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Checklist for Planning and Preparing for Your Trip
Print this page and cross stuff off as you go, or just bookmark it (hit CTRL-D) and come back as often as you need.
- Destinations. Figure out where you want to go. What are the places you've always wanted to visit? Grab some travel magazines, surf some online sites, hit the bookstore and library for travel guides and books.
- Visas. Once you know where you're going, figure out visa requirements for individual countries and get the ones you need.
- Health & shots. If you need malaria, rabies or any of that, find out what you need and get it taken care of. Click here for info.
- Plane/RTW tickets. It's best to do this about 2 months in advance. Head into our TripPlanner to sort out your itinerary. Click here to get your tickets underway.
- Pack. Everything you want to take, pack it up. Then unpack it, take away about half, and pack again. Have a friend come over and help narrow it down you'll be amazed at how much you can leave at home. The less you take, the less you'll have to carry/worry about. Remember you can only wear one set of clothes at a time, so taking several sets means you'll be carrying them most of the time. Useful items include:
- Plastic bin liners, to put clothes in inside your pack.
- A reel of fishing line, strong and light for tying things (mozzie nets and a whole range of other unexpected stuff).
- Cigarette lighter for camp fires, candles, mozzie coils.
- Bowl and spoon for camping and general snacks.
- Bills, taxes, mail, etc. Yes, all of life's annoying inevitablities. Decide if you're going to keep your place and your car, or how you will make payments for each while you're away. Arrange for someone to collect your mail, set up a forwarding address, or get a P.O. box. Don't forget tax-time: do them before you leave, file for extensions, hire an accountant or tax preparer to take care of them, or see if you can do them online from the road.
- Pets. Arrange for someone to feed the cat, walk the dog, tie the kangaroo down, etc.
- Photocopies. Make copies of your passport, visas, other ID, etc. Leave one copy at home, with someone you trust; take the other with you.
- Connections. Contact people you know, like relatives, friends, pen pals, BootsnAll members, etc. Make sure they know what you're up to and you never know, they might have some ideas or connections for you too ("Oh, you're going to Paris? My second cousin lives there, let me give you his number!).
- Set up an email address with a free web-based email account such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail. This way you can check and write email on the road, from any computer.
- Email a list of your bookmarks (including your ticket company, airlines, Visa, Amex, embassy links, etc.) to yourself.
- Scan your passport, visa, other ID, etc. and e-mail it to yourself so you always have a digital copy of these things in your inbox.
- Update your online address book.
- Set up an email auto-responder that tells people you are away for a while.