Mail Redirection, Bills and More

Mail Redirection, Bills and More

Getting ready to travel is full of awesome firsts. Buying the backpack, the plane ticket and booking your first hostel to name just a few. You can get lost in the excitement and forget the less than attractive loose ends you need to sort out.

I’ve been putting this off for weeks, always thinking I still have time. Now that I’m down to the business end of my trip planning with only 26 days left till I depart, its become apparent I don’t have time.

So to force myself into getting motivated I bring you my list of important things you need to ensure you have sorted before exiting the country via a great big metal bird.

Prescriptions and Doctor Visits

  • Visit your GP and get a checkup. Its better to leave healthy and they will also advise you if you need any travel shots. Get any prescription’s sorted or take a letter from your GP so you have less issues abroad
  • If like me you have poor eye sight. Go see your Optometrist and ensure your vision is spot on. Get a copy of your prescription so you can get more contact lenses or new glasses when needed
  • It sucks but a trip to the Dentist is a good idea too. I hate going to the dentist now but it scares me even more to visit one that doesn’t speak my language. Oh and nobody wants a tooth ache bringing you down
  • Are there any other doctors or medical professionals you see

Bills and Renewals

  • First up get a redirection on your mail to a reliable person (Hi Mum). You’d hate to have the debt collector freezing your travel fund because you didn’t get the bill to pay that overdue library fee
  • Convert any bills you can’t cancel to online versions. This saves your reliable mail person having to deal with too much and you can be sure to stay on top of your finances. Not to mention saving a tree or two’s worth of paper
  • Cancel any accounts you have. Your travelling so that magazine subscription is pointless, oh and I’m pretty sure that book club doesn’t ship to Egypt so cut it too
  • Do you have a driver’s licence? Will it expire while your travelling the world. Photo ID could be useful but not when it’s expired
  • Do your credit cards expire a month after you leave? Check with you bank about renewing them early. Loosing one abroad is painful but it happens. Forgetting to renew before you leave is just making your own life difficult
  • Cancel your local phone contract, it might not be possible but try for a lower plan. International phone plans are expensive for long term travel just grab a local sim for the country your in and save a fortune
  • Contents Insurance, Health Insurance, Car Insurance do you need these? If not dump them as they only eat into your travel fund

Change of Address

Getting your mail redirected is a start but some people need an address or need to know your overseas.

  • Most of us still have to vote even while abroad. Make sure your government knows that your seeing the world
  • Banks love to know everything including what we had for breakfast. Telling them when your overseas stops them from putting a stop on your credit card too
  • If you still have insurance be sure to keep them in the loop on your location
  • Any form’s of licence should be changed like Drivers Licence etc

You may have more or less on your list, this is just the beginning of mine I’m sure its going to grow. The best advice I can offer is comb over your pile of paperwork you call important and check off everything.

Leaving for an extended RTW trip is like planning to move house just way way cooler. Have I missed something? Then let me know you may save a fellow traveller from forgetting something.

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20 Responses to Mail Redirection, Bills and More

  1. CATIA | VAGABOND ROOTS March 30, 2010 at 1:25 AM #

    Great list! I’m glad to see you mention letting the bank know you’re going to be travelling, I’ve seen 2 people now that had their credit and debit cards frozen because they didn’t know to do that. It was a very scary experience for them both!

    I’d also recommend making copies of all your important documents (passport, credit card numbers, prescriptions, travel insurance etc) and keeping copies both in a secure place online and with a friend or family member. If something happens to the originals, it’s much easier to get replacements when you have proof of who you are.
    .-= Catia | Vagabond Roots´s last blog ..The Inspiring, Surreal Gardens of Las Pozas =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD March 30, 2010 at 9:57 PM #

      Hey Catia. I know I’ve had friends get caught like that too, and even when they told the bank that they were going overseas. argh banks in general.

      Yes I’m getting my photocopier/scanner setup for a session of what I call copy my life to save from a disaster.

