The simple, straight-forward checklist of the most important stuff. Before you race off, give this a once over just to make sure you haven't forgotten something important.
- Passport: Going international? You need this – check the expiry date as you need at least 6 months validity, also make sure you have blank pages for vista stamps.
- Where?: Where do you want to go? Do you have a dream destination in mind, someplace you’ve always wanted to go? If not grab some magazines, check out some travel guides or surf the Internet.
- Visas: Check if the countries you are going to need visas and give yourself time. For some countries you will need anywhere from 1 week to several months to receive a Visa.
- Health & Shots: Make sure your shots are up-to-date and check if you need to be worried about Malaria, Dengue or anything else.
- Tickets: Doing this several months in advance can save you money, don’t wait till the last minute to get your tickets.
- Photocopies: Photocopy your passport, visa, credit cards, airplane ticket and any other important documents. Leave one copy at home (with someone you can trust), take one with you. For added safety – scan the documents and e-mail them to yourself so you have a backup online.
- Packing: Make sure you have everything you need – but pack light. Pack up everything you want to take. Now unpack it and throw away about half of it!
- Close up the House: Make sure the bills are paid while you are gone. Fido: arrange for someone to take care of the dogs, cats, birds… What about mail – if you pile up in the mailbox it can be signal to thieves that you are gone.
- Contacts: Let the important people know that you will be gone so they don’t worry. For safety, someone should always know where you are going. Also have some way for people to get in touch with you in an emergency – e-mail works great.
- Have Fun!