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Departure Date is in 6-12 Months
Departure Date is in 2-6 Months
Departure Date is This Month

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Urgent Items


  • Passports:

    Apply or renew as soon as possible. If visa is needed or travel is within 4 weeks, expedite processing of new passport or renewal. Passport expiration needs to be greater than 6 months past end date of travel, with at least 3 blank pages for entry/exit stamps. If you have a valid visa in an expired passport, plan on carrying both old & new passport during travel to that country.
  • Required Immunizations:

    Research & complete immunization requirements for your destination.
  • Visa Requirements:

    Research & complete the visa requirements for your destination if you have a valid passport.
  • Points:

    Look at all frequent flyer, hotel accounts, and credit card points for possible purchases toward trip.
  • Airfare:

    Purchase airfare, watching sales.
  • Wardrobe:

    Determine any wardrobe purchases needed and order now.
  • Luggage:

    Now's the time to find or replace your luggage. Check all zippers, wheels & lining of older bags. Consider both checked & carry-on options.
  • Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check:

    Consider applying for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.
  • Cancellation Insurance CFAR:

    If you want cancellation insurance (CFAR=cancel for any reason) on your airfare, you typically need to purchase the insurance within 14 days of purchasing the tickets.
  • Lodging:

    Staying with friends, at a hostel, or hotel? Research options, read reviews. Reservations can be made closer to departure, unless in a high demand area.
  • Popular Attractions:

    If these are on your must see list, purchase tickets early to insure availability. This can easily be taken care of closer to departure, if there is no risk of tickets selling out.
  • Time-off Requests:

    Reminder to turn in notice for time-off with employers, if needed.
  • House Sitters:

    Time to consider and research renting out your house/apt short-term, or employing a house sitter.

Important Items


  • Airline Issues:

    Join the frequent flyer account for the airline/alliance you are flying with. Also, be sure to secure seat assignments for all flights.
  • Luggage Allowance:

    Check your reservation and the airline website for luggage allowances for your trip. More info here.
  • Activities:

    Use sites such as Trip Adviser(link) to research activities & restaurants for destination. Hint: Read user reviews & comments for off the beaten path ideas.
  • Credit Cards:

    Check all credit cards/debit cards that you plan on taking on the trip for expiration dates - order new cards if needed.

2-3 Weeks Prior to Departure


  • Medical:

    Order Rx refills needed for trip. Complete required recommended immunization series.
  • Airline:

    Log in to airline website with flight confirmation and check for any route/flight changes. Set up text notifications from airlines.
  • Airports/Airline Clubs:

    If itinerary has long layovers, research airports & airline club availabiity.
  • Packing:

    Start pre-packing in luggage.
  • Ground Transportation:

    Reserve rental car, arrange airport transfer, research city bus lines, train, taxi/Uber availability
  • Wardrobe:

    Make final selections & purchases of needed travel clothing.
  • House Sitters:

    Follow-up with house plans, if needed.
  • Accessories:

    Purchase any needed accessories, adaptors, travel size items.
  • Money Exchange:

    Order foreign bills from local bank, if desired.

1 Week Before Departure


  • Mail:

    Put mail on hold.
  • Banking:

    Alert bank & credit cards with foreign travel dates.
  • Reconfirm:

    Reconfirm airfare, lodging reservations, ground transportation.
  • Travel Insurance:

    Purchase travel insurance, if not previously purchased with CFAR Insurance.
  • Packing:

    Finish any purchases of missing itmems. Pack checked bags and check weight.
  • Register with Embassy:

    US Citizens, register with the US Department of State online with the STEP program. Locate the contact info for the US Embassy at destination.
  • Empty House Issues:

    Confirm house sitter, dog sitter, lawn care, cancel newspaper delivery.

1 Day Before Departure


  • Update Friends/Family:

    Give friends & family copy of final itinerary.
  • Entry Paperwork:

    The following information is typically needed for entry paperwork - Dates in destination, lodging phone & address, reason for trip.
  • Transportation to Airport:

    Confirm transportation to airport & parking, if needed.
  • Transportation at destination:

    Have ground transportation contact numbers with travel documents in carry on.
  • Travel documents:

    Print copies of itinerary, travel insurance, hotel reservations, passports, credit cards. Keep copies securely tucked in carry-on. Scan & email backup copies to yourself.

Departure Day!


  • Passport:

    Put passport in neck pouch or other RFID carrier.
  • Travel documents:

    Put copies of itinerary, travel insurance, hotel reservations, passports, credit cards. Keep copies securely tucked in carry-on, with itinerary available at checkin.
  • Luggage:

    Carry on & checked bags (previously packed). Lock checked bags with TSA locks. Put luggage tags on all bags with name, cell, & hotel name/number at destination.
  • Airport Arrival:

    Plan on arriving at departure airport 2.5 hours in advance of departure time.