1. Determine where we want to go: the must-sees along with the if we have time I’d like to sees. Make the hard choices about places that just don’t make the cut.
2. Figure out flights. Is a round-the-world ticket the best option or are one-ways better? Can we use our frequent flyer miles? Do we just want to book the big inter-continental flights or are there some intra-continental legs we also want to have set in stone?
3. Investigate the visa situation for countries we plan to visit. Do we need to get any in advance or can we get them at the border?
4. Make a packing list. Whittle down the packing list…and then do it again. Purchase anything we need but don’t have.
5. Determine what vaccinations we need and get them.
6. Arrange to get any necessary medicines: malaria pills, a generic antibiotic, contacts & supplies for a year, a years-worth of any prescriptions we have.
7. Secure travel and medical insurance. Make sure the insurance covers adventure activities and care within the U.S. should we have to return here for medical care.
8. Find a home for all our belongings. Sell or get rid of what we don’t need/want. See if anyone wants to be a foster parent to any of our stuff. Get a storage unit for whatever remains. Move out.
9. Assign someone power of attorney.
10. Figure out the best way to access money and handle credit card payments, etc. Make sure all companies are aware of our plans and don’t cancel our access to our money just when we most need it. Be sure someone we trust has access to our accounts should it be necessary.
11. Make copies of all important documents. Scan and email copies to ourselves and leave with trusted contact at home.
12. Sign up for a Skype account and make everyone aware of the details so we can stay in touch.
13. Get many, many multiples of passport-size photos made for visas, etc.
14. Set up a flickr account for photo sharing.
15. Get Theresa a plain silver band to wear in leiu of her actual wedding band.
16. Get student IDs if possible.
17. Figure out what to do about taxes while we’re gone.
So, all you savvy travelers out there, what’s missing?