When you make the decision to set off on a round the world trip you’ll start to realise how much there is to do before you depart! It’s an exciting time as you start to realise your departure date is creeping closer, however print out my check list below to ensure you don’t forget to deal with anything before you depart.
1. Check your passport – to enter most countries you need at least 6 months left to run on your passport from your date of entry, if you don’t have this, apply for a new one.
2. Check visa requirements – for some countries you may need to apply for a visa before you depart, or you may be able to get a visa on the border, or in another country along the way.
3. Passport photos – get extra passport photos printed. When obtaining a visa on the border most countries will want at least 1 passport photo.
4. Let the tax authorities and other government bodies know your plans – let them know your new contact address (i.e. redirect your mail to your relatives or friends so they can keep an eye on any important mail for you – remember to ask their permission first!), also don’t forget to notify the student loans company (if relevant).
5. Buy travel insurance – print a copy to store in your backpack and keep a copy on your emails.
6. Obtain a travel friendly bank account / visa card – research bank accounts / debit cards that don’t charge ATM fees abroad as these will add up very quickly on a long trip. Less money for the bank = more money for you!
7. Notify your bank(s) that you are travelling abroad – some banks may freeze your funds if they are not aware you are travelling abroad and they see money being withdrawn in India, China, and Vietnam!
8. Obtain your vaccinations and malaria tablets – some vaccinations are required months in advance, and some are compulsory for entry into certain countries (i.e. yellow fever).
9. Check your mobile and contract – consider cancelling or changing your mobile phone contract, and if you plan to take your mobile phone abroad then check that it will work in the countries you plan to visit.
10. Cancel any subscriptions – internet, cable TV, gym membership, magazines / papers.
11. Get your health in order – visit the doctor and dentist before you depart.
12. Scan and email yourself a copy of your passport – having a photocopy of your passport will help you obtain a replacement much quicker if you were to lose your passport.
13. Take a couple of photocopies of your passport – keep one in your backpack, one in your day pack and give one to a relative.
14. Share your itinerary with relatives / friends – provide a copy of your rough itinerary to your parents/relatives together with your contact details in case of an emergency.
15. Do your research – buy country guide books and read up on the do’s and don’ts in the particular country you are travelling to.
17. International drivers permit (IDP) – if you plan to drive abroad then check whether you need an IDP.
18. Ensure your resume is up to date if you are planning to return to work – you may wish to apply for jobs whilst you are away and you’ll need an electronic copy of your resume.
19. Set up a Skype account so that you can keep in contact with your friends and relatives.
22. Addresses – write down a list of the addresses of your friends and family so that you can send them postcards.
23. Make a note of emergency numbers – buy a notebook and pen and note down any emergency numbers i.e. bank card replacement, passport number, and travel insurance claim number.
24. Book accommodation for your first couple of nights and make a note of how to get there.
25. Pack your bag! For tips on packing see my post here.