International Travel Checklist

Planning details

  • Apply for your passport with all visas well ahead of departure. If you already have one, be sure that it is valid and that your renewal date falls well after you return.
  • Reconfirm your arrival dates via fax or emails to your hotels or other accommodations, especially if they are going to pre-arrange any transportation services.
  • Cancel newspaper deliveries and arrange for the post office to hold mail delivery.
  • Arrange for a sitter, or for boarding.
  • Arrange a house sitter, or someone to water plants and keep an eye on things.

Documents to take with you


Important items to pack

Items to leave behind

When you arrive at your destination

The world becomes a smaller, friendlier place when more people discover the excitement of international travel.  Whether you are an experienced traveler, or this is your first time out of the country, there are many things you must plan for and consider before catching your flight or taking that extended cruise to South America. The success of your trip will depend on careful planning to be sure that you have exactly what you need for the countries you will be visiting. Part of the fun of traveling to other countries is the planning stage.   You may already be tingling with excitement knowing that you are about to make a dream trip come true.  If you already know something about the people, customs and weather of the country, you have a great head start! By using the checklist below you will be organized and on top of all the important issues.  Then you can then relax and look forward to your trip with confidence.  


Unlike travel within the United States, you will need a passport (or visa) to enter any new country. Due to heightened security, even crossing the borders into Mexico or Canada has become more complicated. Each country has their own regulations and restrictions with some even requiring immunizations before tourists can enter. You must be prepared for language and monetary differences which can be confusing if you have not done your homework. Americans are not accustomed to making many adjustments when they travel domestically. We sometimes forget that we are no longer protected by our government when we travel outside our borders. A wise traveler will be aware of possible pitfalls and will plan accordingly. Try not to feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the details of international travel. You can avoid the stress of last minute preparations by researching and early planning.