Getting ready for travel is exciting, but can also be a bit anxiety producing for me as well …there are always so many things to do. Before I can even begin to pack, there are things that I have to do in preparation for the trip that are essential for me. Then I can begin to make my lists and pack.
Medications and shots – keeping healthy
I like to make sure I always have an extra epi-pen and some antihistamines on me just in case I am in a situation where I may need them, and a little further from the local hospital than I would like. I have to make sure I either have refills available, or I make an appointment with the doctor to get a prescription. While I am there, I check to make sure that I get any shots that I may need before flying if I am going to certain countries. Some countries suggest that you get certain shots in order to prevent illnesses that are common; you can check this site to see what vaccines may be needed. It is advisable to see the dr for the vaccines at least 6 weeks prior to travelling. Hepatitis A & B vaccines are common ones to get, and they protect you for a while; I also like to get a flu shot if it is flu season.
Obviously, that is something that I need to make sure that I have on me if I am travelling…. but more than just having it, I need to make sure that if I am travelling to certain countries, my passport is valid for at least another 6 months past my return date, otherwise they have a right to refuse me entry….not a good thing to happen. So… if it isn’t, I need to make sure I get on that as early as possible, it can take anywhere from 10-20 days. Certain times of the year (holiday time) are far busier at the passport office and it will take a little longer to get back to you. Also, I always make a copy of my passport and leave with someone at home, or keep a copy on iCloud.
Foreign Cash – the money
When travelling, I prefer to carry and pay for items with cash. That way, I know what I truly paid for them… If paying by credit card, the exchange on the other end is usually a hefty sum and a lot costlier than if I take cash with me before I leave Canada. CIBC Foreign Cash Online makes it easy and convenient to order money online. The best thing? Having it delivered to my home before I leave. That way I can cross getting money off my list, and not have to spend time lining up at the bank to get it! However, if you prefer you can also have it delivered to any CIBC branch location in Canada.
Delivery time: Two-to-three days for most urban branch/home locations and three-to-five business days for most rural locations.
I also prefer to have cash available in different denominations so that if something comes up, I have small bills to pay for small items as well as some larger bills. It is nice to have money handy to get yourself a good cup of coffee once you get off that flight, or even pay for the cab ride to the hotel. I like to pay them in their currency rather than hand them a credit card; I feel my credit card stays much more secure that way.
Keeping my tech going
Of course, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without my technology. My phone is stuck to me at all times. I like to take notes, I like to take photos and I like to keep in touch with people. and maybe do a bit of work. 🙂 But whether it is my phone or my iPad, it is essential that I back them up before heading off anywhere just in case. I also like to make sure that the essentials that keep them powered up are in working order. Power cords should be in good condition ( believe me, I have seen some interesting use of black electrical tape) that includes cords, adapters and converters for the countries that I will be visiting.
Making my list
This is really more of a final one… to make sure I have everything I really need before I leave. I like to use one of these premade lists in the image, but as long as you can check things off, or cross them off, any list will do. Having done the groundwork … making sure passport, meds, money and tech is all taken care of, I can now fill out my list. I can start to pack and put things together to make sure I have everything, without forgetting anything.
What are your essential prep items?
*DISCLAIMER:This post is brought to you by CIBC Global Money Transfer™. All thoughts, opinions are my own.