Packing And Pre-Travel Tips: Part I

My trip to New Zealand will be here soon.

My head is spinning with all the details of the trip.

I’ve traveled a lot in my lifetime, so I thought I’d share a few pre-travel and packing tips with you.

Obviously, what you pack will be determined by where you’re going and what weather is expected.

But, for ALL trips there are some common travel tips.

For my trip, I also need to take into consideration the following “complications” ….

•  I’ll be experiencing every type of weather at some point during the trip (snow, rain, blazing sun).

•  I’ll be working in several locations throughout the country.

As a photographer, I’ll need my gear, technology, back-ups to the technology I take, and back-up gear.

•  My trip is a “long” trip.  Most of my business trips last for a few days to a week.

This trip will be longer which adds another level of potential complications.

Here are a few, very general, Pre-TRAVEL TIPS I thought I’d pass along:

•  International travel has more travel “to dos” than domestic travel.  

Is your passport current?

Do you understand the history and current culture of the country you’re traveling to?  (You don’t want to be the stereotypical, ignorant, American who thinks the world revolves around YOU, do you?)

What is necessary in terms of converting currency?

Do you need any special immunizations?

Is your bank/credit card company aware you’re traveling?  If not, they’ll likely freeze your account the first time they see an international charge.  They do this for fraud protection.

Will your driver’s license be legal in the country you’re traveling to?

•  If possible, have someone house sit (and pet sit!) for you while you’re gone.

It makes your home safer while you’re away, and you’ll have less to worry about if you know someone is there to handle anything that comes up.

(Like broken sprinklers shooting into the air like fire hydrants, package deliveries, ear rubs for your pet, etc., etc.)

If the house sitter is also pet sitting, make sure you have enough pet food available for the entire time you’ll be gone.

•  Have the post office turn off your mail delivery.

Yes, I do this even when I have a house sitter.  It’s one less thing for the house sitter to deal with.

I have the post office deliver all the accumulated mail on my first day home.

(The house sitter can handle any UPS/FEDEX deliveries.)

•  Pre-pay any bills that will be due during the time you’re gone.

(Unless they’re already on automatic payment.)

•  Make sure you have your medications with you.

Have enough of each of them to get you through the duration of your trip plus one additional week “just in case.”  

(Drugstores can ask your insurance for a “vacation renewal” if you need a prescription prior to the date it would normally be renewed.)

Do NOT “check” any medications … carry them with you.

What if your luggage is delayed or stolen?

Or, what if someone steals your medication?

I learned this lesson the hard way several years ago.  I spent half of a day in Hawaii talking to the police, airline personnel, my doctor, and various pharmacies because pain medication was stolen out of my checked luggage.  (I had just recently had surgery.)

**  Some countries require a letter from your doctor if you’re bringing prescription medications into the country.  Check out the rules for where you’ll be going prior to travel! **

•  Talk to your cell phone provider regarding coverage if you’re going to be out of the country.

•  See your doctor about getting some “just in case” prescriptions to have with you in case you become ill.

(This can save you SO much time and misery if you catch “airplane germs” and find yourself in a foreign country, sick, and with no doctor.)

•  Travel insurance is ALWAYS a good idea.

•  Make sure you have boarding passes, your itinerary, and any/all confirmation numbers with you before you depart.

•  Make sure someone you trust has a copy of your passport and any credit cards/important documents you have with you.

If they get stolen it will make it so much faster and easier to “fix” if you can easily access all that information to report.

•  If you’re taking a laptop/tablet with you, back it up prior to traveling.

Next week, I’ll share Part II of this post where I’ll discuss a few simple packing tips to make your traveling life so much easier!

2 Responses to “Packing And Pre-Travel Tips: Part I”

  1. Judi

    I never thought about driving in other countries. That’s an interesting thought.

    The cell phone situation really varies from country to country and can take some time to figure out. Also, don’t forget about power adapters!

    • Suzanne

      Drivers license – check!
      Cell phone arrangements – check!
      Power adapters – check!

      : )


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