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Home First Posted Jan 17, 2008
Aug 13, 2010

Travel Check Lists

by Debora Johnson

You're going on a trip and are very excited. The following is a travel check list to organize your thoughts before you leave.

Before You Leave
  • Send itinerary to family members
  • May want to advise local police. I do not.
  • Advise neighbor to watch house. Leave itinerary, insurance company contact and key.
  • Make pet arrangements.
  • Clean/set refrigerator.
  • Contact post office to hold mail.
  • Stop newspaper or have someone pick it up.
  • Put valuables in safety deposit box.
  • Set heat/air conditioning appropriately.
  • Set lights on timers.
  • Turn off ice maker.
  • Unplug all electrical sockets.
  • Think about your plants.
  • Call credit card companies and ATM bank to advise them of your travel destinations and dates. This will ensure that your credit cards will not be turned off. We have actually had this happen while we were in Thailand and had to call long distance to straighten it out!
  • Advise American Embassies or Consulates of your whereabouts while travelling abroad.
Document List
  • Have money, travellers checks, credit cards and ATM cards.
  • Copy of credit card numbers and where to call, if stolen.
  • Address book and stamps (if local travel)
  • E-mail addresses and hot mail set up if abroad.
  • Foreign currency if abroad.
  • Health cards and numbers for hospital pre certification, if needed.
  • Travel Insurance brochure
  • International driver's permit, if necessary.
  • Itinerary
  • Passport/Visas, if needed. Photocopy of your passport.
  • Extra passport size photos, if necessary.
  • Paper and writing implement.
  • Phone card, if necessary.
  • Phone numbers.
  • Picture ID, driver's license, passport.
  • Reading material.
  • Reservations and confirmation numbers.
  • Tickets and confirmation numbers.
  • Tour books or info that you want to take.
  • Vaccination certificate, if necessary.
  • Wallet, money belt, etc.
General List
  • Adapter if abroad.
  • Alarm clock/watch.
  • Appropriate clothing: bathing suit, umbrella, underwear, etc. This depends on your trip.
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Binoculars, if necessary.
  • Camera, film, batteries, moving picture camera, chargers, adapters.
  • Cell Phone, battery, charger, adapter.
  • Jewelry, although I do not take any expensive jewelry when I travel. In fact, I put my engagement ring in the safety deposit box. I only wear my wedding band, take a few pairs of inexpensive earrings and my watch. Flashy jewelry can make you a target.
  • Laptop, battery, power adapter, etc., if necessary.
  • Travel iron or steamer.
Personal List
  • Comb, brush, shampoo, conditioner, styling supplies
  • Cosmetic supplies
  • Dental supplies: toothbrush, toothpaste, denture stuff--whatever your personal needs.
  • Deodorant
  • First aid supplies
  • Glasses, contacts, sunglasses, cleaning supplies
  • Hair dryer, curling iron, or whatever you use.
  • Hand lotions, moisturizing lotions, etc.
  • Insect repellent, sunscreen
  • Meds (prescriptions and vitamins)
  • Nail clippers, file, and tweezer
  • Razor, shaving cream
  • Sewing kit

I always take a cross spectrum antibiotic, imodium and benadryl when we travel. When abroad it can be quite difficult to get medical help. It is also important to note that all your medicines should be in their original prescription bottles. You may be asked to prove what the pills are and why you are carrying them. I often take a letter from my doctor, also, as an insurance policy. Security has become really tight, especially when travelling abroad. I always carry on my meds. I never check them through with my luggage. If your luggage gets lost you can always buy clothing, etc., but you cannot easily replace your prescription drugs.

One other detail: I always check with the Disease Control Center Traveler's Health Center and the State Department State Department to find out if there are any disease alerts or safety alerts for the countries of interest to us. If so, the proper steps can be taken before the trip. In many of the third world countries there can be outbreaks of disease. With present turmoil in the world there can be outbreaks of fighting that might affect your travel, as well.