Travel Tips Countdown: One WEEK before you hit the road

This week we are presenting a series on Travel Tips for new and experienced travelers alike. Now that Summer is rolling in, travel throughout the Northern Hemisphere is heating up!

You’ve just realized you’re heading out on your trip of a lifetime in a week! Are you prepared? Check out Wittravel’s tips for one week before you hit the road.

Today: Packing, Research, Putting your Affairs in Order

  • Don’t wait for the day before to pack. Start accumulating things you want to take in a corner of your bedroom a few weeks prior to leaving. Have a list by your bed and write down things as you think of them! A good rule of thumb is to lay out everything you think you may need, then take half!
  • Make copies of your travel documents. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport and travel docs with someone at home. Ask your WIT agent to email you a copy of your itinerary and confirmations.  Save in your mailbox so you can find them from any internet café.  The government also recommends that you register with the Department of State, so you can be contacted in an emergency. Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program here:
  • Buy foreign currency. Wittravel recommends Travelex as a source to buy your foreign currency. We recommend having the equivalent of at least $200 in cash before arriving at your destination. The airport is also a good source for foreign currency, though exchange rates may be more than what your bank charges. Don’t bother with traveler’s cheques—they’re outdated, are seldom accepted, and no serious traveler uses them!
  • Credit Cards with Chips. European credit cards typically have an electronic chip in them, and subsequently many businesses may not accept credit cards issued in the U.S. Travelex also offers currency cards that have this chip.
  • Research. For detailed background of your destination, purchase a guide book. This can be an invaluable tool on the road! Ask your WIT agent if destination material is available from our library.
  • Currency issues. Do advise credit card companies of this trip and states/countries being visited.  Failure to do this could result in your credit card being black listed.  Also, ask your card company what the service fee is for foreign transactions.  Some have a per transaction flat fee, some have a percentage of the transaction amount.
  • Credit cards. It is best to have separate credit cards; if one card is lost/stolen, you still have an active account to use. Keep cards in separate, safe locations.  Use ATM machines to get local currency.  Keep all receipts until you have rectified your statement. Debit card reminder:  most debit cards have no fraud protection or charge dispute options as credit cards do.  So, use them cautiously; best for ATM usage only.

Want specific tips but don’t see them here? Leave a comment and we’ll post about it!

Willamette Intl Travel has been in the travel industry for more than 35 years and we keep informed with all the latest policies and updates. Call us for more info! 800-821-0401 or email

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