savoring puglia - a journey of the senses
Travel Checklist:
6-12 Months from Trip:
  • Check passport, make sure your passport doesn't expire until more than 6 months from the end of the Italy trip. If it doesn't, you'll want to renew it as soon as possible. 
  • Arrange flight. - Take into consideration: Are there any travel days you want to do before or after the Italian experience?  Do you prefer to fly into Rome and spend a couple days first, then take the train to Brindisi or Lecce?  Or do you prefer to fly into Brindisi? 
  • Purchase travel insurance, give that information to Nicla so she can have it stored in case of emergency.
 
3-6 Months before trip: 
  • Decide a packing strategy. Do you want to bring a carry on, or a checked bag? Do you want to fit in a backpack? Deciding this will help you to know how much clothing to pack and if you need to buy anything specific for your trip.  In general, keep in mind that Europe is not great for large checked luggage. Your entire experience will be easier if you do not have a checked bag. Most historic places do not have elevators, and some towns even have laws against rolling luggage.  For your carry on luggage, check with the airline you are flight to verify the bag sizes they allow.  Often European standards are slightly smaller than US airlines.
  • Check travel requirements for any countries you will be visiting. Including vaccinations, visas. 
 
1-2 Months before trip:
 
  • Start researching if you want a sim card or if you want to contact your cell phone company for a eSim card.
  • Verify that you have 1-2 credit cards to bring with you that do not have foreign transaction fees. If you do not, then now is the time to apply for one to use on the trip. Bank cards are often not recommended since they often do not have the same security benefits as credit cards do.
  • Make advance payment on bills to make sure no bills become due while you are traveling.
  • Contact your credit card company and banks to notify them that you'll be in Italy. This can be done by calling the number on your card, and also often online while signed into your account.
  • Consider getting a money belt, or hanging money carrier to wear under your clothing. This can be great to keep your passport extra safe once you are in your destination, or extra cash or cards, so you only have in your purse what you expect to use during that day.
2-4 Weeks before trip:
  • Check prescriptions, make sure you have enough for your trip.
  • Scan or photograph your passport, driver’s license and credit cards. This can help you get replacements more quickly, should you lose the originals.
  • Print out travel documents and place them together in a folder, you can also take screenshots. Verify which tickets can be accessed without the internet, or if you lose your phone make sure you have another way to access your information.
  • Start a place in your home to gather all travel items.
  • Decide which products you want to bring with you, which you want to purchase a travel size of, and for some products you may want to purchase a few small travel size containers to put your lotions, or face creams in.
  • Withdraw some cash to bring with you. This can be useful for your US stops or layovers, and also to convert to Euros for the trip. Keep in mind that if you have a card with a pin, you can get more cash out later on in the trip, most likely you don't need to have enough cash for the whole trip now.
  • Download travel apps, this can be great for the airline you're flying with, Italia trains if you are riding trains, whats app is commonly used overseas, uber, maps
  • Sign up for STEP. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, run by the U.S. Department of State, helps the local embassy reach you in an emergency.
1-2 days before trip:
  • Water Plants
  • Decide what you'll wear during your travel days. I often choose layers. Sometimes my bulkiest items, so I have more room in my luggage. Layers are great as well.
  • Prep house for your absence. This could mean hiding valuables, verifying locks, verify pet sitters, childcare schedules, turn off or unplug items not needed during your absence.
  • finish packing - clothes, shoes, toiletries, wallet, passport, glasses or contacts, socks, swimwear, sunglasses, hair accessories, camera/phone.
  • Charge all devices
  • Photograph what you are packing. This can make it easier if your luggage is lost and you need to file a claim.
  • Verify that you don't have any prohibited items in your luggage. Certain batteries, corkscrews, pocket knives, etc. You can check on your airline website to verify the list.
  • Weigh your checked bag to make sure it is not more than what is allowed by your airline.  While you're at it, measure your packed back and make sure it still fits into the allowed measurements.
 
Day of Trip:
  • Put your keys in a safe place in your luggage, tucked away since you won't need them until you return.
  • Verify everything is turned off, that can be turned off. Also unplug coffee makers, toasters, and other electronics. Adjust the thermostat if no one else will be home during your absence.
  • Make sure you have tickets, phone, hearing aids, contacts/glasses, passport.
  • Take a deep breath, surrender to the beauty of the journey. You've prepared. Now is the time to enjoy the journey, the people watching, to choose grace during any possible long lines, to be the you that is ready for adventure, ready for you time, ready for connection.