Don't forget to do these 6 things before you travel internationally
Make sure your passport isn't expiring soon
That expiration date can really sneak up on you! Make sure you've given yourself ample time to renew, some countries even require your passport to be valid for 6 months past your date of entry. The great news is, by mid-2018 you should be able to renew online!
Check if you need a Visa
I wish all airline booking websites flagged this in bold red text when you purchase your flights! Prevent the stress (and my worst nightmare) of a missed flight because you didn't realize you'd need a Visa to enter your destination. A quick google search or a browse on websites dedicated entirely to this purpose (see here and here) will give you your answer and get you prepared. You can use a visa company to apply for you, but they tend to tack on hefty fees, so I recommend visiting the country's website and applying yourself.
VIEW TRAVEL WARNINGS
Though I'm a firm believer in not allowing fear prevent me from traveling, it is wise to be aware of any potential risks - from political unrest to medical warnings. You can check the US Department of State's travel advisory of each country & enroll in the STEP program to receive alerts while you're abroad.
As an added level of safety and peace of mind for my parents, I always send them a copy of my itinerary before I depart - including flight numbers and accommodation addresses just in case.
Call your bank
Save yourself the headache and international minutes, notify your bank ahead of time where you'll be traveling to avoid accidental freezing of your funds when your bank thinks someone stole your card and used it to buy $100 worth of food in the London airport (sorry that was just me, and I was hungry).
MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCS
Your passport is one powerful pocket-sized book of fancy paper - if it's lost or stolen on your trip, you can find yourself stranded in a country until you're able to get ahold of your local embassy. Make copies of your passport, ID, and credit/debit cards - I usually just email the photos to myself, but having hard copies is best - and keep them in a separate location from your actual documents.
GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW AT HOME
I get it, you're excited to ditch everything and jet off to a new place - just make sure you get all of your ducks in a row at home by paying or scheduling your bills, arranging to have someone come water your plants + bring your mail inside, etc.
Happy travels, friends!