The countdown: one month before travel checklist
If you didn't already know, I'm off to Europe for five weeks. I actually can't believe it. The countdown has commenced, with only one month till I'm on a plane destined for halfway across the ocean. What makes it all a little more nerving is I haven't been away for longer than 3 weeks for years now. Five weeks seems like a long time to be away from my life in Melbourne, since I have clients who rely on me, and a partner I thoroughly enjoy sleeping next to every night.
This date has really crept up on me, and I'm feeling a little un-prepared. So, here's a checklist for what you need to make sure is done, one month before leaving.
ONE MONTH BEFORE TRAVEL CHECKLIST –
PRINT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Start printing out all your travel documents. Everything! All your confirmation emails and itinerary for any pre-booked flights, trains, and accommodation. Having these on hand means you can quickly whip them without a digital device. That said, I also like to email a digital copy to my emergency contact person (in my case, my very responsible boyfriend), as well as myself. That way, if everything gets stolen (oh, what a nightmare!), then all I need is an internet cafe or library and I can print it all off. Make sure you're also including an image of your passport, and all credit/debit cards you're taking.
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ITINERARY
While printing off all your documents, make sure everything is in order. Double check dates, times, and flights. If anything is wrong, no stress, just email through your changes. You'll be surprised how accommodating places are when they're told changes in advance.
WRITE A LIST
Ohh yeah baby, I do love a good list! Now it's good to start writing a list of what you're going to pack one month (or two) before you leave for a few reasons. 1, you'll have time to purchase what you don't already have. 2, you'll be able to have time to think about whether you reaaaaaally need that extra white tee. And 3, so you have time to remember those necessities that don't come to you right away (like Panadol, or chargers).
GET A MONEY CARD
Money cards are pretty damn necessary these days. I always just go with the Commonwealth Bank card – often if you ask, they can waver the sign up fee. Try to put together a budget, and transfer across your money into the card.
Although electronic money is where the future lies (depending on the country(s) you're travelling to), it never hurts to have cash on you! I like to make sure I have cash for the country I'm arriving in, and my home currency for when I come home. You don't want to be stuck at the airport wanting to catch the shuttle bus into the city when, oh no, they don't take cards. Seriously, save yourself the trouble!
GET TRAVEL INSURANCE, IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY
Now, it's a good idea to get travel insurance as soon as you book your flights. This means if something happens to your flights, even before you leave, you're covered! But I'm usually not that organised. So often I leave it till the month before. I like to use Cover More, I find they offer the most back when it comes to electronics (e.g. my beloved camera, laptop and phone).
NOTIFY YOUR BANK
It goes something like this:
"Yo, bank, I'm going overseas for 5 weeks, please don't cancel my cards when I use them!"
"Ok, we'll add a comment onto your account. Have a blast!"
"Oh, I will!"
UNLOCK YOUR PHONE
If you want to use a SIM card when you're overseas, you're going to have to unlock your phone. This is super simple, and as illegal as it sounds, it doesn't require hacking skills and youtube tutorials. You just have to call your service provider, in my case Telstra, and ask them to unlock your phone. Turned out, my phone came unlocked. Easy peasy.
RESEARCH YOUR FIRST CITY
It helps to know exactly how you'll get from the airport, to your hotel/hostel once you arrive. This saves you from stressing out, because let's face it, you'll be absolutely exhausted after the flight. I like to write it down, so I'm prepared, and can spend as little time as possible lost once I land.
DOWNLOAD OR UPDATE YOUR OFFLINE MAPS
Offline Google maps are a god-send. They mean you don't need to carry a travel guide, or paper maps around with you. Instead, it's all on your phone, ready to use whether you have internet or not.
Have I missed anything? What do you like to make sure is done one month before travel?