I think it’s taken a solid month to get our ducks in a row so to speak for our trip to Europe. This will be our first time on an extended trip and I want to be sure we run into as few hiccups as possible. Here’s my checklist for getting organized for the big trip!
Call the bank
I’m going to be relying pretty heavily on plastic while abroad. We’re hitting 9+ countries, most of which are not on the euro. The thought of having to switch currencies every few days doesn’t seem like much fun to me. I found out which cards had the lowest foreign transaction fees (one was 0%!) so I’ll be utilizing that one the most. As we get closer to the trip, say one week out, I’ll call the bank to let them know we’re headed out of the country so they won’t freeze the account if they see an unusual charge from halfway across the world.
Figure out cell phones and data
I know that you can do the SIM card thing, but the thought of doing that every time we hit a new country seemed a bit much. I decided to just upgrade my current cell phone plan with an additional AT&T international roaming plan. I’ve done this before and have had no issues as long as I keep my phone on airplane mode for the majority of the time and rely heavily on WiFi.
Hold the mail
For some reason, I always feel like a real adult when I hold our mail at the local post office. It’s a quick and dirty online form and they deliver it to your house on the day you return. Sure beats having your neighbor pick it up every day!
Find a house sitter
This is something new we are trying out, but it just made sense since we’d be gone for a longer period of time. Our pup will be going to my parent’s house, but I need someone to keep my garden alive while we are gone!
Make copies of all docs AND give them to someone at home
I’ve copied our licenses, passports and any bank cards and will be giving them to our emergency contact at home as well as keeping a set with us. That way, if we happen to lose one, we at least have our account numbers and the contact information on the backs of the cards.
Have an itinerary
Once it’s finalized, I will send our itinerary to a few close relatives so they know where we’ll be and when. I do plan on checking in with them via email too!
Check your health insurance and prescriptions
I don’t anticipate any health issues abroad, but I did make a quick call to my health insurance to see what my coverage would be IF something were to happen.
OK, what am I missing? Let me know what you’ve done to prepare for big trips like this! Help!