When you’re planning to go away for a few months or longer, you’ll need to do certain things to avoid problems. Preparation makes the trip go much smoother and leaves you with fewer worries while you’re away exploring. Here are some good things to do before going away.
Get Appropriate Travel Insurance
Travel insurance provides coverage for health issues and accidents that require medical intervention before going back home. Some policies include coverage for the cost of repatriation too. Choosing an appropriate travel insurance policy is not something that should be taken lightly. You don’t want to find that you don’t have the level of coverage that you would have expected because you failed to read the policy coverage and the fine print. Also, consider exclusions like for dangerous watersports too.
In many cases, insurance providers expect the claimant to pay the hospital bill first and then claim the money back from the insurer. Check how your selected insurer deals with claims so you’re fully prepared. It’s worth paying more to get a better policy. Verify that you either have enough money in your checking account to pay a hospital bill via debit card or a sizable credit card limit that’s mostly unused, just in case.
Let Your Bank Know You’re Traveling Soon
Banks need to know when your ATM, debit, or credit card is going to be used abroad. Most banks are concerned about card fraud and automatically block international usage (or even usage in a different state). You need to inform your bank about your travels, so they can update their systems. Some banks will want to know the exact countries or US states you’ll be visiting, to pre-clear the use of their bank card in those locations. Bring some local currency and US dollars with you. Not every country accepts travelers checks any longer or they’re difficult to convert. Make sure that you arrive with enough cash in case you have difficulty with using your bank card. Turn on cellphone roaming in case you must call your bank to get the card sorted out but be aware that’s expensive and consider buying a local SIM card to make the call if you can.
Give Your Car a Service
Even though you’re backpacking across the States or flying around the world, you don’t want to come back to an automobile that won’t start. If you’ve not maintained your vehicle well over the last year, it’s a good idea to get it serviced to bring it back up to good standard. The last thing you need is to return home to a dead battery and a host of other mechanical problems.
Should you already know that you need some tools to maintain it, these can be found at Global Garage. Things like oil changes and a few minor repairs you can learn how to do via YouTube videos, the right set of tools and a bit of common sense. However, leave any major repairs and mystery situations where the vehicle starts unreliably, to the professionals.
Think About Vehicle Storage
The longer you’re planning to travel for, the more precautions you must take to protect your vehicle. Clean the vehicle. Place a weather-proof protective cover over it. Fill up the fuel tank before you go to avoid the seals getting dry or moisture reaching the fuel tank. Applying a fuel stabilizer is a good idea too. This will avoid the unused gasoline from causing an internal problem. Ask a friend to start the vehicle every couple of weeks. Use a trickle charger to top-up the battery to avoid it ever going flat. The trickle charger adds a little bit of charge every so often which puts little strain on the battery and keeps it alive.
Think about your auto insurance too. It’s possible you may be able to get a discount on your auto insurance if you’re putting the vehicle into storage and/or won’t be driving it for a few months. Check with your insurer to see about a discount for the next renewal of the insurance policy before you go away.
Having a good trip away or abroad does require some careful planning first. However, these steps are not difficult and once they’ve been handled, it’s plain sailing from there.
Have you got any other things you would add to the list?
(This post was sourced for Becster.com)