There are always things that need to be done before leaving on a vacation:get a pet sitter, turn off the lights, but leaving for 5 months adds a whole new dimension. Here are some of the major things that Shaun and I need to cross off our lists before we go.
Passports and ID: An obvious one, and thankfully one that we just got checked off. You want to make sure that your passport is valid, which means it shouldn’t expiring in the near future. If you are leaving for 5 months and your passport expires in 6 months, I’d say you are better off getting it renewed before you go. Also double check your ID. Shaun had to get his drivers licence renewed early, as it expires while we are away. Another handy tip would be to take copies of your ID, and leave it with a family member (one who won’t lose it 😉
Pets: Oh Bearcat. For those of you who have never met our lovely furry companion, let me take a moment to fill you in. Bear, or Barry, is our overweight, diabetic, toothless cat.
We love her so! Figuring out what to do with Bear was a huge obstacle for this trip. She’s a little more high maintenance then most cats, as she needs to be fed twice a day at certain times to keep her diabetes at bay (or her Beetus as we call it). We wanted to make sure she was well taken care of, but didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. We looked into a kennel, but the cost of 5 months was way outside of our budget. We started looking for house sitters, and my brother stepped up to the plate. It’s nice to know that Bear will have a friend the entire time we are gone, and that the house will be looked after at the same time.
Travel Insurance: I’ll be honest, I’ve been procrastinating on this one, but I know it’s important! Take a look at all your policies, and make sure you have appropriate coverage. Also, jot down the information you need to access your policies while travelling.
Cars/Insurance: Lindsey and Veronica are our two trusty steeds. This is a big one to cross of the list still. Both Shaun and I are planning on getting storage insurance for our cars. Not only will this protect us if anyone bumps into our cars, but our strata requires that all cars parked in our parkade are insured. We’re also going to ask my brother to start our cars up, and drive them around the parkade once a month or so. This will help make sure our tires aren’t sitting on the same spot for too long, and Lindsey and Veronica will know they are still loved.
Bills: I’ve been going through the painfully tedious process of calling all of our providers and getting our services cancelled or reduced while we are gone. I’ve also made sure that our bills are either set to come out of our account automatically or that we get an electronic copy when they come due. I’m also going to be setting up an auto-pay for all of our credit cards as well. (sidenote: Shoutout to Telus, for being the best cable provider ever. They gave me amazing service. I’ll be switching everything to them as soon as I can get out of my current contract with their not so fabulous competition).
Banking: Closer to the trip I plan on making a trip to the bank so cancel all my contributions to my savings accounts. I will also be setting up a friend with a temporary POA on my account. This will make sure that if anything happens while I’m away, he can act on my behalf, and get it sorted out.
Cancel Memberships: Gyms, Magazines, newspapers. All of my monthly memberships will have to go!
Doctors Visit: Although it’s not mandatory to get any vaccines before leaving to Costa Rica, I did go to the Dr’s for a check-up. It was the perfect excuse to go in, since I had been procrastinating for way to long! This would be the time to stock up on any prescriptions you made need to cover the duration of your trip.
Saying Goodbye: The countdown to departure seems to be speeding up, and I’m feel like I’m running out of time to see everyone before I go! Plan carefully, maybe even write a list of everyone you want to touchbase with before you go. For Shaun and I, it involves travel weekends to both Port Hardy and Vancouver. If we could go back in time, we would have planned this out better, as we find we are stressed about trying to fit it all in.
What do you do to prepare for big trips? Do you think there is anything that I’m missing?
25 days to go!!!