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Do you have a List of ' Things to Do Pre-Trip' to share?

I am going on the RS Best of Italy at the end of June. I'm trying to put together a list of must-do's before I leave so I don't forget something important, such as (A) photocopy passport, credit cards, etc. and give to a family member, and(B) confirm hotel reserv. for extra night in Milan. What else do I need to do (obviously packing light is on my list)?

Do you have a list to share with me? Thanks.

Posted by
367 posts

Hi Gretchen:

Call your credit card company and ATM card people and let them know you will be using the card in Europe. That way they won't block the charges. Verify that you ATM card will work and that it has a correct pin.

Make sure you get a non-800 number for your credit cards and ATM card if you have to cancel them if they are lost.Keep it in your money belt. Take a photo copy of the card as well.

Leave copies of all information with a family member. Copies of passport, credit cards, numbers to cancel cards, copies of medical cards, copies of hotel list, airline information etc. Also designate someone in the states to authorize care if you are in an accident. I work in the health
hinsurance field and some advice I would give is to leave written authorization with someone stateside to autorize health care and have access to health care information other than a spouse.

Lastly, remember to relax and have a great time. You will.

I have taken this tour and had blast

Posted by
354 posts

Consider adding these items to your pre-trip To Do List:
1) Create index cards with essential Italian phrases - practice speaking these ahead of time, and bring the cards with you to Italy.
2) Contact your credit card company - give them your trip dates and destination.
3) Acquire a continental Europe electrical adapter to recharge camera, cell phone, laptop computer, etc., (also, determine if a voltage converter is needed).
4) Arrange to have your mail and newspapers collected by family or friends, or possibly ask the post office to stop your mail for the duration of your trip.
5) Pay in advance any bills that will become due during your trip.

Posted by
12040 posts

If I'm on an extended trip, I compile a list, including addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers, of all the US embassies and consulates in the areas I plan to visit. If you are going on a group tour, this is likely less necessary for you.

Posted by
769 posts

while i cant add more to the above - as it seems to cover all my own suggestions too - id emphasize two more things: one - do call your CC and ATM card AGAIN the day before you leave to make sure (I do a week before and again a day before to make sure). 2: do relax the day before - by having all your packing all done and ready to go as if it was the day of the trip. Then relax and rest up - drink plenty of water (maybe an airborne) and practice your language if you have some. Watch as RS Rerun on DVD too to get you in the mood too! then day of leave lots of time for the airport so you can relax there too (3-4 hrs - not 2!)

Posted by
61 posts

Calling the CC and ATM people twice is important. I've had a couple of times where the first call was not noted. The first time it happened, luckily I didn't try to use the card after I had the call, on my home voice mail, about the "unusual activity" block. After that, I learned to call a second time. Sure enough, they had not noted it again and the same thing would have happened if I hadn't checked back.

I also scan in a copy of passport and other documents so that I can leave an electronic copy with someone at home that can be sent in case of emergency. I have also sent it to myself in an email that can be accessed if necessary. In that case, some precautions need to be taken to make sure that your email account is as secure as possible.

Posted by
258 posts

Here's my list:
1. Make photocopies of passport
2. Make photocopies of back & front of credit cards
3. Make photocopy of id, front & back
4. Stop newspaper
5. Put mail on hold
6. Call credit card companies & bank to let them know where I’m traveling so they won’t put a fraud hold on the account(s).
7. Write 1-800 numbers in my notebook
8. Fill notebook with clear sleeves and put in it airline confirmations, hotel confirmations, train schedules/tickets, Eurostar times, metro maps, etc.
9. Leave list of hotel/hostel names and contact info with dates staying at home on dry-erase board (also include this in the notebook).
10. Put library acct. on vacation hold.
11. Turn off water heater.
12. Turn off water to washer.
13. Turn off gas to furnace.
14. Call police dept. to let them know I’m on vacation

[Ed. comment: Re. #2 - Do NOT carry copies of your credit card numbers. You do not want those available to anyone. Carry, instead, the phone numbers of those credit/debit card companies - the numbers you would call from Europe should your cards be lost or compromised.]

Posted by
12074 posts

I would add, do some extra studying on where you will be. RS tours often have "exploring on your own for the afternoon". Consider what you would like to see in those times and before/after you join/leave the tour.

I would second the doing some language study. I was enthusiastically greeted everywhere on my last trip to Italy. Part of that due to traveling as a family the rest to having some basic language skill. If nothing else learn please, thank you, and appropriate salutations and use them often.