What are the best parts of taking a vacation for a business owner? The lack of ringing phones, buzzing emails, and conference calls to name a few. It’s a time for de-stressing and relaxing.
Unless you aren’t prepared and forget important things.
The key to having an awesome vacation is being prepared. You need a detailed checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. If not, you won’t be able to relax.
Your travel abroad checklist needs to cover everything that could affect your trip. From documentation to packing the right gear, keep reading for your complete checklist.
1. Get a Valid Passport
If you don’t travel very often, you have no idea when your passport expires. Make a point to dig out your passport and check this detail.
An expired passport can take months to replace. It really throws a wrench in your plans of leaving next week.
This should be the first step in your travel abroad checklist. If your passport has expired, learn more about getting a new passport in a time crunch.
Also, make sure you carry photocopies of your passport when you travel. You need international proof of identity while your passport is secure in the hotel safe.
2. Get Vaccinations
Some areas of the world have diseases and sicknesses you don’t have in your home country. If you’re going to one of these places, make sure you get the right vaccinations.
For example, if you’re going to Cambodia, you need hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines. If you’re going to South Africa, you may also need malaria and yellow fever vaccines.
Use the Center for Disease Control’s travel vaccine page to find out which vaccines you need. You can also go to a travel clinic that specializes in vaccines.
Make this vacation a great one by not catching a disease or sickness.
3. Buy Travel Insurance
Does your health insurance policy cover international travel? If not, you need to buy a policy to cover this vacation.
If an accident happens on your trip and you need to go to the hospital, you’ll regret not having coverage. It doesn’t have to be a huge policy; choose a short-term policy for only the length of your trip.
Travel insurance can also cover stolen goods and trip cancellation fees. No one plans to use their insurance coverage, but when something comes up you’ll be glad you have it.
4. Learn the Language
There’s nothing worse than a tourist who expects everyone to speak their language. You’re visiting a foreign country; it’s your responsibility to learn some of the language.
This doesn’t mean you need to enroll in languages classes, although that would be helpful. Simply look up the important phrases you need while traveling.
For example, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish,” “Where is the bathroom?”, “Can I have the bill please?”
If you’re going to be renting property in your destination, you may want to know more.
Besides emergency and convenience phrases, consider learning basic conversational phrases. One great aspect of traveling is meeting locals in other places. Being able to communicate with them is key to building friendships.
5. Do Some Research
Research what’s going on in the country during your vacation. Check the health and safety advisories on your government’s website. Make sure its safe to travel there, both politically and environmentally.
Then, see if any cultural or religious events are happening. Festivals can be a fun point of interest for your itinerary. They allow you a glimpse at how locals in that country celebrate.
If it’s a religious event, research what dress code is appropriate. You don’t want to be disrespectful.
Also research general cultural practices. Do men shake hands with women? Is placing your elbows on the table considered rude?
6. Get the Right Electronic Gear
As a business owner, you’ll likely be checking on the clinic while you’re away. This means you need to have all the necessary electronic gear. Online correspondence isn’t available everywhere.
Make sure you have the right plug adapters. The plugs in North America are different from the European ones. You can buy universal adapters that work everywhere you go.
If WIFI is a concern where you’re going, consider buying a mobile hotspot. Most hotels will have free WIFI, but it might not be strong enough to get work done. Buying a hotspot gives you a faster and stronger connection.
7. Organize Your Finances
It’s crucial that you let your bank and credit card company know where you’re traveling. If you don’t, they might see a charge from Brazil and think it’s fraud.
Let them know when and where you’ll be traveling. If you lose your cards while traveling, contact your bank right away. To do this, you should have your bank’s international number written down somewhere safe.
Also, plan to have local currency cash while you travel. It’s safer to carry a limited amount of cash instead of a high-limit credit card.
8. Use Anti-Theft Gear
Consider buying anti-theft gear to keep your belongings safe. Pick-pocketing is rampant in touristy cities all over the world. You don’t want to become a victim.
Here are some anti-theft items to consider:
- Money belts or necklaces
- Travel safes
- Anti-cut and anti-rip backpacks
- RFID-blocking wallets and purses
No one plans to have their belongings stolen. Unfortunately, it happens to many travelers each year. Take extra caution when you’re exploring busy and crowded attractions.
Do You Have a Travel Abroad Checklist?
Running a business is a lot of work and stress. You deserve to take a vacation once in a while to relax. Time away from the clinic allows you to recharge your batteries and come back stronger.
To have a stress-free vacation, follow your travel abroad checklist. This ensures you have all the right documents and pack the right stuff. It also prepares you for the culture of the place you’re visiting.
For more tips on being a business owner and taking a break from the clinic, check out the blog.