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Checklist For Everything You Need To Do Before Your Trip

Sep 6, 2007
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -St. Augustine

There are a lot of considerations which need to be taken care of prior to going away on a trip. If it is a short trip you obviously need to worry less about your day to day affairs but for longer extended trips there is more that needs to be taken care off lest you return home to an eviction notice and unpaid bill reminders.

For some, planning a trip is half the fun while others wish that someone else could take care of it for them. So for those who fall into the latter group I have assembled together a checklist of the things that I've had to deal with in planning an overseas trip.

1. Organizing Your Visa's If Needed
Visas can be a bureaucratic mind field. It can be costly and take days for it to get organized. So it is wise to know before you leave whether or not your intended country you wish to visit requires a visa upon entry.

I know for me I won't be needing any visas for my visit to Hong Kong, Europe and the USA but this could be different depending on which country of origin you come from. I will also be staying in each place for no longer than 2 months which satisfies their requirements. If you are traveling it is wise to check the countries visa conditions just to be sure. You can find out more information from your travel agent or contact the countries embassy or consulate.

2. Getting Immunized
Getting health shots is something many travelers simply ignore or neglect to do prior to their trip. I know I have traveled overseas without getting immunized before and I came back fine without any problems. But it's a risk I probably wouldn't want to take again. The sooner you get your rounds of immunizations started the better, so it is wise that once you have booked your tickets you should make a visit to your local GP and discuss your immunization needs relevant to where you are intending on go.

There are many private health clinics which specialize on providing travel health advice. Personally I think they are overpriced and aren't worth going to considering they have a vested interest in selling you vaccinations whether or not you really need them. Your family doctor is more than capable of helping you out with your immunizations and they will most likely give you better advice as they have your medical history.

The good thing is that many of the shots you need will last you a very long time and others will just be boosters to supplant what you had taken in your childhood days.

3. Organize Travel Insurance
It goes without saying that getting travel insurance is a wise investment to take out on your health and well being. The trip of a lifetime could turn into a journey to hell without adequate insurance. Cancellations, lost luggage, accidents and illnesses can all ruin your dream holiday. Some countries have very expensive medical care and if you get yourself into trouble and require medical care it can really cost you considerably if you hadn't taken out insurance.

Policies and fine print vary from one company to another so its something that you don't want to leave till the last minute. Buying the policy from your travel agent or relying on the policy provided by your credit card company are not usually wise as it may not cover you for the things that you need.

It is worth taking a look and comparing a few policies to determine which one is most suitable for your needs. Remember, it's bad enough having your holiday spoiled. It's even worse to be faced with a huge bill afterwards. The wise say, if you can't afford travel insurance you can't afford the trip.

4. Take Care Of Your Responsibilities While Away
Just because you have taken off on a trip doesn't mean bills and mail cease. For shorter trips this will be less of a concern but for longer travels it's important to consider how your bills and mail will be taken care off. A good idea is to leave it to someone who is responsible that you can trust to pay your bills while you are away. Usually this will be a family member. With the growing use of online banking you can also setup automatic bill payments while you are away.

If you have pets this is a good time to consider how they will be taken care off. Will you leave them with friends or family. You want your holiday to be stress free and knowing that everything is being taken care off at home will provide a good sense of relief.

5. Consider Ways To Stay Connected To Friends And Family While Abroad
For most people staying connected to love ones back home is an important consideration while abroad unless of course they happen to be traveling with you at the time. Since technology has made our lives so much more connected, it is a great way to also utilize it.

* Get a Free Email Account: While overseas you are most likely going to be relying on Internet cafes to stay connected. The easiest way to do this is by signing up to one of the many free email account providers as this means you can easily stay in touch using any computer with a browser. If you haven't already got a free account providers like Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail are great options to consider. If you already have a free email account its also worth considering whether or not is would be prudent to setup an email just for your trip considering you will be logging into terminals which may not have the same security protection as you would at home. At least if your email account is hijacked its a throw away account which doesn't have any sentimental cost to you.

What is also great about these free email accounts is that you can scan all your important documents like passports, itineraries etc and email them to yourself. That way you will have a backup copy of all your important information that can be easily accessed should you need it.

* Open a Skype account: If fiddling with phone cards and using public phones isn't something you relish then consider getting a Skype account and make calls through an Internet connection. While at the internet cafe you can make calls back home while answering your emails at the same time. Most Internet cafes will provide headphones to use with Skype as it is now very popular amongst the backpacking circuit but if you are concerned you can always purchase an inexpensive headphone that can be used with the Skype software.

* Keep your bookmarks online: If you have a lot of favorite sites you like to visit you can always transfer your bookmarks to one of the online providers. That way no matter which computer you use, you will have access to your favorite sites at the touch of a finger. One of the more popular online book marking site is del.icio.us.
About the Author
Being 4 Eva Young is not about age, it's about attitude. 4 Eva Young is dedicated to inspire, motivate and encourage anyone who is young at heart to live a life of significance filled with peace, joy, and contentment. For more information visit: http://www.4evayoung.com
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