There are so many things to think about whenever you are planning a trip and people will usually be able to remember some of the more common things: packing a passport, packing a camera, packing underwear, etc. However, there are a few obscure things that we have been guilty of forgetting ourselves and which we have heard from many of our fellow travelers that are common things that they forget to do/plan as well. Read on to find out which are the four things that travelers commonly forget before leaving for their trips.
1. Set travel alerts with your bank
If you are traveling out of the country, or even just out of your state, there is a good chance the bank will block your credit and debit cards if you haven't notified you will be traveling. This is a great protection in case your card gets lost or stolen, but it can be a pain if you are actually using the card while traveling. It is particular critical to do this before leaving if you will not have a good way to contact the bank while you are abroad otherwise you may find yourself stuck without the ability to pay for something at a very inconvenient moment. Most banks these days will allow you to set the notice online, but if not it is very easy to call and set it up. Make sure you put this at the top of your todo list before leaving.
2. Make sure to have a plan for insurance
You never want to believe you'll need it, but crazy stuff can happen at any moment while you are traveling. The first time we took some international trips we didn't think about this at all, but then we started hearing some horror stories of people who were injured and had no financial help whatsoever to cover large medical or emergency expenses. Since then we have mostly been World Nomad's Insurance as they are very affordable and seem to offer a good range of coverage for a reasonable price. If your current insurance plan covers you while abroad that is awesome, and it may not be necessary to bet additional travel insurance. But if they don't, or if they don't offer protection against stolen/lost valuables or unexpected trip cancellations and delays we definitley recommend looking into travel insurance that is specifically meant to handle these types of situations.
3. Check types of outlets in different locations
We recently traveled to Jamaica for the weekend. We were getting ready to leave and had previously just assumed that Jamaica used the same outlets that we use here in the US. Luckily before leaving we decided to double check and quickly realized we were mistaken. Thankfully we were able to pack a travel adapter last minute, but we would have been pretty upset if we would have arrived at our hotel and had to purchase an adapter (at a likely higher price) just because we had left without checking.
4. Check currencies in use
Although it's become more and more common for countries around the world to accept dollars, there are still many places where you will still be expected to use the local currency. You can usually use an ATM abroad if you really need cash, but we would still recommend taking at least some cash on you in case you need to pay for transportation or food and you still haven't had a chance to get any of the local currency. The local currency is also very useful if you are traveling to more "off the beaten path" locations that aren't as touristy and will expect you to pay using local currency only.