Check Lists

Six Months Before Departure
Make sure you have passports for every member of the family (including babies), and check the expiration dates. A passport should be valid for at least six months after your departure date.

This is also a good time to make sure you have enough blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) for every country you plan to enter. More pages can be added if necessary.

Three Months Before Departure
Check with the appropriate consulate for visa requirements to avoid disappointments. Getting a visa may require sending passports away for several weeks, so make sure you give yourself adequate time.

Find out what vaccinations and/or medications may be necessary for your destination, and make appointments with your doctor or a travel clinic.

2-4 Weeks Before Departure
Look at packing lists/weather information to determine what you will need to pack and what you might need to buy.

Make sure you have luggage that’s the right size and type for your journey. Look into any weight restrictions, especially if your travels will involve small planes.

A Week Before Departure
Usually trips are planned 6 months or a year in advance, so approximately a week before you depart, take a moment to review all your itineraries and reacquaint yourself with your plans.

Make any necessary changes to your itinerary – but keep in mind that most changes will incur penalties and additional last-minute fees.

Decide if you will carry your luggage or ship it ahead of time.

Make a packing list and strategize how to avoid paying for excess weight at the airport.

Day of Departure
International departures: arrive 3 hours before departure to assure a smooth and calm experience. Domestic departures: arrive 1½ hour prior to departure. Last minute check-in may result in the loss of your well-chosen seat or cause your luggage to miss the flight.

Enjoy the time before your flight by relaxing in the first-class airport lounge.

Upon Arrival
Regardless how tired you feel, plan an outing, do not nap! This will help acclimatize your body clock to the destination time zone.

When you arrive at your hotel, introduce yourself to the hotel concierge (depending on the hotel, there may be two or three professionals).

Plan to retire early in the evening.