if you’re a light sleeper.

What Else Should Your Travel Abroad Checklist Include?

Particularly if you’re planning on sleeping outdoors, you might even consider packing some picnic supplies as well as a water bottle, which could also come in handy if you plan on taking a cruise since you’ll be charged extra for one. Make sure you can take it on-board with you, otherwise, leave an empty one in your suitcase.

You may also consider taking along a tote bag you can roll up if you know you’ll be coming back home with extra luggage, or a light foldable bag you can walk around with on your tours around the city. Think about taking a neck pillow for longer flights as well as a good and light book, and consider locking your suitcase with a small lock – just make sure you remember where you put the key.

Now that you’ve figured out all the things you should have with you, go through your house before you leave to make sure everything is properly settled before heading out. This includes seeing to it that your suitcase and carry-on aren’t overweight and that you’ve checked-in online for your flight. You should also turn on your email auto-response and call your credit card company so that they know you’ll be using your card abroad and won’t assume it was stolen. If you’re planning on traveling for quite some time, you should consider holding all your mail and newspapers so that everyone, including burglars, don’t realize you’re away. If you need someone to water your plants remember to ask a neighbor or a friend to get it done, and consider having someone look after your house while you’re away.

Other than that, you want to make sure you’ve paid all your bills that would otherwise be due while you’re away, and remembered not to leave any wet clothing in your washing machine as well as dirty dishes in your dishwasher. Take out the garbage and sprinkle some baking soda in your toilet and sink in order to avoid returning home to a foul smell. 

And one last thing – see to it that you’ve left information on how to get in touch with you with your close friends and family.

Bonus: What to Leave at Home

We may have covered the things that should be on your international travel checklist, as well as quite a few things you should take care of at home prior to your trip, but a big part of organizing your checklist is also knowing exactly what needs to be left at home. This includes anything from your wallet that you won’t need while traveling, such as unneeded credit cards, I.D. and membership cards. You don’t want to take with you anything that might cause alarm at the airport or detain you, like a pocket knife or pair of scissors. While you should take a key to your house along with you, packing your spare key or leaving it hidden outside your house is probably not such a great idea. Leave expensive or sentimental jewelry at home, and any books that will weigh you down.

Now that you’ve got your travel packing tips all sorted out, we recommend checking out the Travel Checklist site for more travel packing tips as well as a printable travel checklist. Traveling abroad can be loads of fun but first and foremost, you need to make sure important things like medications, health insurance, documentations and low rate calls are setup on your phone prior to your leaving the country. This will help you make the most of your time away, and settle into that carefree vacation mode we all need once in awhile.