Tomorrow, I will start my trip! First stop will be in L.A. to visit my dear friend Malcolm for a few days before he drops me off at the airport to head to Narita Airport in Tokyo. I’ve been running around today to take care of some of the last minute details. So here’s the skinny on what you should be taking care the last few days before your trip.
Call your bank. I have three bank accounts, and one credit card. What do they all have in common? They need to know you are going out of the country. Make sure you have your itinerary all set, as some banks or credit card companies want to know exact dates. For some of the countries I’m going to (Vietnam and India in particular), it took over two weeks to get the holds released on more than one of my accounts, so make sure you plan in advance for certain countries. You don’t want to be stuck without any way to pay for your delicious Pho in Hanoi, or fabulous salwar kameez in Delhi.
Pack pack pack. I thought packing for three months would be difficult. I was wrong. Picking out outfits for 90 days was the easy part. The tough part was fitting it into one piece of checked luggage, one carry and a personal item (aka, the biggest bag I could imagine would fit underneath the seat in front of me). I had to do a lot of editing. Apparently, four pairs of heels was a little too much. While some people can live off of 20 articles of clothing for 3 months, I choose not to, and I have no problem paying for a checked bag for a little more comfort. One of the big problems I faced was packing for multiple climates. Within the same three months I will be facing 40 degree weather at night in Beijing and 90 degree heat in Phuket. Layers were definitely the key! While I don’t want to get into the specifics of my checked luggage, I will touch on the important stuff that should be going with you to your seat on the flight.
Double check! Go through your packing list. Make sure you have everything you need. Worse comes to worse, you can pick it up in another country, but some things you just can’t get anywhere else. Medications, passport, and visas are all a giant pain in the butt to get elsewhere. Make copies of your prescriptions, passport photo page and all of your visas just in case.
Say thank you. If you’re like me, there are a lot of people who helped you get ready for this trip. Show them your appreciation with a fun card! I still love getting snail mail, and I know my friends and family will be grateful for my effort. As Oscar Wilde says, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Until next time! xoxo