Pre Travel Checklist
So while I have no real plan of my itinerary and dates when travelling, I did do a checklist before leaving, which I thought some people may find useful if planning a round the world trip.
When I first did this list it seemed so daunting; how simply one bullet point would change your whole life “hand work notice in”. However once you’ve made the decision that you’re going travelling, the rest really does follow.
The time frames really are up to you. I know some people that book their first plane ticket before anything else and use that as focus point and arrange everything around that date. I personally wanted to make sure that I did quit my job, hand my notice in on my flat first (basically that I didn’t bottle it), then book my first flight.
A few months before leaving
Home life/house stuff:
- Talk to parents/friends/housemate about your decision
- Hand work notice in (needs to be at least 1 month)
- Hand flat notice in (needs to be at least 1 month)
- Work out what items to sell, lend out or store. Start asking about who needs what (I set up a spreadsheet for this)
- Start saving more than usual! Really need that £4 cup of coffee today? That’s more than the price of a hostel for one night in some places!
Travel stuff (still a ballache but slightly more fun):
- Make sure passport is in date!
- Have a look at the money you have saved, then info on the net and see if this is realistic to where you think you may go
- Look at what vaccinations are needed. Book an appointment at local GP and they will tell you. Go at least 8 weeks before leaving, ideally 10-12 weeks (trust me, stuff can sometimes go wrong!)
- Look at what visas are needed for visiting countries in the area you’re heading to first
- Look at working visas, what age do you need to be, requirements etc
- Read various blogs/websites to get an idea of what you need to take and do before hand (like this checklist!)
- Buy a good rucksack that will last (I’m a fan of Osprey and Tortuga but there are many others out there)
- Buy travel items/accessories/clothes
- Look at what credit/debit cards are good for using abroad and sign up for these
1-4 weeks before leaving
Home life/house stuff:
- Go to dentist and have a check up, allowing enough time if you need any work doing
- Sort out financial documents, bank statements etc shred what you don’t need. Organise what you do need and let parents know what’s what
- Move your items out if you need to/storage etc
- Use up various store gift cards you have from birthdays/xmas etc (sell to mates, or buy travel items!)
- Change postal/billing address at your banks and online with companies such as Amazon etc
- Tell debit/credit card companies you’re going abroad
- Cancel utilities & direct debits (Electric, gas, water, broadband, TV Licence, home insurance, council tax, Netflix and mobile contract)
- Forward postal mail if need by setting up with Royal Mail
- Work out where you’ll be putting your savings while you’re away so easy access to spend when you want to do another skydive!
- Give mates other contact details they may not usually use (if you’re not going to be using your usual mobile number, then maybe Skype, email etc)
- Start arranging to see friends/family that live in other cities to say bye
- Sell your items on Gumtree, eBay, classifieds, to mates etc
- Ensure you know all login details for online banking, email, Skype, iCloud, Dropbox etc
- Update CV if you’re going to be applying for jobs abroad
- Ensure mobile phone is unlocked for all networks
- Look at getting blog up and running
- Book first plane ticket
- Book first few nights accommodation
- Buy travel insurance (don’t go without!)
- Try out anything you got new for travelling now, not before you land in another country. Does it work? Do you know how to use it?
- Sign up for sites such as couchsurfing, workanywhere etc
- Photocopy documents such as passport
- Have online version also of documents on Dropbox, Google Drive, emailed to yourself etc and maybe also on encrypted USB stick
- Work out your backup solution for photos when travelling
- Pack your backpack. See what fits, what doesn’t, what you can lose, what else you need to buy. Also weigh it and wear it!
- Break in any boots/trainers you get
- Get foreign currency for first country
- Write down useful numbers that may be needed if credit cards are stolen, if you need to contact your insurance company etc
What didn’t I factor into this list? Read here.