Whether you're going scuba diving in Cozumel or taking to the slopes in France, it's imperative that you plan ahead.
Listed below are the top items you should be packing before heading out on your next adventure.
This one may seem obvious, but you'd be shocked at just how many vacationers arrive at the airport only to realize that they remembered to bring 16 pairs of shoes but not their passport.
Due to more rigid traveling policies, traveling to anywhere outside the United States requires a passport. If you don't already have one, apply now: passport applications can take upwards of six weeks to process. And even if you do have a passport that hasn’t expired, you’ll probably need to renew it if the expiration date is close to your travel time: Some countries require your passport to stay valid for several months from date of entry.
If you're en route to a country where the natives do not speak English as their primary language, you'd do well to invest in a pocket translator. In their pages, you'll find enough phrases to help you order food at a restaurant, find the nearest bathroom or directions should you get lost.
Better yet, if you have a tablet or smartphone device, download a translation app. Just do it before you leave because you never know how strong a foreign country's Wi-fi signal might be.
Should you be vacationing at a spot known to inhabit diseases local to the country, you're advised to receive a vaccination before leaving.
For everything else, from foreign food that you're body is not used to digesting, to everyday maladies like the common cold, pack medicine. Adventure travelers in particular are encouraged to also pack a first-aid kit, mild painkillers and hydrogen peroxide. Better to be safe than sorry.
The average American only gets to go away once or twice a year. Do yourself a favor and capture your overseas memories. Luckily, most modern phones come stocked with a built in camera and video recorder.
If you're feeling super ambitious, create a travel blog before you leave and update it while you're away. Or use Facebook like Bob Corsini has, so your friends and family can keep in contact with you, without necessarily having to call you everyday. You may even gain a following.
Money...the Right Kind
One of the costliest mistakes travelers make is that they wait until they're at the airport's travel exchange to convert their currency. Most U.S. banks provide the same services at a significantly lower rate.
Should you forget to convert, consider withdrawing funds from an ATM. Just be sure to find one that offers free withdrawals.
In the event that your wallet or purse gets stolen, you will no longer have access to your credit card company's number. That is, unless you wrote it down somewhere.
Before you leave on vacation, take five minutes and write down every customer service number you don't already have memorized. It could mean the difference between a minor annoyance and complete disaster.
Better yet, jot down the digits of your closest family members too. Due to the convenience afforded by cell phones, most individuals rarely bother to memorize numbers anymore. This could come back to haunt you if you don't take proper precautions.