Travel Prep

Getting you trip ready and prepared for an Unearthed adventure with our tips and tricks. 

Step 1. Travel Ready

TIP #1

If you have a passport, make sure it has at least 6 months validity beyond your planned visit. Some countries require it.

      Get your passport!


Start the process early. We recommend at least 12 weeks before departure. You’re thinking, “wait, doesn’t it only take 4-6 weeks to get a passport?” True, it takes that long to receive your passport, but only once you’ve applied. The application itself can require some work, so give yourself a buffer. The last thing you want to be doing one week from departure is stressing if you’ll get it on time.

      Doctor Visit for Vaccinations


We recommend you see your primary care physician to discuss your trip and find out if you need any vaccinations.  Before your visit, consult the Travel’s Health section of the CDC to see what vaccinations they advise or require getting for your destination.  Use the link below to find the most up to date information from the CDC.  

      Learn Local Weather & Customs


You know yourself better than anyone, so if you like wearing sweaters in 80-degree weather be prepared and pack for how you’d deal with weather and seasons in your home town.

There’s no need to be fluent in Vietnamese or Spanish, but learning how to say ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ is a big part of traveling responsibly. Being polite goes a long way in new places and doing it with a smile goes even further.  Lonely Planet has a collection of travel related content to help you get to know where you’re headed!

Step 2. Packing List

Each trip will require destination-specific items. However, here are a few things every good traveler brings no matter where they go.  A full detailed packing checklist will be emailed to you upon enrollment to one of our programs.  

TIP #2

Don't break new shoes

in on a trip and get good pairs of hiking socks.

Blisters are no fun.

Step 3. Packing Bags

      How To Pack Carry-On


Keep it simple. General rule is one pair of extra clothes and only what you need on the plane.  Just keep it light. Remember, you have to carry your big backpack around too. 

      How To Pack Large Backpack

Lay out all of the things you plan to take on your bed. Then, organize it by weight, grouping small items (such as sunblock and soap) in ziplock bags. Always store food and liquid in bags to prevent spills. Trust us on this; it’s not pleasant sleeping in a wet sleeping bag after a long haul flight. When loading your pack, be sure to follow distribution guidelines. 

TIP #3

Give your bag a trial run. If you can't lug it around the house, you need to leave some items behind.




Do I need to have any vaccinations? 

Unearthed recommends you seek professional medical advice regarding vaccinations well in advance of your departure date. The Traveler’s Health section of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have been providing expert advice to travelers for many years. The CDC not only provide you with general health advice for traveling overseas, but they will also provide vaccination recommendations specific to your destination. You can also seek advice regarding vaccinations from a travel clinic specifically experienced giving travel health advice.

Do I need to organize a visa before departure? 

Depending on your destination and type of passport, you may need to obtain a visa for your trip. It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain the appropriate visa before departure. Visa information for U.S. passport holders can be found on the U.S. Department of State website by searching for your destination, then opening the Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements. If you are not traveling on a U.S. passport, please visit the destination Embassy/Consulate website to check the immigration formalities that relate to your passport.

Is my insurance covered? 

Yep—included in every Unearthed Program is our premium, comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Our policy covers emergency evacuation, cancellation due to injury or illness prior to departure, medical assistance for injury or illness while overseas and also provides access to a global network of 24-hour medical services and advice. Insurance limits and policy coverage details are available at Core Travel Insurance.

Should I change my money into the local currency before departure? 

Unearthed will provide advice to travelers on the best options for carrying currency or accessing personal funds while overseas. The advice is dependent on the country the team is traveling to. For some destinations, it is best to carry U.S. dollars and change to the local currency upon arrival. For other destinations it may be easier to obtain foreign currency prior to travel or to withdraw cash from a cash passport or ATM card. As always, Unearthed will be there to guide you along the way.

Should I learn the local language? 

While it helps to brush up on key phrases in your destination’s local language, you certainly don’t need to become fluent. Though English is often widely-recognized (particularly in the larger cities), you’ll be amazed at how well you can communicate non-verbally if need be.

What happens if I get injured or ill prior to departure? 

If you have to cancel your trip due to injury or medical reasons, rest-up because your insurance has you covered. *Non-medical related cancellations excluded; check policy for details.

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