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Having recently been overseas, I was reminded of a few annoying details I neglected to take care of until the zero hour before my trip. In the hopes of making your next trip a little smoother than mine, here’s a few tips I have to prep for international travel.

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1.EXCHANGE CURRENCY

I don’t have patience to order ahead from a bank so I always go to an exchange place in the mall. They have every currency under the sun so it’s a quick transaction. It’s always good to have some cash on hand so you aren’t panicked when you arrive at your destination. They will try and give you as many larger bills as possible so always ask for smaller ones – they’re much more useful for the smaller transactions you will have upon arrival (cab rides, food, tips, etc). Bonus – if you exchange $1000 or more, you can convert it back at the same rate within 30 days.

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2. ADAPTERS

Unless you’re headed to the USA, Japan, or Mexico…. chances are you’re going to need an adapter of some sort – especially if you’re incapable of traveling without electronics like me. Apple is wonderful and makes an adapter kit that is interchangeable with its products. But perhaps you’re bringing a curling iron and a charger for your camera as well? Consult this chart to figure out which adapter will suit your needs. Some great adapter options here and here.

3. VACCINATIONS

Always research the region you’re going to and consult your doctor about any possible vaccinations you might need. I landed in Morocco and thought to myself “Hmmmm I wonder if I should have got shots for anything?” It’s not a pleasant feeling. Avoid that by planning ahead!

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4. PHONE COVERAGE

This one is the easiest of all the steps, all I had to do was go on the Telus My Account app and figure out which countries are covered on their Easy Roam International package and add it to my plan. Easy Roam allows me to use my Canadian rate plan abroad for just an additional $10 a day. Once it’s added to your plan, it’s in effect immediately but also stays there for any future trips as well. Let me tell you, having lived in London I was still incredibly grateful to be able to Google map myself on a number of occasions. Plus Citymapper is a must for planning the fastest route there. Find out more here.

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5. CURRENT PASSPORT

This seems like a very simple and obvious thing. It is. I won’t name any names but I do know someone who only realized their passport had expired the day before they were due to leave on an international flight. Here’s a hint – it wasn’t me. I live in fear of this happening which is why I went for the 10 year passport last time I renewed.

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6. TRAVEL SIZED FAVOURITES

Do not waste precious luggage space on full sized cosmetics! Dry shampoo is always first in my cosmetic bag and I’ve really been loving R+Co’s Death Valley one. It has a light smell and a little goes a loooooong way. That’s key when packing cosmetics – finding ones that last long. All of these have my seal of approval. ( R+Co Travel Set | R+Co One Spray | Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil + Phoenix Oil | Rocky Mountain Soap Co Transformative Cleansing Oil + Hydrating Toner)

Do you have any tried and true ways you prep for an international trip? I would love to hear about them in the comments below 🙂

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