MONEY, CURRENCIES: DON’T FORGET TO BRING CASH!
Currencies: our advice is to travel with some cash. Withdrawing cash, or paying with a card is usually expensive and the exchange rate applied can be disadvantageous. If you still wish to use mainly a credit or debit card, remember that some small expenses might require payment in cash (taxis, small shops, souvenirs, markets). You should also make sure you have some cash in case your card gets lost or stolen. In some countries, US dollars are easier and cheaper to exchange than your local currency.
Credit or debit card: if you want to use your card, make sure it can be used in your country of destination, and contact your bank to know the exact conditions (rate, commissions, partner banks, etc.). Make sure you have the call number to block your card from abroad in case it is lost or stolen.
Make sure your insurance covers:
Lost or stolen luggage
IDs or means of payment
Illness, accident or medical care abroad
Car breakdown or accident
Check the latest news and recommendation regarding the country you’re going to visit.
Keep safely the address and phone numbers of the embassy and consulate of your country.
Don’t leave any valuable item in your registered luggage.
Try to keep valuables hidden from sight as much as possible.
Buy a money belt to protect cash and passport
When entering or leaving an EU country, you must declare any values above 10,000 euros
Some products, such as alcohol and tobacco, are limited in terms of a maximum quantity you are allowed to travel with
Plants and living animals are subject to specific regulations
When traveling with valuables, you should bring the purchase invoice with you, to avoid any customs fees
Check your obligations with French customs (link) and other states
Visa: check with the embassy of the country you’re visiting
ID card: can be used by all EU nationals traveling across the European Union and French overseas territories
Passports or ID cards of your children
International driving license: might be useful if you consider renting a car
Insurance certificate if you travel by car
Keep a digital or paper copy of all your documents in case the originals get lost or stolen
Check-in: check the check-in time limit before departure. You should consider online check-in to save time at the airport
Luggage check-in: make sure you will have time to check your luggage in before boarding; some low-cost companies can be very strict
Weight of checked-in luggage: make sure your luggage weighs less than the maximum authorized by your airline
Hand luggage: make sure it fits the maximum dimensions granted by the airline
Inside your luggage: prepare it yourself, don’t take something given by a third party, and make sure liquids and creams in your hand luggage meet the airline requirements and are stored in a transparent plastic bag
Make sure your cellphone plan allows you to call from abroad and that you have the most cost-effective plan to minimize the cost of outcalls and roaming
Voicemails: make sure you can check them from abroad, and memorize numbers and codes
Consider redirecting your home calls to your cellphone
Make sure to tell someone about your destination and contact point
Consider redirecting your mail
Organize your pets’ custody
Close your windows, gas and water lines, shut down and unplug all home electrical devices
Make sure your luggage is ready on the day before departure and has a combination lock
Don’t forget your keys, train or plane tickets and passport and/or ID card