Forgetting these items could cost you dearly


Did you forget something?

Travelers always leave things behind. I have left toothbrushes, an expensive electric razor, and countless computer outlets in vacation rentals and hotels over the past year. But during this holiday season, being forgetful could cost you dearly.

Consider what happened to Daniela Jedlicki, who was heading to the Turks and Caicos Islands for her honeymoon. When she tried to board her flight, an officer stopped her. As it turns out, these Caribbean islands have started requiring travelers to have health insurance that covers COVID-19-related hospitalizations abroad. Hers no.

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“We were told we had to purchase additional insurance from another party to enter the Turks and Caicos Islands,” recalls Jedlicki, a teacher from Northbrook, Illinois.

Forgetting to recheck insurance requirements cost him $ 4,381 in non-refundable airfare and hotel costs.

But it doesn’t have to happen to you. The keys to remembering are simple: do your homework, make a list, and do everything on your list before you go. Otherwise, your next trip might end before it begins.

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Research, research, research

Don’t assume anything when planning your trip. And that means researching your destination even if you are sure you know the entry requirements.

Franziska Wirth, a director of Approximate Guides, begins his search process about a week before his departure.

“I check the entry requirements at the embassy or on the website of the local tourist office,” she says. “I also contact my airline a day before my departure for the most recent information on local travel regulations, such as what type of masks to wear.”

It is worth the extra work. Entry and quarantine requirements change so quickly that even your travel advisor can have trouble keeping up with them. And at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to have the right test results and vaccine checks – not those from your airline, cruise line, or travel agent.

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How not to forget: make a list and double check it

Deanna Ford, who runs a travel planning site called The detailed traveler, has dedicated his career to helping travelers remember things. She says checklists can help.

“Don’t leave the house without a detailed route and a checklist,” she says.

What’s on the list?

COVID-19 documents. Number one on Ford’s list: COVID-19 documentation. This includes a vaccination card and copy of the card, photo ID, and a negative coronavirus test result taken within the required time window. Even if you are traveling within the country and don’t think you need it, take it anyway. You never know when the requirements may change.

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A security kit. Debora Anthony, a nurse practitioner from Dallas, has a pandemic safety kit. She makes a checklist before each trip, then checks and rechecks before she leaves. “It should include spare masks, disposable seat covers for dirty airplane seats, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and a power bank to charge your phone, so you can avoid areas to strong contact like airport wall outlets, ”she said. “Keep the kit in your hand luggage, so that it is ready every time you go to the airport.” “

Medication. “A medication checklist is a top priority as it can be difficult to replace certain medications in many destinations, especially with the supply chain disruptions associated with the pandemic,” says Jean Gobbels, chief operating officer of Medjet, an air medical transport and travel security program. He says the company has had members who forget their meds and think everything will be fine, but then land in the hospital. He recommends taking twice as much of the medicine as you might need, just in case.

If you forget something, it’s probably not the end of the world, experts say. Many hotels keep a supply of chargers and extra toiletries, just in case a guest misses them. And you can still have paperwork overnight.

“Today it’s much easier to replace a forgotten item,” says Andrew Steinberg, a Ovation Travel Group to advise.

But it’s still a problem, and you better remember everything the first time around.

Tools to remember everything before your next trip

If you have travel plans, you should check the entry requirements for your destination regularly before your trip so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises at the airport or at the border.

A reliable checklist. Chris Emery, the founder of the outdoor travel site, says it’s easy to forget something even if you are a seasoned traveler. “I forgot important things all the time when planning expeditions: tent poles, matches, passports, socks, a spare car key,” he says. The solution: a checklist with everything in it. “Checklists are the magic cure for my forgetfulness,” he adds. You can find a great checklist on the tour operator’s website Express Vacations. In addition, the TSA has a Restricted items checklist for your checked baggage.

Watertight sources. Consult primary sources such as State Department travel site, which contains the most recent visa and passport requirements for Americans. Discover a tool like Borderless from insurance company SafetyWing, which helps keep travelers informed of restrictions and entry requirements around the world.

A little extra time. Giving yourself a few extra minutes before you go can make all the difference. That’s what Warren Jaférian, the dean of international education at Endicott College, found. “As cliché as it sounds, you need to check, recheck and double check if you have all of your documents,” he says.


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