To-Do List for a Big Ol’ Trip

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One of the best books I read on the subject of long-term travel was Six Months Off, by Hope Dlugozima (  With her to-do list as a guide, I came up with a schedule of sorts for our adventure prep.  And here it is:


  • Pay off credit cards 
  • Read up on destinations/ take notes
  • Research light, quality supplies, and buy them
  • Save into travel fund
  • Check online resources
  • Practice languages
  • Treat any health issues
  • Research overseas ancestry
  • Research income streams
  • Get any travel vaccinations (don’t wait, sometimes you need two doses six months apart)

10 months before:

  • Make appointments for dentist and doctor check-ups
  • Sign up for Skype
  • Sell/ donate redundant possessions
  • Sign up for Caretaker’s Gazette
  • Get free yearly credit report, make sure everything’s correct
  • Get extra copies of legal paperwork

Nine months before:

  • Renew passports if necessary
  • Research textbooks and school materials (soft-cover for weight)

Eight months before:

  • Note must-sees & bucket list
  • Get moleskin journals & start filling them with info & goodies
  • Get certified birth certificate copies for the road

Seven months before:

  • Do auto improvements if will sell, otherwise research storage options
  • Scan important papers & email to self & put on password-protected flash drive to take
  • Close any extra credit cards

Six months before:

  • Make retrofit money-belt for boot
  • Do drivers license early renewal
  • Get International Drivers Permit (easy through AAA)
  • Notify clients about departure & plan to find replacement

Five months before:

  • Sign up with WWOOF and Workaway
  • Order Spanish pilgrimage refugio guide
  • Sign up with Couchsurfing and Hostelling International

Four months before:

  • Bank: make sure ATM card won’t need renewal soon, notify with departure date so don’t block international charges/ ATM use
  • Get clean record letter from local police (in case want residency)

Three months before:

  • Research travel insurance
  • Put important papers in safe deposit box (keep necessary copies for road)
  • Buy rest of supplies

Two months before:

  • Sell car (or plan to store)
  • File private school affidavit 
  • Load up MP3 players with movies, audiobooks, and music
  • Order camping carnet through CAA if plan to camp lots

One month before:

  • Do taxes asap
  • loan/ store/ sell belongings 
  • remind bank about overseas ATM use date
  • Give clients referrals/ do walk-through with replacement
  • Order tickets
  • Order travel insurance

Pretend your departure date is three days before the actual date, so you’re sure to have everything done, and a little time to relax and savor the time with loved ones before you head out.  Have a little get-together?  

So that’s the list that worked beautifully for us- we’d love to hear any additions or changes you’d make, and what’s worked for you.  Who knows when we’ll head out again!











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