Top 5 Things To Do Before Your RTW Trip

Over the past week, I have been running around like a madwoman trying to get everything done. Who knew there would be so many loose ends to tie up! As a non-planner (I refuse to refer to myself as a procrastinator), I tend to leave things to the last minute. It’s a disease, I know.


Somewhere along the line, I’ve become a penny-pincher (not in extreme proportions, but frugal enough), and paying out money for things I don’t need, kills me, which is why I refuse to pay $50 for a travel shot consultation. It’s highway robbery.

Talking to your family doctor is a great place to start. They won’t have all of the answers, but it’s a good starting point. Travel reports are another great resource.


Insurance is one of those things that a lot of people sit on the fence about. Okay, it’s something I sit on the fence about. On one hand, I wonder if I ACTUALLY need it, or whether it’s a waste of money. On the other hand, I may need it and I’ll be over-the-moon-happy to discover I’m not forking out a lot of money out of my own pocket.

Finding cheap travel insurance is the key. Do your research before you buy & make sure you’ll have the proper coverage for your trip.

Scan Documents

There is nothing worse than losing your wallet, passport or other travel documents, especially if you don’t have copies! I always make copies of my passport, visa and insurance information. Once your documents have been copied, make sure you keep them in a separate place from your REAL documents.

It’s always a good idea to leave a copy with family or a close friend before leaving home.

The BIG email

Although scanning and or copying your documents are important, writing the big email is just as, if not more important.  It’s a time-consuming task, and as the hour’s tick by and departure fast approaches, it’s important that you make the time. I generally email the following:

  • Itineraries- Airline, bus, or train. Basically, anything that has been booked and paid for.
  • Hotel confirmations
  • Embassy Info. – If your family is slightly paranoid, it helps. This way they know where to go should something happen in the country where you’ll be travelling.
  • Scanned copies of your passport, visas, etc.

Before leaving home, It’s a good idea to send this email to family, as well as a close friend.

Once you’ve completed the above it’s time to relax and have some fun, well relax as much as you can!

Make Memories

Don’t get so wrapped up in your planning and preparation that you ignore the people around you. Take time to make memories with family and friends. As you travel there will be days when you’ll want to scream, and having fun memories to reflect on can help to ease the frustration.

The last few days before your trip are hectic. You’ll remember things you’ve forgotten or put off doing, you’ll have sleepless nights, you feel so anxious that you think your body will spontaneously combust. Take a step back and breath. Remember why you’re going and what you’ll be doing.

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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10 Responses

  1. LeslieTravel

    Great tips! I’m curious to see if your list changes after you’ve been abroad for a few months. I agree with your travel vaccinations point- I went to my physician and he was able to give me all of the shots I needed. I didn’t have to pay cash for a travel clinic consultation. (Though it’s probably cheaper to see the doctor in Canada than the US!)

  2. ayngelina

    Good tips, I created a binder for my mother with all of the contact information for the Canadian Embassies in each country I planned to visit along with photocopies of all my documents and travel insurance.

    They may never look at it but it did help put them at ease that they had access to it.

  3. Nick Laborde

    Like you, I tend to save things for the last minute. Your last point about making memories is something I’m going to have to make sure and do.

  4. The Only Gringo

    These are excellent tips. Can I add:

    – redirect post
    – get yourself a maintenance-free haircut
    – open a bank account which lets you withdraw cash abroad without charging you the Earth
    – set up webmail if you don’t already have it
    – get a Skype account
    – stock up on prescription medicines/contraceptives

    and finally, but morbidly:

    – make a will!

    For itinerary/budget/packing tips, take a look at my blog:

    Enjoy your trip!

    Cheers, TOG.

  5. Kat

    I know that in NYC (not sure about other places) there are really amazing travel clinics that only charge you for the actual shots. I did my own research about which vaccinations I needed, and then paid $70 for my typhoid shot – and they wrote me a malaria prescription as well.

  6. adam

    i scanned my important documents for my parents literally 20 minutes before i left my house for the airport. i was in a mad rush up until the minute i left!

  7. Mike

    Good info, thanks. Helps since I leave on my RTW in less than 48 hours, especially the BIG email section. Didn’t think about that.

  8. Becci Kyle

    Aaargh i’m leaving on my adventure in a week with none of this done!! Except my shots which cost a big old $300, and that was only a third of the ones I need. It’s pretty exhausting thinking about it all but I reckon when I’m out there all the stress will definately be worth it! Thanks for the big email tip, I’ll just put that on my already huge to-do list

    • SpunkyGirl Monologues

      It’s okay! Take some time to breathe. Leaving for a big trip is scary, and fun and exciting. Once you’re on the road, the stress will be forgotten.
      Just take things one step at a time and don’t let it get too overwhelming. 🙂


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