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Pre-Trip Preparations


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Pre-Trip Preparations
While going for a long trip, one has to worry about many things.  These may be, taking care of their pets in their absence, security of the house, checking mails, etc.  One can make an endless list of things to be done before and during their absence.  Still there are some things that one must take care of before going for a long trip.  These to-do things can be classified as following:
As soon as you plan your trip :
One or two weeks before your trip :
Few days before your Trip :
Before leaving :

As soon as you plan your trip :

Start making travel arrangements including flights, hotel bookings, hospital appointments, etc.
If you already have a passport, check it won’t expire during the trip.  If you don’t have one, begin processing now.
Start processing for visa to avoid further problems.
See if you have up-to-date vaccinations and check if the country you are visiting requires you to get vaccinated for certain diseases, as some of the vaccines do take time to begin working.
Look for currency exchange rates to assess your budget and to get a better exchange.
Check for your financial status.  If you don’t have much funds in your bank start arranging for the same.  Also, confirm your daily spending limits on your ATM cards.
Check the expiry date of your cards, passports, identification cards, etc.
If possible, arrange for somebody to look after your house when you are away.  If it is not possible, then arrange for your pets to be boarded in a kennel, stop the newspaper or any other magazines that normally come with mail, arrange for the mail to be held at the post office.
Make arrangements for lawn maintenance including leaf raking, snow removal, watering plants, etc.
Make sure your luggage holders, backpacks, etc., are in good condition, so that they should not create a problem while abroad.  Buy some new equipment if you don’t have one in good condition.
Try exposing yourselves to the kind of food you might be having while abroad so as to get used to it.
Make an appointment for your pre-departure physical examination, closer to the date of departure if possible.

One or two weeks before your trip :

Confirm all your travel arrangements and appointments via phone, email, or fax.
Confirm the arrangements made for your house maintenance in your absence.
Confirm the security checks of your house.  Make sure that all windows and doors are in good condition and can be locked securely.
Confirm the battery power for your security appliances.
Start keeping the valuables and important documents in safety lockers.
Give final touchups to your shopping.
Start exchanging currency and obtain the traveler’s checks if you don’t have already.
Start arranging for a translated version of all your documents in the local language of your destination.
See if you need any prescription medications to be filled out required during the travel.  Get an extra filling if needed.

Few days before your Trip :

Start packing your travel kit.  Make sure all the documents are in order.  Make multiple copies of all the documents you are required to take along with the translated versions.
Start reducing the number of perishable items.
Inform the local police or the security company about the time period of your absence.  Also, inform them of any arrangements you have made, if any, to look after your house.
Start practicing for the sleeping habits for the destination country.
Make arrangements for traveling to and from the airport.
Pay any necessary bills that will expire while you are away.

Before leaving :

Get a final go through of all the documents and the order they are kept in.
Get a final verification of all the arrangements you made for your travel including appointments, hotel reservations, etc.
Confirm about the travel arrangements made while going to and coming from airport.
If you are unable to arrange a house-sitter, adjust the refrigerator to the coolest setting, turn the AC, water heater, furnace off or to the lowest settings.
Unplug all the electronic items.
Confirm the windows and doors are locked firmly.
Confirm that you have an easy access to all you important documents.
Leave early for the airport to have a tension-free journey.  Usually, for international flights 3 plus hours is the time required.
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