Tips for Trip Planning & Packing:

Quite a few things are worth arranging while you’re still at home — lining up these details before you travel is a big part of having a smooth trip.
♦ Make reservations well in advance, especially during peak season, for accommodations, popular restaurants, major sights, and local guides.
♦ Call your debit- and credit-card companies to let them know where you are traveling, to be aware of out of country charges and to ask about fees, and more. Get your bank’s emergency phone number in the US (but not its 800 number) to call collect if you have a problem. If you don’t know your credit card’s PIN code, ask your bank to mail it to you.
♦ Do your homework if you want to buy travel insurance. Check whether your existing insurance (health, homeowner’s, or renter’s) covers you and your possessions overseas.
♦ Get a proper guidebook.
♦ Download any apps you might want to use on the road, such as translators, maps, and transit schedules and airline apps.
♦ Take care of any medical needs. Visit your doctor to get a checkup, and see your dentist if you have any work that needs to be done. If you use prescription drugs, stock up before your trip. Pack along the prescription, plus one for contact lens or glasses if you wear them.  Pack all medications in your carry-on.
♦ Attend to your household needs. Cancel your newspapers, hold your mail delivery, and prepay your bills.
♦ Give a copy of your itinerary to family or friends.
♦ Because airline carry-on restrictions are always changing, visit the airline you are traveling with website and The Transportation Security Administration’s website for a list of what you can bring on the plane, and for the latest security measures (including screening of electronic devices, which you may be asked to power up).
♦ Make a list of valuables that you’re bringing (such as electronics). Include serial numbers, makes, and models, and take photos of your items to serve as a record for the police and your insurance company should anything be stolen. Do not pack any valuables in your checked luggage!!
♦ Check in for your flight online 24 hours before your departure:  have your passport and ticket confirmation at hand.  Note if there have been any flight time or flight number changes.  Arrive early at the airport 2 ½ - 3 hours prior to departure.
♦ Make sure to have your name and phone on I.D. tags on your luggage. I like to put some unique colored ribbon on my bag, so it is easy to find.
♦ Take a pen so you can fill out customs/immigration papers on the flight.
♦ Use Zip lock bags for things that might leak or pressurize during flight.

Tips for International Travel:

♦ Passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond return date 
♦ Make a copy of your passport and place that copy in your suitcase or scan your passport and email the attachment to your own email account. 
**If you lost your passport you can go to an internet café, open your email and print the copy of your passport. ** 
♦ Always carry your passport on your person when traveling. 
♦ Get foreign currency before you depart the states.  You can do this at the Exchange Office at the Minneapolis airport or from  Be sure to keep your receipt because if you still have some foreign currency left after returning home they will exchange it back to USD for no additional fee. 
♦ If traveling with your spouse you should each carry a different credit card in the event that one gets lost or stolen you will still have another card to us. ♦ Scan both sides of your credit card and email the attachment to your own email account.  **Just like you did for your passport.** 
♦ ATM cards are just about everywhere throughout the world.  When using them abroad the money will come directly out of your checking account so be sure you have enough money in that account when leaving home.  There is a small fee to use ATM machines but there is also a fee to cash, travelers checks and ATM machines are easier to find than exchange offices. 
♦ If traveling with another person you may want to put a couple of changes of clothes in each others checked bag in case one of your checked bags is misplaced or lost by the airlines. 
♦ You may want to bring along a washcloth (in a zip lock bag) because most European hotels do not supply washcloths. 
♦ Be sure cameras and film are placed in your carry on, when flying.  
♦ Notify your bank and major credit card company that you will be leaving the country so they do not put a stop on your credit card because of “unusual” activity.
♦ If you plan to use your US mobile phone or smartphone in Europe, contact your provider to enable international calling or to “unlock” your phone. Consider signing up for an international calling, text, and/or data plan, and be sure to confirm voice- and data-roaming fees.
♦ We use our cell phones every day, so it is important to confirm your charges and accessibility when traveling abroad to ensure you have sufficient service. It is also crucial to save numbers directly on your phone before traveling. If the contact is saved in the US, then country codes and exit codes will be automatically dialed if you call the number abroad. This eliminates the fumble to look up phone numbers and dial correctly when you need them. Emergency contacts should always be saved before leaving home. Here is a list of country/exit codes you may need in your travels.


Before you travel, check with the Center for Disease Control for updates on any outbreaks or health warnings for the countries on their itinerary. The CDC will also recommend any shots or vaccinations required to protect against diseases such as malaria or dengue fever, especially if the client is traveling to tropical or sub-tropical regions.
It is always good idea to  carry an updated personal medication and vaccination record with them as well as a list of all the medications they take. If they were to unexpectedly fall ill and are taken to a hospital, or must see a health care provider while traveling, this list can help medical teams understand the situation and current treatments. 
Always have a plan for adjusting the medication regimen if the travel itinerary conflicts with your client's usual medication regimen.  The client's pharmacists can help devise a medication schedule that is in sync with the travel schedule.
Have your client bring more medication than they expect to use (at least one extra week’s worth) and store the medications in their original labeled containers.  Some medications may require extra equipment such as needles or pumps, so remember to bring all the components. Always bring extra batteries for hearing aids.
Its best that you keep medications with you when flying. Is is not recommended to pack them in the checked luggage.  Some medications will be subject to temperature variations in transit and may also be lost or damaged. When clients have their medications directly with them, they will always have access to them.  Place medications in carry-on luggage and pack them in a separate pouch to facilitate TSA inspections at airports. This also makes it easier for you to access medications as needed. 

To satisfy the TSA, you should ensure that containers holding medications are not too densely filled, and that each medication is clearly identified. As a safeguard, they should bring their prescriptions with them. Also make sure each of their carry-on items, including all special needs equipment, mobility aids, and devices, have an identification tag attached.                                        
Recommended:  Purchase travel insurance, which will cover the costs of a medical emergency and even provide medical evacuation back to the U.S. if needed.  It’s always a good idea to purchase travel insurance when traveling outside of the U.S.
©  Travel Leaders Group