1. It is wise to have a cell phone with an international calling card or purchase a disposable one, once you arrive. Know how to dial in the country you are visiting. You cannot rely on the internet to get you out of a jam. It is often unreliable in many areas of the world.
2. Don’t assume your accommodation will be ready. Have a contact phone number and a copy of your reservation. If there is a problem, who is the go to person and how and when can they be reached?
3. If renting a car, know where the car rental agency is located and their hours (often they are off site) and how you will be contacted when arriving at the airport. Have a contact phone number!
4. Call your insurance company to find out what coverage you have (some countries may be excluded if you have extended coverage on your policy). Also check with your credit card company and the coverage it provides. Another potential source for coverage may be your travel insurance. Be familiar with the steps required if you are in an accident or there is damage to the car.
5. Check your medical coverage – what is the process if there is a medical emergency? Does everyone in your party have a copy and know what to do in the case of an emergency? Do you need to be immunized? Are you familiar with any current health concerns in the area you are travelling to and how to protect yourself?
6. Does your bank know you are leaving the country? Have a back-up to your ATM card just in case. Have a toll free number for your bank available. Are you familiar with the currency and the exchange rate – know it well!
7. When paying for a reservation, use a credit card or Paypal. If there is a dispute and you require intervention, call your credit card company to begin the dispute resolution process. It is much easier to retrieve your money than trying to get a cheque or cash back!
8. When booking a flight, are you familiar with the cancellation and refund policy? If you miss your flight, who do you call and what are the alternatives? Believe me it happens … traffic jams, incorrect times etc … be prepared!
Don is a former educator and having worked for a Canadian airline, he enjoys travel that is mildly