Your next adventure is booked and you’ve already decided on most of the countries you are planning to visit? Great! Now it’s time to go into the more detailed planning and start with the preparation for your trip!
Since we want you to stay absolutely happy about your trip and not want you to stress out, we’ve put together a list of the most important things you need to check before your departure: from necessary documents you need for your trip to things you need to arrange at home and helpful tips that will make your adventure even more memorable!
The best preparation checklist for your next big adventure!
6 months before your big adventure
Make an appointment with your doctor or the tropical institute
Very important: start early with the required vaccinations for your trip. Sometimes more of them are needed at intervals of a couple of weeks. Hepatitis for example has to be injected 3 times over a period of 6 months.
To ensure you are done in time go to the doctor 6 months before your departure, just make sure that he has a travel or tropical medical education. Otherwise you can just stop by at the tropical institute and get advise. Some insurances over consultation plus the costs for vaccine as well as some medicine for your travel first aid kit. Just find out with your insurance in advance what kind of costs it cover.
If you’re going to be away for longer than 3 months you should consider canceling some contracts. Look up all cancelation policies and make a list at what date you need to cancel which contract to be still in time, for example your cellphone contract or the one for your gym or other clubs. These are just useless costs that debit your account. Maybe you can also make a good deal and put the contract on hold for the period of your travels.
Now is the time to book your rough route. Domestic flights can be booked spontaneously later. We’ve had really good experiences with STA Travel. They come up with really good deals you wouldn’t find yourself especially for around the world trips. But also on Skyscanner and Momondo you find great connections and sometimes awesome bargains!
Schedule check up appointments with doctors
As long as you can benefit from really good medical care make appointments with all doctors you usually go to. Such as your dentist, if applicable gynecologist and general practitioner to get everything checked. If you do this you can go on your trip without worrying about anything related to your health.
2 months before your big adventure
Check the expiration date of your passport
It may sound a little ridiculous but you wouldn’t be the first waiting at the airport with an expired passport not being able to get on the flight! So please check at least 6 months before departure if your passport is valid until at least 6 months after the end of your trip. If not, make an appointment with your citizen center and apply for a new passport directly. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks and you need to pick it up personally.
Apply for visa
Depending on which countries you’re visiting you may need a visa. Most of the times you can get it directly at the immigration, it just saves money and time though to apply for it in advance if possible. For some countries you need to go to the embassy to apply for it. The processing and issuance of visa takes another couple of weeks. Inform yourself two months before departure which requirements the countries you’re visiting have.
Apply for an international diver’s license
Once you’re at the citizen center and plan to drive abroad apply for an international driver’s license. It’s valid for 2 two years and you need it if you get pulled over by the police at the latest.
Apply for credit cards
If you don’t have a credit card by now or only one you pay unnecessary fees get a visa card from DKB. There is no annual payment, it’s completely for free, and so are all withdraws both in and outside of Germany. This way you can really save a lot of money!
If you’re planning to fly a lot during your trip also get the Miles&More MasterCard Gold! It also serves like a credit card and in addition you can earn miles for every transaction with the card. These miles can be exchanged for upgrades or even free flights!
And if you already have a good credit card, check the expiration date!
Take out insurances
To be covered for all eventualities get a travel health insurance. Great deals can be made with Hanse Merkur or World Nomad. Those also provide cancellation insurances and luggage insurance!
Just compare different providers and check which deal is best for you. Most insurances are either for trips that take less than a year, or for longterm travels that last longer than one year, covering up to five years in total.
Clean out your apartment and sell needless stuff
A trip like this is a very good reason to clean out your closet and your whole apartment. Your clothes and other stuff is sold best at a flea market or platforms such as Kleiderkreisel and Ebay. This way you can fill up your travel wallet and thereby create space, especially if you want to rent your apartment or room out during your time of absence!
Sublet your apartment
You want to sublet your apartment? Noting easier than that. For a longer period of time you should offer it on platforms such as Gumtree. Here you find people who search for a home for a couple of months and if you’re lucky it’s exactly the time you’re planning to be away!
Alternatively you can rent it out on Airbnb for the whole period of time and sometimes make even more money. It’s especially profitable if you rent it out to different people a couple of times but then you need to make sure there is someone who takes care of the whole process.
Nowadays there are even companies who have specialized in this business and also organize a cleaning lady to set up everything for your next guest.
Install iCloud & Dropxbox
To be protected against accidents with your cellphone or your laptop or even theft you should install iCloud and Dropbox. Via your iCloud all data is synchronized automatically whenever you’re connected to Wifi. So no panic that all your pictures, contacts, calendar entries and notes are gone, they are saved in your iCloud. The Dropbox you will need to save copies of your documents as well.
2 weeks before your big adventure
Buy a first aid kit for your travels
When you’ve been with your doctor for vaccination consultation you have received a list of medicine you need for your first aid travel kit. You should go buy these now. Eventually some of it needs to be ordered. Don’t forget to think about simple things like patches, aspirin, wound cream or nose spray as well!
Buy equipment and apparel
Be it a rain jacket, backpack, silk sleeping bag, universal adapter or equipment for hiking, check early enough what you need for the activities you’ve planned. You find great inspiration and products recommended by us in our packlist or even in our shop!
Make a check and pack your backpack
To make sure there is no big surprise when packing your bag before departure and getting frustrated by trying to squeeze all in your backpack with force, make a check and pack at least once in advance! Thereby you can directly find out where you are spacewise and what you need to reduce. Trust me this saves you from a sudden attack of anger and desperation!
Make a forwarding request with your post office
Depending on how long you’re going to be on the road it makes sense to make a forwarding request with your post office. For example your parents or good friends can open your mail and take pictures of important documents and send them to you. If that’s not possible Dropscan is a good provider who takes care of this. They open your mail, scan it and send it to you via mail automatically.
Download useful apps
With Tripit or Checkmytrip you can upload all flights, trains, hotel bookings or other tickets and have them with you on your cellphone all the time. You also get a notification automatically if flight times or gates have changed.
To stay on top of your costs get the Travelwallet App. On Splittr several people can share the app. The amounts then get allocated depending on who paid. Very helpful!
Set up a Skype account
To keep in touch with friends and family set up a Skype account if you don’t have one yet. Skype works on all devices – cellphone, tablet or laptop – and is completely free.
Everything you need is good wifi and maybe some headphones or a headset.
Alternatively you can also talk over FaceTime completely for free. With both also video calls are possible – a great way to stay in touch with people at home!
Upload copies of your documents
If you have all your documents together, scan them and upload them in your dropbox. This is what needs to be included: first your passport of course, followed by visa copies and copies of your credit cards, vaccination certificate, insurances and all other important documents.
In the worst case, if you get a victim of theft, it is important to have a list of the most important numbers saved online. So the number of your parents, your partner, credit card block number, your insurance and the pins of your cards for example.
Ready for adventure!
Now you’re prepared and organized in the best way and can look forward to your next adventure without worrying about anything! And isn’t it wonderful to cross things of your list and see that it gets less and less?