Something many people may not realize is that your passport should be more than six months within its expiration date. So check out your passport's expiration date and have anyone who is traveling with you do the same.
2. Do you need a visa? - Visa requirements are getting less strict, but some countries such as China and others in Southeast Asia still require visas. Getting a visa means sending your passport to the country's embassy or acquiring it at the border. Be sure to know if you need a visa and how to obtain it, or it can mess up your whole trip.
3. Fine print – What are cancellation requirements and fees. You do not want to be stuck with money down the drain for not reading or knowing an airline's, hotel's or tour's cancellation policy. Read the fine print.
4. Travel Insurance – Sometimes travel insurance is almost as expensive as a ticket or tour itself. Determine if it is really necessary. I always have travel insurance for health through a company called Squaremouth, but given the high cost of insuring other aspects of my travel, I don't bother.
5. Airline luggage allowances – Since all airlines are different, be sure to determine what your carrier/s charge. It may be worth it to pay for an extra bag, if the carrier you are flying on limits you to 15 kilos. (Many small carriers in Southeast Asia do.) And if you plan to have hotels do your wash, at $4 for a pair of trousers or woman's long pants, the cost could easily pay for an extra bag or extra poundage allowance.
If you have a traveler's tip, post it below. Happy travels, Gloria