Where is my check list?

Eeeek, I’m off overseas within days!  Where is my check list?

  1. Check that passport won’t expire within the next 6 months
  2. Flight booked
  3. Hotels booked in country of destination
  4. Organised currency.
  5. Dog booked into boarding kennels.

 Tick of those obvious things but now consider safety.

  1. Go to the Smartraveller website – just Google it and the URL will quickly appear.  You will then be able to register for service provided by the Australian Government. By providing details of where you are going and when you will be here plus at home contacts you can be confident that help will be available should the unforseen happen and you need assistance.  To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, the Department maintains travel advisories and bulletins for more than 150 destinations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's travel advice provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas, enabling you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel. If you are living or travelling overseas it is recommend that you subscribe to receive free automatic email notification so that you can ensure that you have the latest information.
  2. One of the questions that you will be asked will be about travel insurance. It is often said and believed by most that if you can’t afford to take out travel insurance you really can’t afford to travel.  So travel insurance needs to be on your check list.
  3. Don’t rely just on the travel advisories and bulletins; do your own research.  Read what you can about your destination – second hand book shops often have good travel books at a minimal cost.  Make use of the Internet.  Talk to friends who have been there before.  If you know a little about the country and its customs it is going to be a lot more fun but research will also let you know who to contact if in need of advice or help while in that country.
  4. When you arrive at a hotel ask for advice on any areas you should avoid or things you should avoid doing.
  5. Are all the medications you plan to carry still in original containers/packages and clearly mark with contents and your name?  Do you have prescriptions for all those medication to take with you.   Make a copy of the prescriptions and pack them in a different bag.  Make sure you have sufficient medication for the full time you plan to be away and then some in case of unexpected delays in flights etc. Keep your medication in your hand luggage.
  6. How do you plan to carry your passport, most important papers and money or debit card?  The most secure would seem to be a pouch that you can wear on a cord around your neck. Make copies of the most important documents and pack them in a different bag.
  7. Notify your bank that you will be overseas and what card/s you plan to have with you. Prepay as much as you can to minimise the amount you will need to access while overseas.  Don’t forget enough to satisfy those shopping urges.
  8. If you plan to use Internet Cafes while overseas are you aware that you must log off every time you finish with a computer.  Do not send emails containing details such as bank account numbers etc.  [Don’t do that at home either!]
  9. Is all your baggage well labelled?  Carry everything you can’t manage without in your hand luggage just in case the terrible happens and your luggage is delayed (I can’t bring myself to say lost!)

Other things you need to do

  1. Notify your neighbours.
  2. Make arrangement for collection of papers and mail.  These days we don‘t have to cancel milkman or baker.  Remember the good old days?
  3. Preset a light to come on at night, maybe even leave a radio on.
  4. Turn off hot water, disconnect all electrical appliances.  Before deciding to turn off the power  think about the refrigerator.  Not worth emptying it if you are only going to be a way for a couple of weeks.
  5. Pre pay any bills that fall due while you are away.  If you are going to be away for a longer time organise some way of having bills paid while you are away.  Perhaps direct debit.
  6. Water you precious garden well, add water crystals to pot plants and mulch as much as possible.  Wonderful if you can arrange for a neighbour to keep an eye on your garden.  Useful for them to also have a key to your house in case of emergency.
  7. If you receive a payment from Centrelink make sure they have been advised that you will be overseas.  Also remember to notify them when you come back because after 3 months your entitlements will be reduced.
  8. Don’t forget to pack the charger for your camera and phone, spare batteries and extra memory cards. You may also need a power adapter.
  9. Most important leave your itinerary and contact details with your family.
  10. This is the most important – have a wonderful time travelling.