Know Before You Go

I know from experience that there are so many things to research before travel that it can become overwhelming. You have to decide where you are going, how to get there, where to stay, what to do while you are there, what to pack, how to manage all of the things your little one needs, and on and on into what feels like eternity. In addition to these things, I have recently realized how important it is to be aware of what type of situation you might be stepping into when you step off the airplane.

I've always done some research on areas we are visiting. I usually check what the weather might be to make sure I pack the right clothes and I look into some of the places we might want to visit.

When we travel to other countries, I always check with the Center for Disease Control to see what vaccines my family and I might need. I've also always done a cursory check of the U.S. Department of State website to see what alerts and warnings are currently issued for the areas we are thinking of visiting. It's also a good idea to do a quick Google News search to see if there are any recent stories that you may need to be aware of.

After last week's earthquake, I've now realize what a plethora of information is available through the State Department, local U.S. Embassy and Consulate office websites, and other travel blogs. There is so much information available that it may be difficult to go through but some of it is very important. A simple Google search of "Chile Natural Disaster" brought up plenty of information (including the U.S. Embassy website shown below) to help educate me on what things I may need to prepare for. I was also able to find information about how the Chilean government has prepared and suggestions for  citizens to prepare for emergencies.

Example of emergency preparedness information available on U.S. Embassy websites
In addition to the suggestions above, there is also good information from the State Department regarding how evacuations are handled if you find yourself in a situation where that is necessary.

If you are out of the country, it is good to know where the nearest embassy is located and if you are close enough, to have directions in case you must drive or walk there. It is also good to have important phone numbers and addresses written in a location where you will easily be able to access them. In this digital age, it can be easy to forget that we may not have access to the internet or even electricity in certain situations.

What information do you research prior to travel? Do you usually go in depth with your research or just brush the surface?


Hi, my name is Erica! After having three kids in three years you can usually find me in yoga pants with dark circles under my eyes and a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. If you ever see me at the airport, I'm probably running around with a kid on my back in the Ergo while pushing another in the stroller. At times our house feels crazy and chaotic and I often struggle to keep dirty dishes out of the sink.

My friends all know that I'm the one they can turn to if they have any questions about traveling with their kids and I LOVE being that person!

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but one of my favorite things is to help people find the courage and resources to make their travel dreams come true. I am super excited to have you along for our adventures and I hope you will come to think of me as your travel savvy friend because there is nothing I would love more!

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