21 Essential Pre-Travel Tasks Before You Fly

21 Essential Pre-Travel Tasks Before You Fly

1. Checking Your Passport Validity and Visa Requirements
Before taking off on your international trip, it is important to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. A lot of countries insist on this rule to make sure you don't run into issues during your stay. Check visa requirements for your destination well in advance. Applying for visas can be a time-consuming process, so start early and avoid last-minute stress.

2. Purchasing Comprehensive Travel Insurance for Safety
I would get travel insurance for any estended international trip. The insurance should cover medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. Investing in a good travel insurance plan can save you from significant financial losses and provide peace of mind while you explore new destinations.

3. Confirming Your Flight Details and Check-in Online
To avoid any surprises on your travel day, confirm your flight details a few days before departure. Airlines occasionally change flight schedules, so it’s important to stay updated. Additionally, take advantage of online check-in services to save time at the airport. This step can also secure a better seat and reduce the time you spend in line.

4. Packing Smartly with a Detailed Long-Term Travel Checklist
Create a detailed packing list tailored to your destination's climate and cultural norms. Packing smart involves selecting versatile clothing and essential gadgets that maximize comfort and utility while minimizing luggage space. Remember to pack layers for changing weather conditions and any specialized gear for activities planned during your trip.

5. Securing Your Home and Manage Bills Before Traveling
Ensure your home is secure during your absence. This might involve arranging for someone to check on your house periodically, setting timers on lights, and securing all doors and windows. Additionally, manage your bills by setting up automatic payments or settling them in advance to avoid late fees and service interruptions.

6. Notifying Your Bank to Avoid Credit Card Issues Abroad
Inform your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans. This notification helps prevent your cards from being frozen due to suspicious foreign transactions. Also, inquire about international fees and consider getting a travel credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

7. Downloading Essential Travel Apps for Navigation and Translation
Equip your smartphone with essential travel apps. Navigation apps like Google Maps and translation tools such as Google Translate can enhance your travel experience, helping you explore confidently and communicate effectively in non-English speaking countries.

8. Preparing a Health Kit with Medications and Vaccinations
Assemble a travel health kit containing necessary medications, first aid supplies, and copies of your prescriptions. Check the vaccination requirements and health advisories for your destination and ensure you receive any necessary vaccinations well in advance of your trip.

9. Choosing Comfortable Travel Outfits and Footwear
Select comfortable travel outfits and footwear for the journey. Opt for breathable, lightweight fabrics and comfortable shoes as you’ll likely spend significant time on your feet exploring or navigating airports.

10. Organizing Important Documents in a Secure Travel Wallet
Keep all essential documents such as your passport, travel insurance details, emergency contacts, and reservations in a secure travel wallet. This organization prevents loss and theft and allows quick access to important information when needed.


11. Planning Your Airport Arrival with Time to Spare

Aim to arrive at the airport several hours before your international flight. This extra time helps manage check-in, security lines, and any unexpected delays without stress. Plus, it gives you a moment to relax and perhaps enjoy some airport amenities before your flight.

12. Arranging Reliable Transportation to and from the Airport

Book reliable transportation to and from the airport in advance. Whether it’s a taxi, shuttle, or public transport, pre-arranged transportation can reduce stress and ensure you arrive at the airport on time.

13. Managing Dietary Needs with Pre-Ordered Airplane Meals

If you have specific dietary needs, pre-order special meals with your airline. Most airlines accommodate various dietary preferences if notified in advance, ensuring you receive meals that suit your dietary restrictions during the flight.

14. Staying Hydrated and Avoiding Caffeine Before the Flight

Stay hydrated and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol before and during your flight. Hydration is key to avoiding jet lag and maintaining health during long flights, while caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns.

15. Stretching and Exercising to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis

During long flights, take time to stretch and walk around the cabin to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition associated with prolonged immobility. Simple stretches and regular movement can significantly reduce your risk.

16. Seting Up International Roaming or Secure a Local SIM

Ensure you have a communication plan for your destination. Set up international roaming with your current provider or consider purchasing a local SIM card for access to data and calls during your stay.

17. Learning Basic Phrases if Traveling to a Non-English Country

Learning basic phrases in the local language of your destination can greatly enhance your travel experience. Simple greetings, questions, and expressions of gratitude can go a long way in fostering interactions with locals.

18. Backing up Your Data and Securing Devices with Passwords

Back up important data such as documents, photos, and contacts before you leave. Ensure all devices are secured with strong passwords and consider additional security measures like two-factor authentication.

19. Creating a Rough Itinerary with Flexible Travel Plans

While it’s great to have a plan, keep your itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneous adventures and changes based on local recommendations or unforeseen circumstances.

20. Avoiding Sharing Specific Travel Plans on Social Media for Security

Be cautious about sharing specific travel plans and live locations on social media. Sharing detailed itineraries can compromise your security, especially when you are away from home.

21. Notifying the Post Office to Manage Mail in Your Absence

Arrange with your local post office to hold your mail or have someone collect it regularly. This step prevents mail from piling up, which can be a security risk and a sign that the home is unattended.

Support Our Mission
Guided by Dr. Dickson, our dedicated Atlanta-based writing team relies on sales from our premium Loomis Travel luggage to keep providing new tips and stories. Purchase your luggage directly from Loomis to avoid retail markups and ensure top quality at great prices.

Back to blog

About the Author

Dr. Dickson W., is an Atlanta-based research scientist, passionate traveler and CEO of Loomis Travel, the direct to customer luggage company you can trust featured below.