When planning for a long trip, it took quite a bit of research. From the use of the internet, travel books, family, and friends, it helped us learn about what we were getting into. We first started out by using Google Docs and Calendar to help us organize and share with each other. In case of any situations, we shared those documents with family the day before we left for the Philippines.
Checklist of things to do before the trip
A few examples:
- Hep A and B, Tetanus Shots
- Double check Passport expiration date, certain countries require at least 6 months
- Purchase Medical, Travel, and Electronics Insurance
- Double Check Tourist Visas needed in each country
- Don’t forget to bring specific toiletries you are familiar with using in your home country such as shampoos, skin care, sanitizer, and feminine products are a must, etc. They won’t sell the same things in another country.
- REI’s Backpacker First Aid Kit (we ended up using almost half of the items in the package)
- Over the counter American drugs: You may not be familiar with what another country sells or may not work as effectively. When something happens, you can quickly refer to these handy drugs.
- A hand held calculator for easy currency calculations
- Ziplock and garbage bags (Since we traveled during rainy season, all of my things were protected using these bags)
- Purchase an unlocked cell phone. If you can’t find one at home, you can certainly buy an unlocked phone in Asia for about $10-40 US Dollars. Once you have that, you can pop in a SIM Card, purchase some minutes, and you’re good to go.
Excel sheet of Day by Day Itinerary
We made a tentative day by day list of things we planned to do. We never really followed it day by day, but it helped to be familiar with each area.
Set email reminders for major events, bills, payments, meetings, or appointments, so your life back home doesn’t just stop.