How quickly three weeks went by, I am now down to less than a week left before leaving for Greece. For the most part all the hard parts are done, but when I occupy my mind with the details it helps the time to go by quicker. In my last review, I discussed things like collecting currency, diet and taking care of the last-minute details, such as car services. For my last week, I intensify some of the things I did a month out and a lot of other things I can relax with, since I started planning so early.
- Prescriptions/Medicine – With a week to go I make sure any and all medicine I might need is divided out properly. The last thing you want to do is run out of something critical overseas. I like to pack my toiletries/medicine early. Luckily, the medicine I take isn’t essential, but I use it just the same. I also always bring a little more than needed, I divide it among my carry-on and my luggage. I have had my luggage lost more than once and It is probably a good idea to protect yourself against this. You may also want to do a little research to find out what the prescription policy is in the country you are visiting. Crazy things happen, you don’t want to be stuck overseas with no way to replenish something you need. As for over the counter medicine, the usual will do. Band-aids (my wife travels with a small first aid kit) for the occasional blister, Advil, and of course the pink bottle ). I plan on wrecking my stomach, so it will come in handy.
- Diet: This one really is difficult, but hopefully worth it. Put controls in place so as not to gain more than you can easily lose during the same timeframe you are home as when you are away.
- Avoiding Sickness: I need to carry around a flame thrower with me, to keep all these people in the office away that come at me sniffling. I love the “it’s only a cold” or “I’m not contagious line.” Those are famous last words that will have me in a hospital bed in Athens. I have been doubling up on my hand sanitizer and vitamins. They may or they may not work, but I need to do what I can to protect myself. I also avoid touching most things. I avoid children, I don’t have any so that is easy…you may want to consider wrapping yours in duct tape if you have them. Of course, I am joking, please don’t duct tape your children! (saran wrap works better anyway).
Get the Last-Minute Details in Order
- Transportation: I have my Uber set up at this point to get to my local airport, as well as all the comings and goings from the foreign airports. I like to have everything printed out, even in the age of smart phones. Taxis and car services can be expensive, so it is best to be prepared. Some people like public transportation, when traveling with luggage I do not.
- Currency: I mentioned in my last post never go to the airport to exchange money. That goes double for the hotel. I use my credit card and ATM for most expenses, but I always like to have some cash on hand. Bank of America makes it incredibly easy to get some Euros at a good rate. Taxi’s, bell boys and maybe some quick street food are all easier to accommodate if you’re carrying some currency. Having to find a last-minute ATM machine is the last thing I want to do.
- Documentation: As paranoid as I am, I will be taking pictures (and sending them) of my passport. I also like to have all my documentation in order, license etc. It is also always good to have a few extra ATM/Credit cards, I store these between my bags.
- Packing: I have to remember to get any last minute dry cleaning taken care of since finding my dry cleaner open is like winning the lotto. I like to pick up new items for bigger trips, this way I can just throw them in to the bag. Socks, undershirts etc. get worn out quickly so I don’t mind buying more. Shoes are also something I had to buy, I seem to go through a pair of walking shoes a trip.
- Check the Weather: Preferably before you pack, you want a general idea of what it is going to be like when you are there. I will need to bring extra clothes on this trip. Given I will be stopping in a much colder London after Greece. It seems like a logical step, but I have seen people end up with all shorts, then they see snow when they get there.
- Clearing Out My Phone: Now is a good time to organize your phone so you have enough room for pictures. Get rid of any unwanted Apps, any duplicate photos and backup as much as possible. It is also smart to bring a backup camera. I take a lot of photos to get me through those long days of office life.
Alright, that is the extent of my preparation in the last week. By this time, I know what I am going to see (for the most part), what I am going to do (for the most part) and what I am going to eat (for the…well, you know the drill…). Any surprises that come my way I should be able to handle. Until I get return, safe travels. -MIF
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