Important Things To Do Before You Travel

Take a picture of your luggage

If your luggage is lost, having an actual photo of what it looks like will be a huge help!

email a copy of your passport to yourself

If your passport is misplaced it will be a life-saver to have an electronic copy. Also, if it is already in email format instead of a document or a photo, you can forward it to someone quickly without needing to fumble through your phone trying to find the correct attachment.

Tell your bank you will be traveling

Some banks will freeze your account if they see “abnormal” activity like charges or ATM visits in a city far from your home address. If you are traveling internationally, inquire about ordering currency in advance and maybe apply for a credit card with no foreign transaction fee if you don’t have one already.

Don’t Forget About Data

If you’re not going to be doing much exploring, you might be able to get by without purchasing data and simply use the hotel’s Wi-Fi. Otherwise, data is [almost*] essential for finding your way around an unfamiliar place. Is your phone paid off? If so, you can always purchase a SIM card once you arrive at your destination OR you can get a data package or eSIM in advance from KnowRoaming. If your phone is not yet paid off, it is considered “locked” by your provider and you will only be able to purchase a global data package from them. See an overview of Verizon’s plan below.

*Marco Polo got by just fine without data on his voyages, but data is extremely convenient and will most likely save you several headaches.

Don’t forget to download

Netflix now offers the ability to download movies and episodes to your devices. If you do this before you get to the airport, you will have your entertainment ready to go without having to deal with slow download speeds on the airport Wi-Fi. Podcast episodes can be downloaded in advance too. You may already have your own music downloaded to your device but if you use a subscription service like Pandora Premium, don’t forget to download your favorite playlists and albums before you fly.

Try the “middle seat trick”

Have you ever traveled solo and chose the middle seat on an airplane if there were window or aisle seats available? No? Exactly. If you are traveling as a pair, try booking the window and the aisle seat and leave the middle seat empty. You might just end up with a row to yourself. If the flight is full, you might make a new friend! However, trying to do this on a first-come-first-served (or rather; first-checked-in-first-boarded) airline like Southwest would most likely not result in as much success.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will prove useful for you on your next trip! If you have questions about anything mentioned above or are ready to start planning your next vacation, contact Van Zile Travel’s Vacation Department Coordinator, Julie S., at 585-697-2721 or

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