Less than two weeks before departure:
As the countdown continues, there are a lot of general travel preparations that can be done. Anyone preparing to travel overseas may find these reminders helpful.
Contact your credit card company and bank. If you don’t let them know that you are traveling internationally, then your card may be declined. I’ve had this happen. It’s a real hassle!
Preparing to pack. Set aside a spot in your house where you start putting the things that you are thinking about packing. As you think of something you want to pack, place it in that area. That will it make much easier when you start putting everything in the suitcase.
I’m a big fan of packing light. So I don’t actually pack everything that I put in the packing area. At this point it just helps to have all the maybes in one location, so it easier to decide what I really need. You might also notice that you have too much of one item, and not enough of another, or you might discover that all your clothes are purple (it has happened) or crazy patterns that won’t match.
Shop: Don’t wait until the way to the airport to pick up sunscreen or deodorant. Do all your shopping this week. I’ve already been doing this little by little as I run my regular errands, a few things I’ve picked up are:
- Sunscreen (critical for Brazil – and expensive in Brazil)
- Bug spray
- Plastic bags – A travel essential! Pack any liquids, lotions, soaps inside a resealable plastic bag. Bring extra bags, you’ll be amazed at the things you use them for. Newspaper bags work great for shoes.
- Small Laundry Detergent: I love these little packets of Woolite for washing in the hotel sink. But I’m going to skip the packets this year, and put some in a 3oz travel container.
- 2-1 Shampoo and Conditioner. While I love my conditioner, it takes up a lot of room. I’ll buy a few sample conditioners to use every few days, or better yet shop for it there. Call me weird, but I LOVE shopping in foreign countries. It’s fun to figure out what things are. Ie. I know it’s soap because there are bubbles on the bottle, but is it for dishes, laundry or the body? Plus, it’s a fun reminder of your trip when you use toothpaste with a foreign label at home.
- Feminine Products: We’ll be gone for month. It’s going to happen.
- Immodium – you know what that’s for. Hope I don’t need to use it!
As you come back from the store with the items you plan on packing, put them in the packing spot, so you don’t have to search for it later.