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RTW Preparations – Overview

So how does one go about going from a permanent address, a leased car, and an apartment full of “stuff” to a 50 liter backpack and a passport? Lots of work.

Weekends/weeknights, dreams, road trips… our pursuit to see the world enveloped our lives. Fighting the urge to splurge, finding the proper gear/clothing, and building a web of bank accounts were among the daily tasks. And to do it all on a tight budget took some tough choices and LOTS of research.

We consulted blogs, long-term travel websites, and had countless discussions to come up with a comprehensive packing list. Many of the categories below will have a detailed blog entry for those interested in how we reached the summit of Preparation Mountain.

Without all the gory details, below is a consolidated list of what we accomplished with August 31, 2009 circled on our calendars:

  1. Backpack – type (top loader vs. side loader), brand, size, daypack.

  2. Clothing – shoes, flip flops, socks, shirts, shots, pants, dresses, jackets, bras, underwear, hats, etc.

  3. Electronics – iPods, headphones, cameras, photo storage, netbook, external DVD player, bluetooth earpiece, travel charger adapters, battery charger, rechargeable batteries, etc.

  4. Lighting – headlamp, torch.

  5. Sleeping – sleeping bag, ear plugs, sleep sacks, alarm clock, sleeping masks, etc.

  6. Security – moneybelt, decoy wallet, backpack locks.

  7. First Aid Kit – case, materials (bandages, Imodium, tweezers, moleskin, thermometer, pain reliever, cold medicine, etc.).

  8. Prescriptions – case, pills (malaria, diarrhea, altitude sickness, pain reliever, birth control, antibiotics).

  9. Dopp Kit – case, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, face wash, lotion, vitamins, etc.

  10. Sanitary Items – travel detergent, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, travel towel, etc.

  11. Bite Avoidance – DEET repellant spray, permetherin.

  12. Useful Items – Sunscreen, pocketknife, Ziploc bags, resistance bands, sewing kit, sunglasses, notebook, dive masks/snorkel, cards, etc.

  13. Banking – close unnecessary accounts, research banks with favorable international transaction policies, link up accounts, traveler checks, notification of foreign travel, etc.

  14. Paperwork – backup (hard copies, copies for family, email backup), immunization records, blood type, flight serial numbers, passport, visas, power of attorney, drivers license, etc.

  15. Immunizations – yellow fever, hepatitis A/B, meningitis, typhoid fever, tetanus, polio.

  16. Unwinding Your Life – change of address, pay all outstanding balances, unload car lease, storage of personal items, etc.

- Greg

Tips

1) Begin your preparations 6 months before your targeted departure date.  This will significantly reduce your anxiety.

2) Before purchasing anything, come up with your Packing Checklist, your game plan.   Again, this will reduce anxiety.

3) The best way to save $$$ on RTW preparations is to only purchase necessary items.  For example, if you aren’t going to be camping every week, don’t buy a sleeping bag!

  • bbarfell

    Do you really have a “decoy wallet”? If so, I hope it's bright, neon and full of “decoy” cash!!!

  • fofs

    Your detailed reading is impressive, Holmes. The decoy wallet is full
    of “money party” cash. Would be thieves shall file their grievance
    with Devin Delrosario.

    - Greg

  • bbarfell

    HOPE EVERYTHING'S GROOVY… Excited to see you both in a month.

  • fofs

    Word. Please remember to bring me a hot date to Amy's wedding.

  • Addie

    You two look like your having lots of fun, we love hearing all about what you guys have done.
    love you

  • Mark S. Waligora

    This is a very comprehensive list Gregory. Are there any items that you have come across that you should have had, but did not? Or was this list comprehensive enough that you have not had to spend money on any other “non-perishables”?

  • fofs

    Thanks Addie, keep it real in Tonganoxie! Pass along our love to
    Jeff, Molly, and Adrian.

    - Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Mark – the only non-perishable purchased on the road is shoe
    deodorizer. But time will tell how well we truly planned. I can tell
    you this though, we saved LOTS of $$$ by purchasing only the
    essentials. We have the smallest packs (50 liter) of every world
    traveler we have befriended and we are able to move around quicker and
    lighter.

    - Greg

  • fofs

    Thanks Addie, keep it real in Tonganoxie! Pass along our love to
    Jeff, Molly, and Adrian.

    - Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Mark – the only non-perishable purchased on the road is shoe
    deodorizer. But time will tell how well we truly planned. I can tell
    you this though, we saved LOTS of $$$ by purchasing only the
    essentials. We have the smallest packs (50 liter) of every world
    traveler we have befriended and we are able to move around quicker and
    lighter.

    - Greg

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