Travel and Money Saving Checklists
A Good Pre-departure Checklist Can Save You Money
Everyone has different wants/needs, but this is our checklist and as our plans change, we modify the checklist as needed. A good travel checklist can help you save money because it helps you remember to bring expensive items instead of wasting money by purchasing things on the fly.
Months in Advance
__Be sure to have any Anti-Malarial medication or other prescribed medications ready to take with you. We also suggest bringing a written prescription with you in case your medications are lost or damaged. Some countries need valid written prescriptions to fill an order.
__Make sure your Passport is valid for at least six months. You do not want to be traveling and have your passport expire! (Note: If you don’t have a current passport, it may take months to obtain one – ensure you take this time as a consideration.) RushMyPassport.com
__Ensure your Travel Visa’s are in order. Check with the country you are visiting to see if a Visa is mandatory.
__Research your location’s weather and plan accordingly. It actually snows in some mountainous parts of the tropics, so plan what clothing to bring. We like Windy.com to find out weather conditions around the world.
__Know if your hotel/accommodations includes air conditioning. Our modest hotel room in Fiji was not air conditioned and I thought Melissa would explode with heat! This was a checklist item she wanted to included.
__If you have medical conditions, research any medical needs you may have while traveling. Melissa’s ophthalmologist wanted her to get her eyes examined every six months while we traveled. We were pleasantly surprised at the health care affordability in French Polynesia.
Weeks to Days in Advance
__Send off any bills that will be due before your return and deposit any checks before you go.
__If you will be traveling for an extended amount of time, set up “auto-pay” for bills that need to be paid monthly like cell phone or car payments.
__Be sure your cellular provider allows “out of the country” coverage. Many plans limit your coverage when out of the country.
__Have a trusted family member pick up mail or notify post office to hold all of your mail.
__Remove perishables from the refrigerator.
__Reschedule any services that may come while you’re away, like house cleaning.
__Easy to forget, but be sure to take out your garbage.
__You may need to turn off the water to your house but we suggest keeping on the outside water to yard, if you are in a warm climate.
__Install a timer for the lights in house and arrange for a close neighbor have a key.
__Ensure you have a pet sitter or responsible party to take care of your pets and leave instructions, pet documents, vet name and contact info and medications for any unforeseen issues. Leave food and water bowls out and clean the kitty litter or yard waste.
__Scan and leave copies of your passport, drivers license, emergency list of contacts, itinerary, updated will, etc. Leave one copy at home and take the other with you in your back pack or carry-on.
__Have copies of any travel & Medivac Insurance. Insurance can be mandatory for Indonesia, Maldives, French Polynesia and other countries, so do your research. Some countries even need your DMV and/or a background check!
__Print or download your airline tickets and Itinerary. A backup in case your phone dies prior to boarding, if using a mobile app.
__Purchase a strap-type travel wallet or Money Belt to hold cash, tickets, money, credit cards, passports, visa’s etc.
__Pack an airplane approved carry-on travel back pack usually small enough for airline overhead compartment.
__Notify your credit card company of your destinations before you go. This may alleviate any questions or cancellation issues after any foreign charges.
__Bring a small amount of small cash bills. Exchange a small portion of your money at the airport into destination currency. We use the CapitalOne credit card. Their Venture One credit card is the best for travel expenses. They do not charge foreign transactions fees, they are easy to contact and they give miles for your purchases. You MUST pay off your purchases before any fees or interest are added! This is the only credit card we use and we pay it off each month.
__Purchase batteries, SD cards and/or external flash drives prior to leaving. Bring extra charging blocks and cables! These may be hard to find.
__Bring your favorite sunscreen and personal items because they may be hard to replace or find. We paid $25 for a small bottle of sunscreen in French Polynesia.
__Alcohol and spirits are VERY expensive in some countries, so be prepared for the extra expense.
__Bring multiple pairs of reading glasses! If you can’t see a map, it doesn’t do you any good!
Download All Apps, Movies, Podcasts, E-Books and Music
__Download all Apps, movies, podcast, eBooks and music for offline prior to leaving. WiFi is non-existent or very expensive in some countries and even Canada. We always pay for the ability to download offline Netflix movies, Audiobooks, eBooks, Spotify music and other items before we go.
__Don’t forget to update all your apps and software before you go. There are also a lot of apps you can use to help pack Packing Pro App
__Ensure you go offline after you update and verify that you can login and all your apps/software works offline.
__Go “old school” and purchase travel books and maps from Barnes & Noble to have as a quick reference. It’s a bummer when you cannot use any of your electronics to navigate. Hard maps and books have saved our bacon more than a few times!
A TEACHING MOMENT ABOUT HAVING BACK-UPS:
(from our adventure sailing to the South Pacific)
When we were in San Diego, we decided to purchase another iPad as a backup. Both iPads have a Nuud Lifeproof cover that allows them to be submerged up to six feet underwater. This is perfect for a salt water environment like sailing.
Before we left Nuevo Vallarta, I decided to load the newest version of our navigation software (iNavX for iPad) on Melissa’s iPad as a backup. It worked wonderful and the new version looked better than the old version (still on my iPad), so we used Melissa’s iPad for the first few days.
Unfortunately, I needed to reboot the iPad because the battery died. When the iPad re-booted, the iNavX software asked me to login using the internet. This was impossible because we were in the middle of the ocean with NO INTERNET!
What kind of navigation software asks you to login with no internet availability? I tried everything I could for over 3 hours and I still couldn’t get into our navigation software. Of course, we had paper charts, but working with the navigation software is more efficient and updated. Just then, I remembered I had the old iPad with the same software already loaded and ready to go. I booted up my iPad and it worked flawlessly.
In the middle of the ocean, using my HF (high frequency) Sailmail email, I wrote one heck of a letter to the iNavX company about the bug in their latest version release. It always helps to have backups and sometimes backups to your backups.
Check out our Next Blog Post Stop Spending Money and Fund Your Trip