what to do before leaving for a trip

Going Away? Packing and To Do List

Whenever I go away, I always re-write the same lists over and over again. The insanity has to stop. Without further ado, I'm immortalizing my packing and pre-trip "to do" list, so both you and I can refer to it prior to taking off. Do

  • record "away" voice mail
  • write "away" email notification
  • arrange snail mail pick-up
  • prepare any documentation back-ups you may need like flight and hotel confirmation numbers
  • travel insurance
  • get or change money


  • passport
  • 1 - 2 print outs of your passport
  • trip documentation or itinerary
  • money*
  • money belt
  • books/mags
  • smartphone
  • iPod or like device
  • camera
  • earphones [and dual-pronged converter] for plane
  • power converters for international travel
  • chargers [camera, phone, laptop, etc...]
  • ziplocks [always seem to come in handy]
  • small umbrella
  • hand sanitizer or wipes
  • toiletries
  • any meds you think you might need** [pepto, cold &flu , tylenol, gravol]
  • sunscreen
  • bug repellent
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • bathing suit
  • pashmina or scarf for everything including the plane's ever-changing temperatures
  • clothes
  • shoes

*No matter where you're traveling, having a little of the local currency on-hand is always smart.

**I was in Africa earlier this year and came down with a bad cold enroute. The last thing I wanted to do after just landing and traveling through multiple time zones, was take a taxi to a local store. I broke down and purchased drugs akin to Tylenol Cold & Flu at the hotel's store.  Twenty painful usd later, they were in my possession. Turns out all I needed was sleep because I was better within two days.