To Do List

Traveling the world takes a little bit of planning, well more than a bit of planning. We have spent countless hours over the last year devoted to travel planning. And because I love lists and I love having a plan, I thought the “to do” list post was a perfect time for me to make my blog debut.

According to Wes, the thing to remember is that all it takes to travel the world is a backpack, a passport, and a few clothes. The rest of the planning and research is just extra. Although I agree that many of the things we did leading up to our RTW trip weren’t absolutely necessary, I do feel like the planning and lists have made me feel a lot more organized and prepared. Our travel planning sessions throughout the year have been a lot of fun. We spent many weekends and evenings brainstorming and day-dreaming about where we would go and what amazing things we would do. I also spent time creating endless “to do” lists, which helped me to stay focused on all the random things we needed to do before leaving for our RTW trip. Although we still have a few things to do before we leave the country in June, I can now finally say we are ready to go! The following is compilation of many of the things we have done over the last year to get ready to leave for our trip.   -K

TO DO LIST:

Resources
Find other blogs, articles, and information about RTW travels. (We will dedicate one page detailing all the resources we found)

Itinerary
– Discuss countries we are most interested in visiting
– Research weather in tentative countries/regions we plan to travel to
– Plan a tentative RTW route

Blog
– Pick the blog name and create header
– Decide on what server and layout to use
– Learn how to run a blog

Finances
– Get an idea of how much traveling the world would cost for a year using online resources
– Cut monthly expenses and save to get to that goal
– Sign up for checking account with no international ATM fees (Charles Schwab)
– Research and apply for international credit cards that will allow us to gain mileage that will help decrease travel costs (Barclays Arrival and Chase Saffire Preferred)
– Sign up for a password security site to safely store all of our passwords
– Set up automatic transfers between savings and checking

Health Care
– Research vaccination requirements for countries/regions we will tentatively visit
– Research countries/regions that we will need Malaria prophylaxis
– Make appointment with travel nurse at Oklahoma Passport Health Travel Clinic for vaccinations & prescriptions
– Fill prescriptions and pick up at pharmacy:

  • Ciprofloxacin (for diarrheal illness)
  • Malarone (malaria prophylaxis)- Call health insurance company to discuss refilling Malarone early, in order to have a total of a 6-month supply prior to leaving. Malarone is expensive & I was very excited that we were able to get 6-months of this medication paid by insurance prior to leaving!
  • Epi pen (Wes is allergic to bees & ants)
  • Scopolamine patches (motion sickness)

– Return visit to Travel Clinic: We both needed to have a 2nd Japanese Encephalitis vaccine & Wes needed the yellow fever vaccine
– Take Vivotif oral pills (Typhoid oral vaccine): 4 pills taken every other day (day 1, 3, 5, & 7)
– Copy vaccination records & bring proof of yellow fever vaccine

Medical Appointments
– Optometrist: Katie- new glasses & order contacts; Wes- glasses. Request digital copy of Katie’s eye prescription.
– Dentist (which then turned into Katie needing an appointment at the Periodontist & TMJ specialist)
– Girl and boy doctor appointments. Make sure everything is checked out below the belt.

Visas/Passport
– Apply for new passports (Katie needs new passport due to name change after getting married and Wes’s passport is going to expire while we were gone)
– Get extra passport pictures taken (for visas)
– Research visa requirements for tentative countries we will visit
– Research companies in Houston to get our Visas for Brazil/compare prices. We ended up using a company called – 2GetVisa – Apply for Brazil Visas in March through 2GetVisas:

  • Fill out visa applications form on the Brazil embassy website
  • Fill out the 2GetVisa form
  • Obtain a notarized copy of driver’s license (DMV)
  • Print copy of airline tickets to Brazil
  • Get $180 money order for the consulate fees (Post Office)

Travel Insurance
– Decide which travel insurance company to use (Nomad Travel Insurance was the company we ended up using)
– Buy travel insurance once new credit card arrives

Legalities
– Research lawyers that do estate planning & compare pricing- Contact a lawyer to discuss: Living will & Power of Attorney
– Fill out paperwork regarding Power of Attorney & make decisions regarding Living Will

Packing
An entire post will be devoted to packing, but I will briefly state what packing entailed.
– Research other RTW traveler’s packing lists
– Research electronics (camera, phone, computer)
– Research appropriate travel clothes and backpack
– Make first-aid kit
– Copy & scan important documents: passports, proof of immunizations, driver’s license (extra identification), health insurance card, glasses prescription, debit card/credit card, student ID (for discounts)
– Pack

House Related Items
– Decide whether to sell house or rent out (found an awesome renter)
– Ensure that all house bills are set to be paid automatically
– Change cable package
– Hire a cleaning lady
– Hire pest control company
– Give Wes’s car away & cancel car insurance
– Set up electronic license plate renewal for Katie’s car
– Place Katie’s car insurance on hold (after road trip)
– Cancel Katie’s gym membership and phone plan
– Find Moby a home where she can chase chipmunks all day

Job
Discuss with your employers about the possibility of taking a sabbatical and coming back
– Put in your two weeks notice or longer and quit on good terms

Miscellaneous
– Research travel tools
– Buy unlocked phone/set up a Skype or whatsapp account
– Research various types of accommodations
– Contact the Post Office to forward our mail
– Research volunteer opportunities
– Make business cards for blog
– Book initial flights and stay in Brazil
– Throw a going away party and drink lots of chocolate shakes from Tuckers