International Trip Planning: 7 Checklist Items To Do Within 24 Hours Of Booking The Ticket

We’ve finally booked our annual family trip and I am so excited!

I won’t reveal where we are going just yet but it is definitely one of our bucket list destinations.

As you may remember from my post about visiting Paris for $1000 total, I am a huge fan of Scott’s Cheap Flights.

For those that are not familiar, Scott’s Cheap Flights is a free service that sends email alerts whenever there are extraordinary deals on international flights.

Well, we booked our trip based on an alert from SCF!

The problem is…

Booking via Scott’s Cheap Flights is a double edged sword:
– The upside is that you can travel at amazing prices (yayyy!)
– The downside is that deals only last 1-2 days (if not less) and require you to jump on them right away.

This means that you have to be extremely flexible, bold and READY!

suitcase showing Paris sticker

Luckily, there is one thing that gives us some wiggle room.
And that is: Free 24-Hour Cancellation.

Yup! I said it.

Current US regulations state that all major airlines must offer free cancellation of any flight within 24 hours. (There are also other international airlines that offer this).

On my quest to live my best travel life, I’ve developed a checklist of things that I do and double check within the 24 hour period of booking an international flight.
If everything doesn’t check out, I am not shy about cancelling (or changing) the flight.

7 Essential Things To Double-Check Within 24 Hours of Booking

a cup of tea and laptop computer for planning the international trip

1. Check Your Passport

The standard rule is that your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months after you return home and have 1-2 blank pages available.

It is important to check this right away as it can take 6-8 weeks to renew or change your passport.
If your trip is coming up sooner than that range, you should visit this state government site to expedite your application (for an additional fee).

2. Check If A Visa Is Required

Some countries require that you and obtain a visa (in addition to a passport) before you enter the country.  

Do a quick check for visa requirements here.

Visa applications can be confusing (and sometimes complicated with lots of required documents) so plan accordingly!

3. Get The Time Off

Don’t get fired because you are out here being Dora The Explorer!
Make sure to request the appropriate time off and get approval from your job either before or right after you book.

If your request is denied, at least you can cancel and get your money back.


4. Check The Travel Advisories

Double check the safety conditions for your planned destination.
When it comes to safety, don’t just think about potential political unrest or societal issues, also think of health concerns and even weather concerns that might affect your choice to go.

For example, those with certain chronic diseases might choose to stay away from places that have infections going around and those that are trying to conceive could choose to stay away from countries with the Zika virus.

You may find you need to cancel if the travel advisories are concerning.

5. Check If Immunizations Are Required?
Is There Enough Time? 

It may seem like it’s not a big deal but sometimes vaccines are not widely available or there are shortages. In addition, some vaccines require multiple doses spanning over several weeks or months.

(If immunizations are needed, make sure you bring the right paperwork to show that you’ve gotten them on your trip just in case customs asks for it).

6. Book Your Travel Insurance

I haven’t always been a fan of travel insurance. I was over confident to be honest.
All of that changed after having a medical emergency during my last trip. I can definitely see the benefits of spending a few more dollars to be more covered in case something happens during your trip.

You get the deals on travel insurance the earlier you book. So book asap!

Check out this thorough review of the best travel insurance companies.

7. If Applicable, Arrange Childcare / Pet Care

Last, but not even close to being the least, make arrangements for children or pets, if you have them and they’re not traveling with you.

This is crucial because your ideal child care providers, family, friends, etc, may have conflicting plans which could mean you have to change your plans as well!

Safe to say, we have check, check and checked off all the items on our list and are ready to go!

Make sure you subscribe to find out where we are going and what we did!


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