20 Mar How to Plan for Travel: Let the spending begin!
This is Part 9 in my How to Plan for Travel countdown series with one blog post per month containing travel tips to get my family, friends, clients and you ready to go for your next vacation overseas. From August 1 through June 30, I’ll be counting down the tips by how far in advance it’s optimal to plan. If you stumble across this blog post in April, and you’re planning a trip in May, you’re not too late. You’ll just have to do things a little more quickly.
How can I get organized for travel: 2-3 months before
How to Plan for Travel: Let the spending begin!
It’s time to get crackin’ on booking.
It might be three months away, but if you’re going to a popular destination, you’ll want to make sure you have your reservations ready to go.
*Flight – purchase your tickets
*Travel insurance – purchase if it’s right for your situation
*Accommodations – most places just need your credit card number to hold the room, but some offer pre-pay deals
*Transportation- this includes train and/or car rental reservations if you’ll be traveling from city to city
*Tickets to popular sites or events – Who wants to waste time in line? Check to see if a ticket pre-purchase option is available at the places you want to visit.
*Pet sitter / house sitter reservations (if it applies)
Passports and Documents
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to get or renew your passport, there’s no time like the present! Don’t wait until the last minute because you never know when the postal service or passport center will throw a kink into your plans. Some of our documents managed to disappear before making it back to us in January. While it’s a pain in the patooty to deal with that, I’m glad we’re not stressed about the time factor.
Clothing and supplies
If you’re already aware of supplies you might need, you can start keeping an eye out for them now. If you have my luck, you can never find exactly what you need when you need to order it RIGHT NOW. I always seem to find my supplies when I’m casually keeping an eye out for what I need over weeks or months, and VOILA! That item finds me with time to spare. If you have no idea of what supplies you might need, be sure to catch my next blog.
OK, so this isn’t as fun as shopping, but it’s actually more important. If you need to get special prescriptions or if vaccinations are required by your destination country, you’ll want to book your doctors’ appointments now. (I have a one month wait for my doctor.) Need to get your eyes checked so you can see the sites better? Need to get your ears checked so you can hear the guides better? Need to get your back tweaked so it’s strong enough to schlep your luggage? Make your appointments.
Chip and PIN card
Speaking of all of this spending, if you’re going to a country that utilizes Chip and PIN cards, you’ll want to start looking for your card now. We don’t belong to a federal credit union that carries one, and what I’ve discovered is that it’s not easy to get one – one with my trifecta, that is. (If you want to pay a yearly fee or foreign transaction fees, there are plenty of cards out there.) By the way, there are loads of Chip cards and Smart cards out there, but very few Chip and PIN cards, so be sure you double check on which card you’re getting.
Journeys are so much more enjoyable when you have time to relax before you leave. Have fun getting ready so you can have even more fun on your trip.
How to Plan for Travel series:
Part 1: Budget
Part 2: Set your travel goals
Part 6: What documentation do you need?
Part 8: How to avoid being slapped
Part 9: It’s time to start spending!
Next time: Supplies? What supplies do you need for travel?