Final prep, part 1…

Last minute check list and to dos before heading out.

grey cities. La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, France. February 2015.
Grey Cities. La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, France. February 2015.

This week is my last week of prep before heading out for my first real solo travel excursion.

While I’m technically still on my first solo adventure (moving to London for school), I’ve had a pretty stable (almost) home away from home experience in London. I came over not knowing anyone but knowing that I was going to be in a dorm with a bunch of fellow students and that I’d have a network of people right away who would be there with me throughout the year. So, basically, not quite the same as solo traveling.

Anyway, this trip (as I’ve discussed over this last month) is a pretty big thing and I‘ve had to consider a lot while planning as a young, single, female traveler. In that light, these last bits of wrapping up besides packing (which I’ll talk about later), here’s my list of things to do before heading out.

1.  If you didn’t nail this down earlier (ie, this was a quickly planned trip so I’m finishing this process!), go into Google Maps and map locations. You can make different maps for the various cities you are going to visit or whole countries if you want in order to figure out a basic schedule of what sites you’ll be looking at together. You’ll be able to see which places are close enough to make a good day out so you aren’t trekking back and forth every day! I still suggest this as part of planning your accommodation, but, even after that, you can pop a few more last minute places before you head out.

2.  While looking things up and mapping them out, it’s just handy to look up where your country’s consulate is within the county(s) you are visiting. Not only is it sometimes fun to see how the area consulates are set up in, but in case of a bad bind, it’s already conveniently pinned! Traveling by yourself, it may also be handy to know where some of the emergency services are located near where you are staying.

3.  On that front, it’s good to have some on hand emergency numbers. Not all emergency services have the same number so look them up and key them in your phone along with the numbers of where you are staying and anyone you may know around the area. If you have an emergency contact, you should make sure that there number is easily accessible and actually note it along with the name (and this is true for everyday life, as well as travel!).

4.  Go over your travel and reservation itineraries and have all of your paperwork in order, together, and easy to get to. The days right before and especially the day you leave is always crazy, so have everything you can/will have on hand when you walk out the door together in a folder early (seriously, this is overlooked to many travelers detriment!).

5.  Don’t just look at your large scale travel in this last minute preparation. How you are getting to your first destination is just as important as the travel you’ve spent all that time planning! After all, if you miss or just mess up your first large scale send off because getting to your first check point went awry, you’re whole trip can get pretty turned around. And remember, you’ve done your research, so if there is something earlier in terms of said large scale travel options, it doesn’t mean you should switch things around—you picked what you did for a reason! (Long term readers: remember the Irish Ferry timetable debacle? Earlier was decidedly NOT faster!)

6.  Lastly (for this week’s post), give someone you trust your itinerary. The closer they are to where you are going the better since they’re more likely to be able to get to you if trouble occurs. Just basic details like where you are going to be on which days and the addresses and numbers of the places you are booked at. Really simple and it will give both you and your loved one(s) some much needed peace of mind.

The rest of my pre-trip items will be covered on Friday’s Silk Sheets and Grilled Cheese on what to pack and some inspiration I’ve looked at to help that along. In the meantime, go out and get some things you may need for packing—travel size shower products, books, ect., but we’ll cover that more on Friday with all the choices and reasoning behind them.

So until Friday: hope you stay tuned for the adventure, and happy travels!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

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Final prep, part 1…

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