So this is it: After years of daydreaming about taking that trip to your dream destination, you’ve finally taken the plunge, organised your tour and booked your flights. Congratulations! You’ve been looking throug the Brave Women Travel trips, and picturing yourself tip-toeing in those fluorescent waters and fantasising about the mouth-watering delicacies you’re going to stuff your face with as you sip your fine glass of red wine and flirt with handsome local waiters… However, for all your daydreaming, fantasising and what you assure yourself is mental preparation, you realise that you haven’t actually started to preparing for your trip at all! For this reason, we’re here to save the day and have created this handy checklist for you to assist you with your preparation.

Get your Paperwork in Order

It goes without saying that you need to have a passport for international travel, but you should also check your passport’s validity since many locations require you to have a minimum of six months validity from the date of your departure. You should also remember to check the visa requirements for the country to which you are travelling: many nations require a visa to be printed in your passport which should be applied for months in advance of leaving your home country. Once you have confirmed that your passport will serve you for your trip, and you have clarified your visa requirements, we recommend printing the following documents for your trip, and ensuring that they are stored in an accessible location so that you can easily get hold of them if needed:

  • Passport Photocopy (Useful in case you should lose your physical passport overseas. Keep one copy at home, and one on your person)
  • Boarding Pass/ Booking Confirmation for flight
  • Confirmation of tour booking and address of hotel/meeting point.
  • Insurance documents.

Learn a Little of the Language

We are not saying that you need to get studying on Duolingo every night and become fluent in Spanish for that two week trip to South America, but never underestimate the value of having a few useful words and phrases at your disposal while overseas. Simple phrases such as “hello”, “thank you”, “can I have a…?”  and “goodbye” will go further than you might think in making simple interactions with waiters and vendors easier. Not to mention, the locals will really appreciate that you made the effort to communicate with them in their language.

Let the Packing Commence!

Make a list of everything that you want to take with you plenty of time in advance. It’s important to travel light because you’re going to be dragging this case around for the next couple of weeks. Of course, your exact packing requirements will vary depending on your particular destination, but a couple of t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, shorts and trousers will serve you well. Pack any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you require or typically use – remember that these may not be available at your destination so if you have any known health problems (i.e. you are a frequent migraine sufferer), it is better to take these with you just in case. Check the voltage socket sizes for your electrical appliances ahead of travel and buy the relevant adaptors.

Purchase a Comprehensive Insurance Policy

Let’s be honest, you never really know what is around the corner and it is always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that you have a policy that provides you with substantial coverage for the event of medical emergencies and lost baggage. The medical coverage offered should provide you with at least medical emergency cover up to $1m. Coverage parameters vary significantly between policies so ensure that you check through your options thoroughly before purchasing a particular package to be sure that you find one which suits your needs. The Brave Women Travel insurance company of choice is World Nomads, since we feel that they go the additional mile with their policies, offering protection for things such as theft or loss where other insurance policies fall short.

Book the Necessary Vaccinations

Many developing nations require travellers to receive vaccinations before they visit the country so ensure that you are familiar with what you need for your trip. Make an appointment with a Travel Nurse at least 4-6 weeks before your departure. Brave Women Travel recently published a comprehensive guide to travel vaccinations and where they are required. For further information on this matter, you can check this article out in the blog section of our website.

Read up on the Local Customs and Culture

Walking down the street in a tank top on a hot day in the USA? Perfectly acceptable! Wearing the same outfit in comparable temperatures in the Middle East? Uncommon, and could potentially cause offence or even be against the law. As a guest in the countries that you are visiting, always consider the local customs before you travel. Many developing nations are somewhat conservative when it comes to women’s attire. Even simply carrying a thin shawl to cover your shoulders in places of worship or of local importance will be sufficient but ensure that you double check this to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations upon arrival.

Regardless of destination or prior travel experience, you really have no cause to worry about your trip or safety since, rest assured, you are in safe hands with the Brave Women Travel localised staff. Our team have thought of every detail when constructing these itineraries to ensure that you have a wonderful, safe and life-changing adventure. Our tour staff are expertly selected and know the areas  you will be travelling to like the back of their hands so you can sit back, relax, and know that someone else has taken care of all of the stressful and complicated details of your trip.