We all travel a lot more now than our ancestors did. We travel all over the world and only think of the jet lag, and not the vast distances we cover. Our world has become smaller and more reachable. And this is a good thing. It helps us to understand different cultures, different people with different ways of living and working. But there are a few essentials you should always check before setting off. 1. It may seem obvious, but many people don’t bother to find out the most basic things about the country they will travel to. You should do this to avoid surprise or disappointment. 2. Check on the kind of weather you will find where you are going. If you live in Florida and travel to northern Greenland, you will be in for a shock unless you know that much colder weather is normal there. 3. Be sure that the medical and general insurance coverage you have (you do have, don’t you?) is adequate for your destination. 4. Do you have all the paperwork and documentation required for your trip? If not, get it! 5. Are there any diseases you will need immunization against where you are going? Check and find out before getting exposed. 6. If you plan on driving in the place you intend to travel to, check that you have an acceptable license. You may need an international driving license, for example. And are you familiar with the local driving laws where you are going? If not, become familiar, fast. 7. Finally, the most obvious one of all: is your passport up to date? And if not, do you have enough time to renew it before you set off? You’d be surprised, amazed even, at how many people get this one wrong.