Stairway at Tikal
The sunset view from the top of Tikal’s Temple 4 worth getting in shape

Once you’ve planned and booked your trip, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to do and buy to prepare for it. The longer you have until your trip, the more leisurely you can take care of the items on your to-do list.

If you’re traveling internationally and don’t have a passport, send in the application today! If your passport will expire within 6 months after you depart your destination, or if you have fewer than 4 pages remaining, send the passport in for renewal or additional pages now.

If you need vaccinations for your destination, start researching what you need early here.

If you don’t have all of the clothing, equipment or sporting gear you need for the destination, think about seasonality and the best time to make purchases. If you’re planning for a winter Caribbean vacation in the late fall, look for sale items in stores, catalogs and online.  Off season purchasing often means paying higher prices in specialty stores.

Do you need to get into shape for the trip? It’s always a good idea for every trip, but if you know you will be climbing up ruins at high altitude, or just a lot of steps anything you can do to get into shape before the trip will enhance your experience. When I heard it was 139 steps in each direction to see the limestone Champagne caves at Ruinart in Reims, I started walking up the subway escalators in preparation.

If you have the time and inclination, learn some phrases in the language used at the destination.

Plan for your pets. If you’re bringing them with you, check the rules for the country/ies you’re visiting – and the airline regulations. Often you can avoid long quarantines for your pets if you make advance arrangements.

If you are leaving your pets at home, plan and confirm your arrangement for their care while you are away.

Notate dates on your calendar for reserving transportation and special event tickets that sell out or are offered at discount on specific dates and times. Also set reminders of any cancellation dates, in case your plans change.

Start making packing lists and pre-trip to-do lists.

Take a look at the Comfort section and take the necessary steps to insure yours.

On the pages that follow is information about packing, money, electricity, security and other issues to consider as you are preparing for your trip.


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