Traveling abroad isn’t as simple as booking a flight and snapping a passport photo. While there is ample forethought involved, you shouldn’t let the fear of planning keep you from exploring the world. Ideally, your trip will go swimmingly and according to plan. Realistically, the unexpected will inevitably arise. If you’re looking to maximize your travels and ensure a stress-free journey, here are some pointers you’ll want to heed in the hopes of avoiding a disastrous overseas vacation.

Confirm Reservations

Imagine hopping off a seemingly endless flight only to find that you’ve booked your rental car or hotel for the wrong dates. No doubt a wildly stressful situation, nothing will sully your vacay quicker than being ill-prepared. One surefire way to circumvent this undesirable scenario is to verify your reservations. Most importantly, it’s imprudent to rely solely on digital confirmations. Print out all receipts and double-check your calendar to guarantee that your arriving and departing on the appropriate dates.

Safeguard Your Assets

Unfortunately, foreign countries are notorious for pickpocketing. Should you fall victim to theft, you’ll want to know what steps to take to recover your losses. In the event that your money is stolen overseas, contact your bank immediately. Cease all accounts and pore over your last bank statement to ensure that you’re not being charged for a fraudulent transaction. From there, consider applying for an individual cash loan online to bridge any financial gap you may have. This can help to secure enough funds to make it through the rest of your trip.

Don’t Overpack

Airports are hectic enough, and having overweight luggage will only add to the mayhem. If airport security suspects that your carry-on or suitcase is not in keeping with their regulations, you’ll be hit with additional fees. With that said, it’s important that you pack only what you need. What’s more, lugging around large baggage makes traveling all the more exhausting.

Check Expiration Dates

One of the most overlooked traveling details is expiration dates. Your passport, ID, and credit cards all expire, and if you fail to renew your credentials, you’ll be denied access onto the plane. For passports, the rule of thumb is that it has at least six months of validity left. IDs and credit cards, on the other hand, are rendered useless the day after they expire. Before booking your ticket, check your documents to see if a renewal is warranted.

Purchase an International Plan

Though you won’t be all that interested in your phone while on vacation, you’ll no doubt still use it. If you forego an international cell phone plan, you’ll incur countless fees upon your return. Your cell phone provider will charge you an arm and a leg for convenience alone. Fortunately, this consequence is easily avoidable. Contact your carrier beforehand to let them know you’ll be traveling abroad. They’ll likely want your arrival and departure dates, so be sure to have those on hand.

Notify Your Credit Card Company

Credit card companies use cutting-edge software to detect criminal activity. Some factors they take into consideration include time, cost, and location. If your credit card company is unaware that you’ll be traveling, they’ll put a hold on your account the second they see that you’ve purchased a $100 dinner in Europe. You can prevent this confusion by giving them a heads up before your travels are underway.