Top 5 things to prepare for a really long trip..according to me.
T-minus 2 weeks until departure, but still lots to do. Let me not bore you with the details and give you the top 5 things I did to get myself ready.
1. Prepare apartment for subletters. Translation: Realize you have too much shit and throw a bunch of it away.
Then put belongings into storage. Translation: Commandeer your mom’s basement and turn it into a storage facility.
Having a good moving company made this part much less stressful. I went on thumbtack and found Redhat Moving & Storage. They were punctual, professional, friendly, and NONE of my stuff was broken. I live in a 4th floor walk up so that was no easy feat for them.
2. Go on a pre-trip with the fam. I know, I know…who goes on a vacation before their vacation. Listen, a girl’s gotta de-stress from packing and moving 😘
Wait, I can explain. My family already had a vacation planned before my departure date was set, and they were coming back at the same time that I was leaving. So going with them would allow me to spend some time and say my "see you laters". But I don’t need a reason to go to Barbados and sit under the sun drinking rum punches. Main thing was to relax and center myself before the journey...between two coconuts.
3. Get an international phone plan. Sure you can go old school and print out or write down directions, but who wants to go back to the Mapquest days?! If you’re traveling to several countries for a decent amount of time, especially if you’ll do your own navigation, I suggest getting a plan that doesn’t rob you blind for international use (yeah I’m talking to you Verizon! You should be ashamed of yourself with those prices). You’ll probably have Wi-Fi at your housing and certain tourist places, but trust me, it’s easier to figure things out on the fly with internet access. T-Mobile has some good AND affordable options. It won’t be as fast as using a local data provider, but I've always been able to access Google Maps.
4. Cry mid packing as it doesn’t look like everything is going to fit. I had what I thought was an amount of clothes that Marie Kondo would be proud of. I was packing for two seasons and determined to keep it to two carry on pieces of luggage, but halfway through it didn’t look like it was all going to fit. Panic started to set in. Here’s a piece of advise that I received while on the first leg of my trip that I wish I’d gotten before I left: “Lay all your clothes and all your money out on your bed. Now pack half the clothes and double your money”.
5. Roll, repack, and board the plane. Deep breath, keep rolling your clothes tightly, move some things around, push, plead with the physics gods, fit it all into two carry on pieces, and head to the airport.
Off to the land of wine and cheese!
If you're thinking of doing your own world tour, or a short vacation, check out these itineraries to save you time and reduce travel planning stress.