Thursday, July 31, 2008

Getting Ready For A Long Vacation

My husband and I are getting ready to go on a long vacation. I'm going to try to write as many posts as I can before I go on vacation and schedule the postings while I'm gone. Incidentally, if you would like to guest post for me, please email me at calgirlfinance at gmail.

So in anticipation of our long vacation here are some things to do to prepare:

3 months - 1 year in advance
1. Ask for time off from your jobs, especially if it's a long vacation
2. Determine itinerary
3. Begin saving for your trip
4. Book airline tickets. If booking tickets using miles, try to do this as far in advance as possible
5. Book accommodations. This can be hotels, home rentals, etc.
6. Start doing online research of what you want to do once you're at your destination (optional)

1 month in advance
1. Put travel books on hold at the library
2. Review immunizations, schedule appointment if appropriate
3. Review vacation money management (in our case, this led us to apply for a Capital One credit card since Capital One refunds foreign transaction fees)
4. Figure out reading material and obtain books/magazines from library, friends, or bookstore
5. Ensure you have everything you need to bring on the trip, especially if it's not something you typically use, for example a swimsuit that fits. You might want to create a packing list at this time
6. Remind your boss that you're taking time off
7. Review your itinerary to ensure you've booked everything
8. Consider borrowing needed items from friends or family (we're borrowing a suitcase and a travel guide)
8. Purchase anything you need for your trip (in my case, I'm buying my husband and I journals so we can document our once in a lifetime vacation). Try to do this in advance so you can take advantage of free shipping from stores like Amazon
9. Check out travel books from library
10. Stop buying so much perishable foods

1 week in advance
1. Decide if you're going to check in luggage and carry it with you
2. Create a packing list (if you didn't do it earlier)
3. Do laundry to ensure everything you want to bring with you is clean
4. Finish off your perishable foods and try to empty out your refrigerator. You don't want your food to go bad while you're gone, especially if there's a power outage
5. Make copy of items in wallet and passport and leave with a trusted family member. Also bring a copy of your passport, but keep it somewhere separate from your passport. If traveling with a spouse, bring different credit cards so if someone losses their wallet, you still have some cards that can be used.
6. Print copy of itinerary and hotel reservations
7. Pack, consider bringing extra duffel bag for souvenirs
8. Consider airport transportation
9. Review travel books, if you're only going to certain cities, you can make copies of the cities you're going to and return the guidebooks or leave them at home. Then you can throw away the info on the cities you've visited

Night before
1. Check in
2. Review packed items against your list to ensure you have everything you'll need
3. Decide what time you need to get to airport
4. Set alarm to awaken you with plenty of time to get to airport

Day Of
1. Turn down water heater
2. Go to airport, check in, board plane
3. Relax and enjoy your vacation!

Is there anything you would add that I missed? Please let me know so I can be sure to do it before our trip!