Create a conservative, but friendly travel budget which will motivate you to stay on track.
Research airfares online or with a local travel agent. Last minute deals are possible but risky when attempting such a long journey.
Research agencies online targeting quality companies operating in the regions they provide services.
Read, compile, compare and decide what itinerary works best with your interests.
Purchase Travel Guide(s):
Learn about the destinations various itineraries offer for your upcoming travels with a recommended travel guide. Purchase online (more choices) or in stores.
2 Months Out
Do you have a passport?
If no, begin the application process in your home country.
If yes, check the expiration date to verify you have a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. If not, begin the renewal process.
With your valid passport (minimum 6 months remaining), begin the India Visa application process. Start as soon as possible to give sufficient time before traveling to receive the approved visa.
Educate yourself on the recommended list of vaccinations and decide if these are right for you. Make appointments, if necessary, based on your decision.
Complete Wills/Estate Planning:
There is never a better time than before a big trip. Legalzoom.com is simple and inexpensive.
1 Month Out
Enroll in automatic payments for as many of the monthly recurring bills as is possible. Most companies offer a direct checking debit option while many allow credit card payments. Ideally one billing cycle should successfully be completed automatically before traveling.
Begin a Pile:
Find a a remote area where you can begin to collect items for your travels. This will help stay organized and motivated to stay on top of your check list.
Research what baggage will fit your needs. Order online or purchase in store.
Purchase Money Holder:
Research which travel money pouch/wallet/holder will work for your comfort needs.
Based on a recommended list of India friendly clothing, purchase any needed items.
Purchase Gear or Equipment:
Based on your travel plans, purchase any necessary gear/equipment as some items may have a lead time for delivery.
Obtain an insurance policy for your trip prior to departure. Policy start dates can vary from the day of the first flight to the day you purchase your flight tickets and travel package.
1 Week Out:
Make photocopies of, or scan into a computer or thumb drive, the following:
Traveler’s Check receipt with contact information
Credit Card(s)- Front and back
Debit Card- Front and back
ID Card/Driver’s License
Vaccination Certificate- Optional
Contact Credit Card/Bank:
Inform the issuing bank of all credit and debit cards, which will be used while traveling, of your travel dates and destination.
Find a neighbor, friend, relative or kennel that can take spot or mittens for the duration of your trip.
Purchase any Snacks, Medications, Prescriptions:
Make one run to the store with a complete list of needed over-the-counter medications, sweets you can’t live without, and of course, prescriptions.
Register with Embassy:
Register an itinerary with your home country’s embassy in case of emergency.
Stop/Hold Mail Delivery:
Fill out a mail delivery stop notice for your dates of travel.
Purchase traveler’s checks from a local bank. There is a small few associated which is often waived for “loyal” customers with just a simple request.
Create a folder or letter size manila envelope to hold all travel documents. Include copies of:
Travel itinerary- Provided by travel agency or self-made from personal reservations
Copies of Passport, Visa, ID’s, Credit cards, ATM/Debit card, Traveler’s check receipt, Travel insurance policy, Inbound Baggage ID, business cards, emergency contact list
Maps, directions, and any other documents related to your travels
Hotel Vouchers- Obtained upon arrival and only if traveling through an agency
1 Day Out
Arrange a Ride:
Airport shuttle, friends, relatives, cab…call ahead to ensure a ride with plenty of time to spare.
Type an outbound and inbound baggage ID to place inside all checked baggage.
Communicate Travel Plans:
Email, mail, hand deliver or leave in home, a copy of your itinerary with a friend/relative along with contact numbers.
Emergency Contact List:
Compile an list of emergency numbers including:
Health insurance provider
Travel insurance provider
Personal doctor- if applicable
Contacts in India- Hotel, Travel Agent, Embassy
Laundry (washed, folded, stored):
Stale laundry in the hamper is not fun to come home to.
Dishes (washed, stored):
As with stale laundry, dirty dishes in the sink will be regrettable.
Pack a snack box/meal for the plane:
You’ll save money over expensive airport concessions and be prepared in case of travel delays.
Heating & Cooling:
Adjust the thermostat to reflect a conservative temperature for an empty house.
Charge camera batteries, laptop(s) and any other electronics before having to fuss with adapters.
Unplug electrical items that aren’t in use while away. TV’s, computers, stoves and fridges are a few items that consume electricity even in power save mode. Save some money on bills and reduce risk.
If you haven’t already signed up for automatic payments prior to departure, pay the last of the bills.
Are you relying on friends or relatives to check your mail? Leave a way to pay for any bills or expenses that come due while traveling.
Transfer money into Account:
Transfer travel funds from a savings, money market or other external account into the checking account tied to the ATM/debit card which will travel to India.
Water, adjust lighting and give a pep talk to your cherished plants. They will miss you.
Detailed traveler? Get those wrinkles out with the iron you’re accustomed to.
Start packing early in case there are any last minute runs to the store.
Move into Travel Pouch:
Move credit cards, money, traveler’s checks, business cards, passport and ID’s into a travel friendly neck or waist pouch. Leave wallet in an easy to remember location at home.
In some countries with some airlines, passengers can check-in online up to 24 hours in advance. Print boarding passes for all flights. Place with Travel documents.
An alert traveler avoids making rash decisions, forgetting needed items or entering into shady situations.
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