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Blog: The Hopeful Traveler
Traveler's Checklist

Being in the organizing business, it only makes sense that I would be enamored with lists. Shopping lists, to-do lists, reading lists, favorite destination lists—all are my intimate friends. When it comes to travel, I think it makes sense to get organized. Glitches are to be expected when traveling, but a little advanced planning can save countless headaches. Remember that time you were at the Taj Mahal and it suddenly hit you that you hadn't reserved your hotel in Marrakech? Don't want that to happen again, do you?
I begin by printing out a calendar of my travel dates, so that I can fill in all my reservation information. I like to see it all laid out so that I can confirm that I haven't double booked or messed up any of my dates. (yet, oddly, it doesn't always prevent me from doing just that)
Reservations - I print a copy of every confirmation page—air, hotels, trains, shows. (And I verbally confirm by phone all hotel reservations where I've never stayed before, and some places I have)
Passport - Make a copy of your identification page and keep it separate from your passport while traveling. It will come in handy if you have to replace your passport in a pinch. Need visas? Many countries do not require a visa from US travelers but don't assume it's true across the board. Find out first and do it early.
Do you require immunizations? Get them and carry your paperwork, just like Fido does.
Money- Take along some cash (including small bills for tips), a couple of credit cards, and if you like them, traveler's checks.  Most cities have ATMs these days so that's what I use when I need local currency. There will be extra fees charged by your US bank but probably less than a currency exchange.
Itinerary- Send a copy of your itinerary to a family member or someone close, including your flight numbers and hotel phone numbers so you can be reached in case of emergency.
Make sure you bring along necessary addresses and phone numbers. Years ago, I used to print out address labels for my postcards. That was before I gave up sending them altogether.
Insurance papers- For medical care overseas you'll most likely have to pay up front but you may need to contact your insurance carrier at home to get approval on certain reimbursable expenses.
Remember to carry all your needed medications with you. TSA recommends you travel with the original written prescription but I've never known anyone who's been asked for it. Have you?
Do you want to have your mail or newspapers stopped temporarily while you're gone? Nothing says "nobody home" like a house with a pile of faded newspapers in the yard. Go to http://www.usps.gov to set up your mail hold online. Don't forget to pick up your mail when you get back home.
If you have more suggestions, please add a comment and I'll compile them again later for a more complete travelers checklist.
Thanks, and Happy Travels!
Steven Berrier 2008

posted on: 2/2/2008 12:11:22 PM by Steven Berrier and Leslie Coles
category: Travel

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The Hopeful Traveler

by Steven Berrier and Leslie Coles

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About Steven And Leslie:

Steven Berrier and Leslie Coles are the owners of Natural Order, specializing in home organization in San Diego and Southern California. Both are avid travelers who can't resist giving advice.

Steven And Leslie's Website:


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