Before Leaving

Planning our trip to Europe and being ready to travel in a comfortable manner is an important thing that we need to do if we are to enjoy our stay, whether this is long or short. Leaving the house and relaxing and getting to know and discover new cultures is surely something fantastic, however, without adequate preparation it may cause some issues. To avoid them, we make a list with some useful advice on being well prepared before starting our trip.

  1. Check in advance when your personal documents expire since you might need them during your trip. Passport, identity card, driving licence, European health card, credit cards or other documents should be valid at least until the day you return home.

  2. It is useful to make photocopies of all these documents and keep them safe and separate from the originals. This can help if they are lost or stolen.

  3. Search for information about the currency that you will need to use in the country you are travelling to. If the currency is not the same as in your home country, change enough money in case you need it during your journey in order to get to your destination, or in case of an unfortunate emergency.

  4. Learn the important phone numbers of the country you are travelling to as well as those of your country of residence. In case of emergency you may find them useful. I am talking, for example, of the phone number of your commercial bank. It is also important to have the contact numbers for the police, your health insurance, your car insurance, etc.

  5. Organise your European health insurance if the one you have already arranged does not cover what you need abroad.

  6. If you are travelling by car, ask if your driving licence is valid in the country you are travelling to. Also ask whether there are differences in terms of traffic regulations in the country you are visiting.

  7. Check the transaction fees charged by your bank, so that later when you return you don´t have an unpleasant surprise.

  8. Check the address of the consulate of your home country in the foreign country you are travelling to. You may need help abroad.

  9. Pay for all the services that you purchased before your trip. Rent, bills, insurances, etc.

  10. Charge your phone with enough credit or roaming minutes and learn, with the help of your operator, how to make calls from a foreign country.

  11. If you have a pet and must leave them at home, think in advance where they will be while you are away. Leave enough food and inform the person who is going to care for them about their daily habits.

  12. By now it is clear that having your letterbox full of post and junk mail shows potential burglars you are not at home. Ask at the post office how you could solve this problem during your trip or notify the advertising distributors that you do not want to receive any more undesired mail.

  13. If you live with a chronic disease, do not forget to take the medication.

Editing by: Laura Hayes