Now that our mother/daughter trip to Europe is around the corner, there are a few last minute items that need to happen. I recently wrote about travel planning in the weeks and months leading up to a trip, but often the few days before leaving for vacation are the craziest times of all.
Several days in advance:
You really can’t plan the weather far in advance, other than to check the average annual temperatures for that region. But once you are within a two week window of your trip, most weather websites will give you fairly accurate information. I can’t see the last few days of the trip yet, but most of the two weeks we’ll be in Europe look to be sunny, with only a few days of rain.
Check into flights
While European carriers apparently let you check into your flight weeks in advance, US airlines only let you do so 24 hours in advance. That means I won’t be able to check us in for our transatlantic flights until tomorrow night.
Confirm you packed critical items
Last weekend, I did a “practice pack” for my trip, to make sure my clothes etc would fit in my carry-on bag. What I did NOT do was pack key pieces of electronics (think phone and camera plus their chargers, spare memory cards, etc), or spare copies of my passport and driver’s license. Now is the time. Nothing would be more frustrating than bringing my camera and forgetting the charger, or having insufficient identification.
Confirm your financial arrangements
I ordered some Euros from my bank last week, and after a few business days they are available for me to pick up. I’ve notified all of my banks that I will be traveling, and my mom has done the same. Today I’ll pick up my Euros, and then split them up between my carry-on and my purse to ensure that some of them will be safe if one bag gets lost/stolen.
Download your maps and apps!
Since I’m packing so lightly, I wanted to avoid lugging around maps and guidebooks – but I didn’t want to go without this information! Enter the old unlocked iPhone I purchased from Ebay. I downloaded the app CityMaps2Go, which provides offline maps for all of the cities on our trip. You also have the option of downloading “wiki-plus”, which provides Wikipedia entries for many of the top tourist places in each city. I did spring for the paid version, because the free version only allowed you to download two maps. I tested it out by downloading Paris and Venice, and it was definitely worth it.
I also wanted to make sure I had all the connectivity/communication apps I wanted before we left. I turned off data on my phone, so I can only access the app store through a wi-fi connection. I downloaded Facebook, Skype (both regular and wi-fi), WordPress (of course!), and a few other related apps.
Now that everything is in place, I’m beyond excited! The next two days will be a blur (interrupted by a dentist appointment on Wednesday), so check back in a couple days for updates from our trip!
What sort of last minute tasks do you have when you travel? Do you leave the packing for the last day? Let me know below!