TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE: DEPARTURE IS THIS MONTH

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Departure Date is in 6-12 Months
Departure Date is in 2-6 Months
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Urgent Items To Do

TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • Immediately:

    Locate Passport & Research Visa Requirement for destination.
  • Passports:

    If your passport is expired, is out of blank visa pages, or will expire within 6 months of travel dates, the passport must be renewed. For travel within 4 weeks and a Visa is required, it is recommended to renew through a US Passport Agency or other Passport Processing Company for the quickest turnaround. More info here-US Passport Agencies Apply or renew as soon as possible to allow time for Visa processing prior to departure. If using a Passport Processing Company, see if they can process the Visa also. 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.Your Visa may have a required immunization.
  • 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, it may be required for Visa application or Passport expediting.
  • 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? Make reservations asap, as some Visa applications will require proof.
  • Popular Attractions:

    If these are on your must see list, purchase tickets early to insure availability.
  • Time-off Requests:

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

    Secure house/pet sitter for time away.

Important Items To Do

TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • 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 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 Items To Do

TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • 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/Pet 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 Items To Do

TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • 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

TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • 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!

    TRIP PLANNING TIMELINE

  • 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.