Departure Countdown Checklist

Ahead of leaving on any trip there are plenty of things to do, but if you are planning to travel for an extended period then it can be even easier to become overwhelmed by all of the things you need to do. Need a handy countdown checklist to guide you through the period immediately before leaving?

Here’s my countdown to travel checklist:

6 months to go

  • Will you need a visa? Will you need immunisations? These things take time to organise so it is wise to get started earlier rather than later.
  • This is the time to do some reading. Research your destination a bit before you go. If you want to know a bit more about the culture and the ‘norms’ of your destination now is the time to read up on that too as later you will be busy doing other things.
  • Check your finances. If you need to, you still have 6 months to swell your travel fund.

3 months

  • If you want to let your property while you are away you should contact an estate agent now.
  • Get health and dental checkups. Last thing you want while travelling is painful teeth.
  • If you need to and are able to work in the country you are going to then 3 months ahead of arriving is a good time to start looking at the job market for your industry and perhaps prospectively send your CV to a few places.
  • Have a good clear out and get on Ebay. Things you do not plan to take with you will need to go into storage which is expensive.

1 month

  • Give notice at work. Most jobs have a one month notice period, but if yours has more then obviously take that into account.
  • If you need to give your landlord notice before moving out of rental accommodation then do that now too.
  • Contact your utility providers and let them know you are leaving the property
  • Redirect your mail and / or give friends your next contact address if you have one.
  • Book your flights
  • If you plan to visit or see friends while you are travelling then remind them now
  • Arrange travel insurance
  • Start saying your goodbyes

1 week to go

  • Photocopy your passport and insurance details and leave them with someone you trust. Scan these (and any other important documents) and email them to yourself, so you can always access them wherever you are.
  • Make a note of all the phone numbers you might need if you must contact the bank while overseas (in case you want to do telephone banking or report a lost card)
  • If something significant, like your mortgage, will need renewing while you are away take the details with you so that you can arrange it on email.
  • Make a list of the contact details and addresses of your home country’s embassy in each of the countries you intend to visit.
  • If you are going somewhere that credit cards are not as useful as cash get a little of your destination’s local currency.
  • Start to pack
  • Put any belongings you will not take with you into storage.
  • Cancel your telephone and internet accounts

Last few days

  • Spend precious time with family and friends before leaving

If you think I have missed anything, please mention it in the comments section below. Bonne Voyage!

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