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Top three things to check before planning a vacation.

I'll be honest - I love a great getaway, whether it's just a quick weekend escape or an extended stay to get a break from it all. And as a person who has been travelling since childhood, I think it's safe to say that I have a lot of relevant experience when it comes to travel safety. While some travel-related tasks are things I perceive as common sense, there are a few key things that may not be second-nature to those who don't travel very often but need to be considered before planning a trip.

Do I need a visa to go there? Some of us have heard about the Passport Index but personally, knowing how powerful your passport is tends to be mainly for bragging rights. While VisaHQ has some fairly up-to-date information on country-specific visa needs, You should always check with the embassy or consulate of your destination and with your country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out about visa requirements.

Can I get a visa on arrival (VOA)? Your most up-to-date information on this will always be with the embassy or consulate of your destination, but be sure to keep your home Ministry of Foreign Affairs on speed dial in case there's no ready answer from them.

What do I need to get a visa for my trip? If you do need a visa in advance, pick up a form from your destination's local embassy and see what you need to apply for your visa. If you are eligible for visa on arrival, make sure that you have checked with the embassay and that whatever you need for your VOA is packed in your carry-on or personal bag.

Let's face facts: everyone could use a break from the usual scenery but making sure you can get to your desired destination is the first on the list of priorities. Once you make sure you know what you need to actually get there, then you can enjoy your getaways with ease.

Happy Travels!

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