Pre-trip Preparations

Several friends have asked us how we started to plan the logistics of a potentially-lengthy world tour. The list below outlines all of our preparations before leaving the U.S. We did attempt to be fairly meticulous and have some foresight. Of course, as I type this, I am sitting on an Airbus 340 over the Pacific Ocean, about 500 miles east of Auckland, New Zealand. Thus, we probably won’t know for a while if we forgot something critical.

Pre-trip preparations:

  • Apply for new travel credit cards1
  • Insurances:
  • Medical insurance plan
  • Auto insurance plan (2 drivers only)
  • Travel insurance plan
  • Camera floater
  • Renter’s insurance (for items in storage)
  • Set up secure internet connection (VPN for email, online banking, etc.)
  • Get international cell phone plan2
  • Change mailing address (post office, with banks & credit cards)
  • Contact banks (travel flag)
  • Updated/new vaccinations & medications:
  • Hepatitis A booster
  • Typhoid booster
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Yellow fever
  • Malaria prophylaxis
  • Antibiotics
  • Rent storage unit for small belongings (5 x 15 sq. ft.)
  • Sell car
  • Donate furniture (Habitat for Humanity)
  • Print additional passport photos
  • Photocopy/scan passports
  • Scan important travel documents (stored online and on tablet)3
  • Create laminated emergency contact cards for wallets4
  • Download music library
  • Move documents/internet favorites to new laptop
  • Download apps to phone:
    • currency converter
    • translator
    • time zone calculator
    • maps

We chose the BarclayCard (Master Card) for chip + pin (used at unmanned kiosks throughout Europe), as well as for the hefty sign-up bonus points. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
Google Fi offered international calling & data on available wi-fi networks ($20/month + $10/GB).
Passports, vaccination records, SCUBA certification cards, insurance policies, medication inserts.
Family member contact info, numbers for banks/credit cards in case of loss/theft.

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