A Must-Have Checklist for Your Next Trip ...

There are things that you can shove in your bag at the last minute, and then there are things to check before traveling. The kind that needs to be arranged days or even weeks before you leave for that long deserved holiday. Our family went to three different continents within one month and while we enjoyed our trips, it was also an exhausting game of checking every single item in our travel list. Here are seven things to check before traveling:

1. Insurance

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When I wrote "things to check before traveling", I don't just mean tangible things to check. The expression is β€œdon’t leave home without it”; well, that is so true when it comes to travelling far away from home and hearth. Lord forbid you should get into an accident or need serious medical treatment and you are in a country that doesn’t understand a word you are saying. So before you skip out on your holiday, be sure to purchase a limited time, fully vested insurance plan that will not only cover you should you get into an accident but will help you 24/7 if your flight(s) are cancelled.

2. Call Your Bank

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Always play defense when travelling and the best way to do that is to make your bank your new best buddy and let them know your specific travel plans so that they don’t cut up your card when you arrive in either Rome or Tokyo. Be specific and insist that they notify the fraud department so the local ATM you are using doesn't cut up your card and return it to you like plastic spaghetti.

3. Security at Home

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If you have a security system in your home, you’d better use it. Don’t forget to let the security company know your travel plans and a contact number in case of emergencies.

4. Luggage

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The worst thing you can do is arrive at the airport with additional luggage and have to pay weight overage fees. Know the rules of your airline before you show up at the terminal. If you can purchase added luggage weight at a lower rate, do it online before you leave or you will be paying those high charges that everyone hates being hammered with.

5. Program Your VCR

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Don’t want to miss an episode of your favorite soap opera or the latest episode of The Walking Dead? Be sure to program your TV in advance. Most new TV models allow you to program your shows for weeks in advance. Sounds old fashion, huh? Others would just say, "Just download it!"

6. Frequent Flyer Points

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Fancy using your hotel or airline FFP miles for a free night’s room or a comped flight? Don’t wait until the last minute when all of the free rooms and airline seats are gone. When it comes to travel planning be sure to call the hotel or airline and make sure you can cash in those hard-fought FFP points so the hotel room or airline seat is waiting for you.

7. Cash or Credit?

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Fewer counties in the world are using Traveler’s Checks. The old adage is true … cash will always be king. Before you leave the house, do an inventory on how much moola you plan to bring along. Make photocopies of your credit cards and passport before you leave and hide them somewhere in your luggage. Should you lose your wallet, you will have all of your documents safe that you can quickly arrange replacements.

Any travel plans before the year ends? Where are you headed next?

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