Anywho, as the Iceland trip creeps ever closer, it’s time to pull out the ol’ final checklist, my prized written inventory of last minute to-dos to make sure I’m as stress free as possible when traveling. What does that entail? I’m so glad you asked:
Neighbor Alert: We always make sure a neighbor or a friend has a spare key to our place and is willing to pick up mail, take out trash, or do whatever needs to happen while we’re gone. (Don’t forget to bring a little thank-you gift back for the friend you sucker into doing this!) At the same time, we let our home security company know we’ll be traveling, and give them the contact information of someone local who they can contact should any home-related emergency arise.
Outside In: Do your plants need brought in off the balcony? Should your car be secured in the garage? It was super fun when someone smashed my car window in when we were in Morocco last winter. Even though my father-in-law heroically got it off the street while we were a gazillion miles away, it’s not an experience I care to repeat (and I’m sure he doesn’t either!). Protect your possessions as best you can when you aren’t close enough to care for them.
Money, Honey: I always prefer to carry a little bit of local currency into the country—at minimum, enough to get me safely to my hotel. I’ve dealt with too many failing ATMs at airports or finicky train ticket machines that won’t accept my chipless credit card not to realize that a little cash goes a long way. And while we’re on the subject of money, make sure to alert your bank that you’re traveling abroad. The last thing you need to be greeted with across the pond is a blocked card!
Copies and Printouts: I always keep a copy of my passport with me and one with someone stateside. I’ve read enough dramatic blog entries about the “time I totally lost my passport in a cab in Bangkok!” to wanna avoid fallout from such a mishap. Word is, having a copy of your document can help expedite the process of getting an emergency passport so you can get your butt home … and blog about your experience, natch. I also always make sure to have the nearest U.S. embassy/consulate address handy should I get myself into a pickle like this!
Big Pharma: Did you call the pharmacy to make sure to refill any prescriptions that might run out when you’re traveling? Who wants to be the person who realizes, midair, that they don’t have enough acid reflux medicine to carry them for the duration of their eating tour through Italy? Not it!
There you have it, the top five items of my final destination checklist. (Is that the name of a super scary video game? Or something? Just checking.)
What’s on yours?