The Last Minute Trip Checklist

Be sure to have your documents in order before traveling (Flickr: mroach)Last Tuesday, I found out I was headed to Mexico the following Monday.

 

While that sounds like a non-problem, a number of things ran through my mind to prepare for this last minute trip.

 

Where can I buy tan in a bottle? How can I get a beach body in 5 days?

 

Whether it is a family emergency or surprise trip to Mexico, last minute trips open the door for forgotten items and chaos.

 

Even if you aren’t headed out the door last minute, there are a few must-dos before any trip. Otherwise you might face frozen credit cards, expired passports or cell phone data plan robbery waiting for you in the mailbox back home.

 

Get Your Passport in Order: As I called my bank, the man on the other end of the line told me how many times he breaks the news to those traveling to Mexico or aboard that they will need their passport. Having your passport is a must, but also having your passport in order should come second. Write down in a place you won’t forget or set a reminder on your phone when your passport will expire. With passport renewals taking weeks, you never want to turn down a trip abroad due to an expired passport.

 

Call Your Bank and Credit Card Companies: It is a task I loathe, but probably one of the most important when it comes to travel. If you don’t call your bank and credit card companies before you take a trip, you could run the risk of having your credit card frozen when you go to buy those first “welcome to Paris” drinks. Suddenly happy hour is not so happy. It usually only takes a few moments, but it can save those heart skipping moments abroad of having ATMs eat your card for fear someone has stolen your card and taken it on a whirlwind trip to India.

 

Organize a Cell Phone Data Plan: My Dad made this mistake in Sicily, sending email photo postcards to friends and family back home throughout his travels around the island. Little did he know, those email postcards were costing him a fortune. Be sure you organize a cell phone data plan or other means of communicating with the world back home before you leave. Many travelers make this mistake and are shocked to see roaming charges amounting to thousands of dollars when they get home.

 

Make Sure A Tried and Tested Bag Is Ready To Go: On several occasions, I packed up my bag, began zipping it shut just before heading to the airport only to have the zipper decide it doesn’t want to go with me. If you see loads of last minute trips in your future, it is vital to have a tried and tested bag, one that isn’t incredibly ancient or brand spanking new on hand.

 

Always Have Broken in Shoes On Hand to Take: Buying new shoes for a last minute trip may sound like a good idea in fashion theory, but your feet will make you pay. You should always have a good pair of walking shoes on hand for a last minute trip. New shoes can only make traveling more difficult with blisters, aches and pains.
 

Flickr: mroach

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