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5 Important Appointments You Shouldn’t Forget to Schedule Before Traveling The weeks leading up to a big trip can be incredibly exciting. It’s fun to imagine all the places you’ll go, things you’ll experience, and memories you’ll grow to cherish....

By Angela Ruth

This story originally appeared on Calendar

The weeks leading up to a big trip can be incredibly exciting. It’s fun to imagine all the places you’ll go, things you’ll experience, and memories you’ll grow to cherish. Don’t let all that excitement distract you from your obligations, however. You don’t want to be in the mountains or on the beach and realize you’ve forgotten something vital. So schedule these five important kinds of appointments before you set out on adventure.

1. Medical Checkup

The saying, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” is, perhaps, even more true abroad than at home. You don’t want to come down with an illness brewing now when you’re exploring an unfamiliar place. Schedule a general checkup before you depart so your doctor can clear you for a healthy voyage.

Additionally, check up on your destination’s vaccination requirements. Some countries have diseases that aren’t a significant part of the illness ecosystem in the U.S. You may need to vaccinate to cross your destination’s borders in the first place. And even if you don’t, it’d be better not to fly to Asia just to spend two weeks in bed with Typhoid.

Finally, schedule a medical checkup after you return home. While getting a checkup before traveling is more common, many neglect their health after that. You’ll be exposed to foreign viruses and bacteria when traveling to a foreign country. While you’ll probably be fine, don’t risk something unsavory developing within you. Schedule a return checkup before you leave so you know you’ll be in good hands when you return.

2. Visas and Passport

Regarding travel requirements, ensure your visa(s) and passport are in order. Many countries require some form of visa to enter their borders. Some will simply give a temporary travel visa to someone with a U.S. passport upon arrival. But that’s not the case with all countries. It’s also not the case with all types of visas.

If you’re planning to work in the country you’re traveling to in any capacity, you’ll need the proper visa. If you’re young enough, usually under 30, you can apply for a working holiday visa in some countries. This is a great option for traveling the world while working odd jobs. If you’re traveling to a country specifically to work there, you’ll absolutely need that country’s work visa. These visas can take a long time to process, so get the ball rolling well in advance.

To get a visa, you’ll need a valid passport first. And many countries won’t accept yours within six months of its expiration date. Your passport is valid for ten years if you’re over 15. So check and see if you need to renew your passport if you haven’t done so in a while. Like a specialized visa, this process can take some time, so set a calendar reminder to book your appointment today.

3. International Driving Permit

The list of essential papers isn’t over yet! If you’re ever going to drive on international trips, you should have an international driving permit. This document contains your name, photo, and driver’s info translated into multiple languages. And thankfully, unlike a specialized visa or passport renewal, it’s actually relatively easy to get.

To get an IDP first ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. You typically must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license from your home country. Then, locate the relevant issuing authority, which could be an automobile club like AAA or similar organization. Complete the application form, provide your driver’s license, two passport-sized photos, and possibly proof of identity and residency. Don’t forget to pay the associated fee, and once your application is processed and approved, you’ll receive your IDP.

Remember, it’s only valid for one year from the issue date and must accompany your regular driver’s license when driving abroad. Be sure to research any specific requirements for the country you plan to visit. As a U.S. citizen, you can’t get an IDP in any other country than the States. So make sure to schedule an appointment to get yours before you leave. Even if you don’t plan on driving now, keep the door open for spontaneity when it comes knocking! You never know what cool ATV or motorcycle rentals might entice you.

4. Pet Care Arrangements

Traveling with a friendly companion? Then there are a few appointments you’ll want to schedule to prepare in advance. While traveling with a pet can be fun, executing correctly’s a careful process.

Just like with your own health, you must ensure your pet is in good condition to travel. Most airlines require a certificate of health no older than ten days for your pet to be eligible to board. Your pet will likely need various inoculations to receive that health certificate depending on where you’re going. As you can tell, this is a multi-step process, so schedule the necessary appointments ahead of time.

On the flip side, you must also prepare accordingly if you’re not bringing your pet with you. Start by perusing the bulletin board at your local vet’s office or asking your social network if they know anyone who is reliable to pet sit. There are many good-hearted people out there who want to ensure your pet is safe and sound while you’re traveling. Book interviews with potential sitters well in advance so you have ample time to choose the best one.

5. Co-Planning With Co-Travelers

One of the best parts of solo travel is that you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. One of the worst parts is how lonely it can get. Share the fun and make great memories by traveling with friends or family. Just plan well enough in advance so everyone’s on board.

Set up a time for your travel crew to meet in person or online. During this planning appointment, brainstorm where to stay, eat, and enjoy yourself. Give each ample time to express their wishes and expectations for this joint adventure. Then, with everyone’s desires clearly voiced, Google Maps can be used to see how everyone’s needs can most closely be met.

Keep in mind that not everyone will get what they want, as traveling with others involves compromises. However, if each individual is willing to compromise, then the group as a whole can thrive. Make this planning philosophy clear to your group from the get-go. With everyone on board, you can make the most of your exciting adventures together.

Prepare Now to Enjoy Your Travels to the Fullest

It’s funny how much work it can take to just move your physical location from one place to another for a couple of weeks. But all that work can be well worth it once you’re finally there and don’t have to think about it anymore. Do your best to frontload everything so you can enjoy your trip as worry-free as possible.

If you’re struggling to keep tabs on everything, organize and track that information on your digital calendar. If you’re not using one already, there are some great options, like Calendar, Google Cal, and Apple Calendar. Take advantage of these calendars’ amazing planning features to make the most of your next trip.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Chanaka Madushan Sugathadasa; Pexels

The post 5 Important Appointments You Shouldn’t Forget to Schedule Before Traveling appeared first on Calendar.

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