Even though I tend to take at least three big trips a year (it is so hard being me… what I do to ensure that my clients know everything there is to know about every place they want to go!) that day before you leave is still always a very hectic one.
You have your to-do list and instead of it getting shorter something always creeps onto it.. like today I had to run to VisionWorks quickly to get my new glasses adjusted.. I was going to wait until I get back in town but all I kept thinking was what if they break while I am there and I have no glasses… well VisionWorks is right across from Walmart.. I needed some face wash and lotion.. gee, Bed Bath and Beyond is a couple of stores down and I have those (2) 20% off coupons that I need to use and I barely have any Keurig coffee cups left (sure I could have waited till I got back but I was right here) then that last trip to the post office.. that last trip to the bank… so you see what I mean, none of that was on my to-do list when I woke up this morning.
What was on there, and something that everyone going overseas needs to do, is make sure you call your bank and let them know when you are going to be going, how long and what countries you will be visiting.. and I always add an extra day at the end of the trip in case I miss a flight or am stuck for extra days there.
Also go over your fees associated with using your debit cards in foreign ATM machines.. Wells Fargo gives me two freebies a month. Knowing that, I am going to make sure that I pull out as much as I can those two times. Be wary if you are using your credit card in an ATM machine to get cash… many credit card companies count that as a CASH ADVANCE and you all know you are charged extra for that vs. just a regular purchase.
Another necessity is a converter.. for both the voltage and the plug converter (I just learned this last year but you don’t need a voltage converter for your laptops they run on 110v or 220v… never knew!) I picked up both at Best Buy before my last trip for about $60 for the two… With Uniworld they always have one plug in your cabin that is 110v but we were sailing on AMA and they didn’t have that same luxury… Hotels in Europe don’t either so it is a necessity for sure. My converter works in many different countries too. The options on the side say Europe/ UK / or USA and Australia.. each place has a different kind of plug.
Other things that you must remember:
Duh….. PASSPORT!… some cash (I always carry leftover Euros from my last trips too so I have something to hit the ground running with). A small notebook so I can jot down interesting facts or things that at the time I know are important but when I am back in my room I totally forget. SNACKS!! sure there is food on the ship but what about the airports and busses between. Traveling documents. This trip I need that travel umbrella for sure (checked www.weather.com and it will be rainy for most of the time).
Did I forget anything? Let me know…. tick tock I only have about 24 hours before I am dropped off at the airport for the flight (which reminds me.. 24 hours before you can log on and do your online check in with the airlines and print off your boarding passes to save you time… but with US Air you can always check to see if they have any discounted upgrades available… sometimes the upgrade from economy to first class is as little as $150.00 each way!)
My next article will hopefully be written on the night I arrive in Belgium… wish me luck with good internet access and of course as safe trip and no airline mishaps… all flights hopefully will be on time! 🙂