When getting ready to take a trip outside of the country in which you live, it is important to get started early. There are many things that need to be accomplished before you board the plane. Starting your travel plans far enough out in advance will give you added peace of mind. Knowing what to expect from this process can help alleviate stress, allowing you to fully enjoy the trip.

AirlplaneCredit: By 747-8I_(N6067E).jpg: Dave Subelack from YYC, Canada derivative work: Altair78 (747-8I_(N6067E).jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

10 Months:

It is time to make travel plans for leaving the country. You don’t have to finalize everything about the trip now, but it is important to take this time to get a general idea about things such as:

  • Destination- pick the decided location of your trip. Start familiarizing yourself with the types of sites you can see while you are there.
  • Shots- some countries have certain shot requirements. Find out if your destination has any specifics that you need to meet and schedule the doctor appointments for your shots as nessisary.

8 Months:

At this point, there are a few more steps can be taken to prepare you for leaving the country.

  • Passport Paperwork- start the process for getting your passport. Have a passport picture made and print out the necessary forms. Fill out all the information and have it ready to submit.
  • Tickets- to secure tickets the cheapest airfare for your destination, you should be ready to purchase the tickets at this point.

6 Months:

It is time to start refining some of your destination plans. Now is the time to start making some real decisions about the locations you want to visit while you are at your destination.

  • Hotel- choose a hotel that you plan to stay at and book the room to ensure the best price and availability.
  • Submit Passport- while it takes only about two months to get a passport back, it is best to submit for the passport early. Should your paperwork be rejected, you will need additional time to resubmit.

3 Months:

As your departure date draws near, check out social forums to find what other people who have traveled to that area are saying about what to expect.

  • Currency Rate- find out the currency rate for the country you are visiting. This will help you with budgeting your trip. Check back the week before you leave to see if the rates have changed.
  • Voltage Requirements- call the hotel and find out what the voltage maximums are at their facility. Also, be prepared to bring adapters for your electronics to the country of choice.

1 Month:

As the time closes in for you to depart, a lot of last minute details will need to be wrapped up so that you can feel confident in leaving.

  • Contact the Bank- let your bank know that you are traveling. Some banks will cut off credit cards if they see out of country purchases.
  • Print a Map- it is important that you have a map of the location that you are going to be staying in. In case you run into technical difficulties or struggle with language barriers, having a paper copy of a map will eliminate some hassles.
  • Airline Restrictions- find out weight limits and baggage restrictions for the airline you are flying with. These are subject to change, so make sure that you check back the week you pack.
  • Personal Affairs- make sure you have all your bills in order, found someone to check the mail, and schedule your email accounts for vacation mode.
  • Social Media- if you have family or friends at home that you plan to check in with while you are out of the country, using social media outlets will save money and be more convenient.

1 Week:

By this point, you should have an idea of what needs to be packed in your bags and what paperwork you’ll need to carry with you. Give yourself the time necessary to put everything in your bags.

  • Pack- try to pack as minimally as possible and be ready to purchase some items while in the other country.
  • Paperwork- Keep all the paperwork you need to have somewhere you can access it quickly for the trip. Keep your passport, ticket information, itinerary, map, and other important documents in pouch that can be worn on you at all times.

Traveling out of the country can will give you an incredible cultural experience. Don’t let the process of traveling abroad hinder you from seeing exciting new places. Use this timeline as a guide to keep you on track when planning for your incredible adventure. It will be well worth your time investment to take a trip to another country.