101 Things To Do Before Your Trip

travel to do listWithout meaning to burden your already huge travel to-do list, today I’ve compiled 101 things to remember to “do” before you leave for your big trip. Read through, see if you’ve forgotten anything, or perhaps add them to your own list. Some of these are purely existential, some are practical, but take it from this traveler—all are important for a happy, healthy, trouble-free trip.

These are listed in no particular order and while they could probably use a sentence or two of explication I’ve left them as they are, open for interpretation and intentionally brief so that you can decide on your own how to use them.

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So here they are, 101 important things to do in the months, weeks and days ahead of your travels:

  1. Set up an apartment sublet
  2. Learn a few words of every language you’ll be exposed to
  3. Sign up for frequent flier programs
  4. Autopay your bills
  5. Make some mini “traveler’s business cards”
  6. Secure your medications
  7. Learn how to sew a button
  8. Stop your mail
  9. Get a no-fee travel credit card
  10. Buy an international cell phone
  11. Re-research your destinations
  12. Consider a smaller backpack
  13. Copy your passport and save it online
  14. Reconfirm your flights
  15. Make a daily budget
  16. Finalize your visas
  17. Connect with friends in foreign countries, tell them you’re coming
  18. Reconnect with friends in your town, have dinner
  19. Study the Center for Disease Control’s travelers page
  20. Subscribe to travel blogs
  21. Get travel insurance
  22. Send your itinerary to several close friends and family
  23. Outfit yourself with travel books (virtual or real)
  24. Sign up for volunteer programs
  25. Book some (but not all) accommodations
  26. Sell your stuff
  27. Get comfortable with your camera by taking pictures at home
  28. Read an atlas
  29. Join travel communities
  30. Be a tourist in your hometown, visit a local tourist trap
  31. Renew your passport
  32. Indulge in looking at travel photography
  33. Make a promise to yourself
  34. Plan how you’ll document your trip
  35. Find out what’s going on where you’re going
  36. Find some free activities
  37. Spend more time with your pet
  38. Have a city picnic
  39. Apply for work permits
  40. Familiarize yourself with your itinerary (like the back of your hand)
  41. Visualize yourself on the road
  42. Make lists
  43. Reassess your luggage situation
  44. Make an inventory
  45. Buy a lot of plastic bags
  46. Look to well-traveled people
  47. Spend more time with your traveling companion
  48. Increase your capacity for frustration
  49. Buy a three-outlet power strip
  50. Buy a travel towel
  51. Take a deep breath
  52. Start doing yoga
  53. Consider a Kindle
  54. Organize your life
  55. Make sure your tickets match your passport (first, middle and last)
  56. Browse travel forums and message boards
  57. Put your CDs on an MP3 player
  58. Plan for long layovers
  59. Outfit yourself
  60. Prebook a few tours
  61. Join Flickr
  62. Eat at foreign food restaurants
  63. Quit smoking (now!)
  64. Give your travel a purpose
  65. List out your favorite Unesco World Heritage sites
  66. Ride a (crowded) local bus
  67. Know your Luggage Limits
  68. Be your very best
  69. Listen to your friends
  70. Watch lots of travel-related movies
  71. Contemplate travel quotes
  72. Donate some time and even more money
  73. Shop at a local farmers market
  74. Appreciate the joy of people watching
  75. Eat from a local street cart
  76. Wash your laundry by hand once or twice
  77. See how you look with a beard
  78. Break your sweets habit
  79. Walk to the supermarket
  80. Lie for an hour in a park
  81. Get in the habit of washing your hands
  82. Buy a bigger camera memory card
  83. Read or subscribe to an international newspaper
  84. Stretch
  85. Start a vitamin supplement program
  86. Attend a Buddhist service
  87. Encourage your spirit of adventure
  88. Get a travel mascot!
  89. Talk to your parents, tell them you love them
  90. Buy some new shirts
  91. Talk to a stranger
  92. Get comfortable with analog entertainment (ie, hiking, running, reading books)
  93. Get a handkerchief
  94. Practice courage
  95. Practice driving a stick-shift
  96. Eat something outside of your comfort zone
  97. Get a Google account
  98. Compile all your (and others’) contact info in one place
  99. Let go
  100. Stop talking for a second
  101. Celebrate!

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