The most up-to-date information on all the points mentioned in our post can be found on the website of the Foreign Office. Google simply “Foreign Office + Your Destination”. I can only recommend that you invest a little more time and energy in this point of your travel preparation, because this information is really important!

If you have visited several countries one after the other, you may still need some passport pictures for the respective visa on arrival. These can be done well at home.

Currencies and cash

For a first overview of the different national currencies and exchange rates you can use a normal currency converter. This information is important right at the beginning of your trip, so that at the first ATM in your travel destination, you know how much money you should withdraw in the foreign currency. When you’re on the move, you can also get an app for your smartphone.

A small amount of cash, preferably USD in small denominations, you should definitely take from home if you visit places like When picking up at your bank, make sure that the bills are in perfect condition. Many countries have a problem with damaged notes.

By the way, you will also find here a nice checklist for holidays for my favorite apps and tools for travel preparation: the best apps and tools for travel planning

Cancel or shut down expensive contracts

This point only makes sense if you are traveling on a longer journey. But then all the more! Everyone has contracts that run into nothing during a long stay abroad, be it the membership in the gym or a mobile phone contract that you can not use abroad anyway. That’s why looking at it can really pay off and save you money. You do not necessarily have to cancel the contracts completely. Often there is also the possibility to suspend contributions for a certain period of time.

Organization for your home

First of all ask your family, your friends or the neighbors if they could take care of the most necessary things at home. Do you have any pets? And the mailbox must also be emptied now and then, if you will be away for a very long time. Or maybe you need someone to open your mail and tell you important stuff?

Think well before your trip, if something else is important in this area!

Vaccinations, yes or no?

Personally, I have the most common vaccines. However, the risks and side effects of many vaccinations should not be underestimated. That’s why you should really take your time at this point, and consider in peace, whether and against what diseases you want to get vaccinated at all. You can check which vaccinations are useful for your travel destination, as described shortly before, on the website of the Foreign Office.

Some vaccinations need to be done multiple times and therefore need some lead time. So start here with your planning at a very early stage. The same applies to a possible malaria prophylaxis. Think here too exactly, if you would like to do this burden to your body and contact best first to both your family doctor.

Ask in any case, sometimes with your health insurance. Many travel vaccinations are now wholly or partly taken over by the health insurance, regardless of whether you are privately or legally insured.

International driving license

If you think of renting a car while traveling, you will need an international driving license in many countries. You can apply for it at your local traffic authority. For the application you need a current, biometric passport photo, your normal driving license and about 16 euros.

Important to know: The international driver’s license is valid for only three years from the date of issue and only in conjunction with your normal driver’s license. So you have to take this with you!

Holiday Checklist: Important Documents

Be sure to make copies and / or photos of all your important documents such as passport, health insurance documents, flight bookings and so on. You can then email them or store them in an online store of your choice. If you lose your original documents you will definitely save yourself a lot of nerves and searching.

If you are already checking your documents, then check if your passport and credit cards are still valid beyond your travel time.

Travel guide & reading material

To prepare for your trip, and because it’s just a lot of fun, you can already browse a bit in the various travel guides to your dream destination. In any case, I recommend that you download the guidebooks as e-books to an e-book reader (personally, I love my Kindle  ). This saves you a lot of weight in the suitcase or on your shoulders. Exactly the same applies to all other books that you want to take with you to read on your trip.

I really hope that I can spare you a lot of effort and searching for your travel planning with my holiday checklist.