Things to do Before Traveling to Europe (or anywhere really)

We’re gearing up for our return to France and are running through our mental list of things to do before we leave. Yes, we’ve both done this before, separately. This is the first time we’re heading East over the Atlantic together. But, there are always those last-minute things to do that actually need to be done a few weeks before one leaves for a trip abroad — to Europe or elsewhere.


Anyone going on a European vacation is welcome to start with this list and add to it. We’d love to get your suggestions to round out a more complete list!

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

  • Purchase tickets :-)
  • Check passport expiration dates to ensure they will be valid for at least two weeks past your return date;
  • Make two copies of passport interior information. Take one copy with you (in case you lose your passport while you’re traveling), and leave one copy at
  • Call banks to inform them of travel dates for any bank cards that will be used abroad — so they won’t cancel your card as soon as they see outlandish activity. Find out which European banks partner with yours so that you can take out money without being charged a fee.
  • Call credit card companies to inform them of your travel dates, too.
  • Make copies of your credit card and bank card numbers in 
    case your wallet gets stolen or misplaced.
  • Pay any utility bills that will become due during the trip if you don’t have them scheduled to auto pay.
  • Call cell phone company to see if there will be exorbitantly high charges for calls / texts / wifi. Check to see what the rates are if using a cell phone is a must.
  • Find a ride to and from the airport to save money by not parking there.
  • Find child / pet / plant-sitters.

Surely we’ll find more to add to this list as our dates get closer. Let us know if we’ve missed any pre-trip to-do’s that you would recommend!

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