So far in my lifetime, Iâ€™ve traveled to 33 countries, six of them more than once, and to 36 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. To avoid forgetting something I needed to do before leaving or to require while away, I developed a travel checklist. Perhaps it might be useful to you.
1.Â Do well ahead
Make reservations or other arrangements
___ Tour group
___ Hotel or other place to stay
___ Transportation, e.g., plane, train, car rental, taxi
Get/renew documents, as needed, such as,
___ Passport. See http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/forms/
___ Visa(s). Get these from the consulate of the country you are visiting.
Note: Many companies not affiliated with the U.S. Government provide passport and visa services.
Address medical needs that may be required or recommended for the location where you are traveling
___ Get shots and/or medication as required or recommended. A doctor or a nurse at a Travel Clinic can advise you if shots or other medication are required or recommended for the area where you plan to travel.
___ Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers Health website.
Check the size, condition and weight of luggage. If damaged or very heavy, get a new, lightweight piece
2.Â Notify, as needed
___ Those at your workplace who need to know, such as your supervisor
___ Pet, yard maintenance, and/or house sitter
3.Â Check to see if the plugs of your devices that will need charging during the trip fit the outlets in the country where you will be traveling. Obtain adapter plugs and surge protection as needed.
Too many electronic devices that need daily charging and too few plugs in your hotel room? As well as providing surge protection around the world, this Universal Surge Protector Strip has five sockets for charging through one plug. Since countries have different outlets, you may also need an adapter plug if you are traveling abroad.
4.Â Do 1-4 weeks prior to departure
Send an itinerary to those who need to know
___ Include relatives, supervisor, landlord, and house and/or pet sitters.
Notify, as needed
___ Post office to hold mail during your absence
___ Newspaper publisher to hold delivery of newspaper while you are gone or make arrangements for someone to pick it up
___ Cleaning, grass-cutting, or other household services. Give directions on what the service should do, such as changing the dates of service or suspending them while you are gone.
Ensure that you will have proper medications and first aid supplies for the trip and purchase as needed.
Check that you have a working camera battery and/or purchase one if required.
5.Â Do week of departure
Ensure you will have access to money while you are gone
___ Notify credit/debit card companies where you might use your credit card(s) and when you will be gone. This is especially important if going abroad because your credit purchase might be rejected if you have not done this.
Begin packing. Donâ€™t forget:
___ Comfortable clothing appropriate to the season and the activities, including: Coat, jacket, sweater, rainwear, hat, tops, pants (slacks, shorts), swimwear, socks, shoes, underwear, pajamas
___ Toiletries, including:
- Shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, cosmetics, razor
- Travel alarm clock that shows time both at home and travel location.
- Medication(s), vitamins. Put them in an easy-to-find location that you will have access to throughout the trip, such as a purse or briefcase.
- Travel documents, including passport, visa, travel itinerary, instructions concerning pickup upon arrival. Put them in an easy-to-find location that you will have access to throughout the trip, such as a purse or briefcase.
___ Reading materials, crossword puzzles or other activities you can quietly do while traveling to your destination.
6.Â Do two days prior to departure
___ Obtain the amount of cash you are taking, and put it in your wallet or other case you use to carry money
___ Water plants. If you own a houseplant watering device, fill its containers and hook up to the plant. Or advise house sitter on plant-watering requirements.
___ Lock confidential household files
___ Set up light timer devices
___ Charge electronic devices that you will be taking, including iPod, Kindle, cell phone, camera batteries.
___ If you are traveling for work, check that you have the information and items, such as presentations,you will need when you arrive at your destination.
___ If you are flying to/from your destination, ensure that travel size, 3-ounce containers you are carrying on board with you are in a clear, zippered plastic bag
___ If traveling by car, ensure the car is in good condition and the gas tank is full.
___ If traveling abroad, print out a currency converter
6.Â Do within 24 hours of departure
___ Check transportation arrangements for any changes to departure plans
___ Turn down/off thermostat to save energy
7. Do while on trip
___ Explore, learn, have a good time!
Great Wall of China on August 31, 2001. Photo by Pamela J. Sandborg
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. The Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.