Trip Preparations Timeline

4 MONTHS TO 1 YEAR AHEAD

1.) ITINERARY

  • Develop Itinerary.
  • Determine length of time available for trip.
  • Determine routing, with possible alternatives.
  • Determine team. (make sure everyone knows what travel documents are needed, tickets to start point, visas, passports, etc.)

2.) RESERVATIONS

  • Make reservations for most popular destinations that risk being fully booked. (try not to make any reservations that you can’t cancel for a refund at this point.)

3.) ACTIVITIES & MUST-SEES

  • Determine side-trips, activities and must-see sites.

4.) BUDGET

  • Develop rough budget. (for basic costs like accommodation, transport, activities, etc.)

5.) RESEARCH

  • Obtain state and/or local “official” tourist guidebooks as well as online info about locations.

6.) VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

  • Schedule any major repairs you’ll need to make before your road trip.

7.) NEW EQUIPMENT

  • Look for sales and research purchases.

3 TO 4 MONTHS AHEAD

1.) TEAM

  • Finalize team
  • Finalize route and departure date
  • Organize passports.
  • Obtain visas.
  • Check to see if any inoculations are required for travel.
  • Start getting in shape.

2.) BACKCOUNTRY PLANNING

  • Outline backcountry travel routes
  • Call Backcountry Office for information on trails, campsite etc.
  • Call or write for reservations or permits for campsites
  • Check permit regulations

3.) CLOTHES

  • Buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories.
  • Break in new shoes and make sure walking or climbing gear is comfortable.
  • Begin breaking in new boots

1 TO 3 MONTHS AHEAD

1.) CLOTHING

  • Purchase any new clothing.

2.) FINALIZE ITINERARY

  • Develop a firm list of places and activities; research hours and programs available during travel timeframe.

3.) CAMERA EQUPIMENT

  • Verify cameras and equipment, and determine if anything needs to be replaced. If there is any new equipment, begin learning to use it.
  • Verify/budget and obtain adequate quantity of memory cards, video tapes, batteries.
  • Back up existing imagery to harddrives, clean/erase memory cards.

4.) VEHICLE PREP/TESTING

  • Add anything new, and road test it.
  • Make a test drive with vehicle to confirm condition, note anything that needs attention from mechanic.

6.) CAMP EQUIPMENT

  • Confirm group gear with team partners
  • Go over checklist of backpacking gear
  • Make sure gear works and/or replace or repair

7.) FOOD

  • Start to plan menus and food/grocery needs

8.) TEAM

  • Arrange travel to/from the airport (bus, limo, friend).

2 WEEKS TO 1 MONTH AHEAD

1.) MINOR VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

  • Perform any minor maintenance on vehicle as needed.
  • Check tires.
  • Get oil changed and fluids checked/topped off.
  • Check the hoses/belts/windshield wipers, etc.
  • Make sure vehicle inspection sticker will remain current for duration of trip.
  • Tune up the vehicle.

2.) BUY ANY ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT OR CLOTHING

  • Purchase any needed gear or clothing.

3.) MAKE ALL NEEDED RESERVATIONS

  • Unless dependent on travel, make all reservations and confirm any long existing reservations.

4.) PACKING LIST

  • Make detailed packing lists for clothing, equipment, food, medicine, and personal grooming items.

5.) HOME BASE

  • Make arrangements for care/maintenance at home.
  • Arrange for someone to mow the lawn and water the plants.
  • Give a neighbor emergency contact information and ask them check on the house from time to time.
  • Request a vacation stop of the mail and newspaper.

4 DAYS TO 2 WEEKS AHEAD

1.) LAUNDRY

  • Wash the clothes.

2.) PACKING

  • Begin packing all items that don’t need to be used before departure. (make sure to use packing checklists)

3.) MENU PLAN

  • Plan any menus, and prepare shopping list for food items.
  • Purchase and re-package (if necessary) food staples and non-food kitchen supplies (like paper towels, wet-wipes, etc).

4.) HOME BASE

  • Set up hold for mail and newspapers.
  • Remind friends and neighbors of departure and length of trip.
  • Remind service providers who will be caring for home of travel dates and schedule maintenance service, as well as set up plan for payment.
  • Notify Neighbor, Police, Security, or Emergency Services who to call in case of emergency.

5.) HAIRCUTS

  • Get haircuts, if necessary…

6. ) HEALTH

  • Confirm health insurance/travel insurance.
  • Get prescriptions refilled.
  • Make sure everyone has any necessary vaccinations or Immunizations.
  • Make copies of any important medical prescriptions for someone else to hold that might be needed if lost.

7.) COMMUNICATIONS

  • Check with cell phone provider to see if there is coverage in trip locations.
  • Write down and input emergency phone #s into cell phone of the travel locations, hotel phone #, tour group phone #, car rental phone # & the airlines 800 # incase of flight changes, embassies, police, hospitals & doctor.

1 TO 3 DAYS AHEAD

1.) ITINERARY

  • Verify departure plans with team partners
  • Give a copy of itinerary and return time to a friend or relative
  • Confirm all reservations.
  • Write down Confirmation numbers and put Flights, Rental Cars, Hotels & Tours phone and confirmation numbers into cell phone.
  • Make sure everyone in group is aware of all the travel plans and Itinerary.

2.) LAUNDRY

  • Wash all remaining clothes.

3.) LAST-MINUTE PACKING

  • Do the last-minute packing of clothing and other “last-minute” items. (make sure to use the packing checklists)

4.) LOAD VEHICLE

  • Load the vehicle ahead to be sure everything fits. If there is a problem, take out a few items and re-pack.

5.) BANK

  • Get cash and make any necessary balance transfers.
  • Pay bills and credit cards that will come due during trip.
  • Make sure to take 2 credit cards and some cash.
  • Get list of ATM locations/bank locations, and have pin #s.

6.) DOCUMENTS

  • Make sure to have all credit cards, debit cards, annual passes, medical and auto insurance cards.
  • Make sure to have  airline tickets or e-ticket receipts, passports, visas, birth certificates, etc.
  • Make sure everyone has a photo ID ( 2 ID’s are better: drivers license and valid passport.)
  • Make photo copies of all documents front and back, for someone to hold so they can be accessed in an emergency (drivers license, passport, birth certificate copy & medical needs)
  • Write down credit cards numbers with the banks 800 number in case they’re lost or stolen.

7.)HOME

  • Get rid of any food in the refrigerator that will spoil while you’re gone.
  • Straighten up the house so it won’t be a mess when you get back.
  • Return all DVD’s to Blockbuster and all books to the library.
  • Set the auto-reply message on your e-mail and update your voice message.
  • Be sure to take the call-in number and password for your home answering machine so you can access it if necessary.

8.) GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP, SHOWER, SHAVE, DRESS TO GO…

LAST MINUTE

1.) MEDICATION

  • Take any daily vitamins and/or medication and pack the rest.

2.) HOME

  • Purge the fridge of any perishables.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Tidy up the house.
  • Water the plants.
  • Turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees F (13 C) in winter.
  • Close curtains and blinds.
  • Turn on lights that you want on; or put them on timers, and turn all lights and appliances off that you want off.
  • Call anyone you need to call to say “goodbye.”
  • Do a “last tour” of the house, to make sure you didn’t leave anything important behind.

3.) FOOD

  • Add perishable foods to the food bag and load the ice chest, if any.

4.) VEHICLE

  • Put car keys in safe place.
  • Give duplicate keys to team member

4.) DEPARTURE

  • Bon Voyage…