  2. ANDI March 30, 2010 at 7:49 AM #

    Such a great list of reminders!!! I hope you can accomplish it all before you leave. I would also say do a proper backup of your computer before you set off to and keep copies of the stuff you’ve backed up at “home.” It would be awful to lose everything in case your laptop got stolen, lost, or damaged.
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Brasil: Day 8 (Part 3) =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD March 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM #

      Hey ya Andi. I’m bringing a spare hard drive for my macbook with me for backup purposes. Working in IT I know you can never be too prepared in that department.

  3. BROOKE VS. THE WORLD March 30, 2010 at 11:57 AM #

    Good tips – I would suggest seeing a Travel Clinic as well. They will have more insight than just a normal GP.
    .-= Brooke vs. the World´s last blog ..Australia & Italia Cultural Overlap Part 1: Never Accept a Gift From an Italian Boy =-.

  4. AYNGELINA March 30, 2010 at 7:26 AM #

    One other thing you may want to do is write down the 1-800 numbers for your banks/credit cards when overseas. Two years ago I was robbed in Vietnam and couldn’t figure out how to call my bank because the 1-800 number I wrote down only worked in Canada!
    .-= ayngelina´s last blog ..Cleveland Rocks! =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD March 30, 2010 at 9:58 PM #

      Thats a good idea Ayngelina. Lucky for me my mum works for my bank. So its a quick call to say help mum some little kid stole my card 🙂

  5. CANDICE March 31, 2010 at 2:23 AM #

    Wow Chris, just 26 days left?! I didn’t realize. I wish the former tenants of my house would have followed this advice…I’m so freaking sick of getting their mail.
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..I Don’t Give a Damn How You Travel =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 1, 2010 at 6:05 PM #

      I know Candice. So starting to panic a little. Make or break time for me.

      I always get main redirected for 6 months or more. After that it should only be junk mail. The mail I used to get for some people, you think they’d miss paychecks right??

  6. CORNELIUS AESOP March 31, 2010 at 1:31 AM #

    I have to go through some of this because I’m moving, not RTW trip…yet. So I’m just chalking it up as practice.
    .-= Cornelius Aesop´s last blog ..Don’t Want No Short Short URL =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 1, 2010 at 6:03 PM #

      Sounds good my little monkey friend. Leaving the country you still need to change address etc, all good practice for ya 🙂

  7. SUZY March 31, 2010 at 2:13 PM #

    Great idea for a post. So many do not know they should be calling the bank before they leave, going to the dentist, etc. Glad you included everything. Perhaps this goes with packing, but adapters for all your chargers is a good thing to get squared away before you go. For writers, making sure that computer is all squared away and not acting up is a good idea before you leave. I guess your computer may need a check-up as well.
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..Where are you going? Swimming in Disappointment and the Waters of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 1, 2010 at 6:08 PM #

      Hey Suzy. I know and even if you tell the bank you can still get caught out. I’m just lucky my mum works for my bank. Having that connection makes it easier.

      I’m also taking 2 credit cards to be safe. One has no fees for everything and the other is backup. I will not having anything ruin this new life for me.

      I’m all set on the adapters. Will attempt to fit in a power board as well, that way one adapter and I can charge everything at once.

  8. HEATHER April 1, 2010 at 11:23 AM #

    I’ve been putting off the doctor and dentist visits as well…so thank you for reminding me that I need to call them tomorrow or Friday O:-)

    I expect a full report in a week as to the things you’ve been able to cross off the list 😉 You keep me accountable too.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 1, 2010 at 6:17 PM #

      Now Heather you can’t avoid the dentist. I actually got in to see him last week and got the all clear, major happy dance about that.

      Since your coming to Australia your biggest worry should be avoiding all of our deadly little creatures anyway. Clean teeth won’t scare away the snakes 🙂

  9. CHRISTINE April 4, 2010 at 3:31 AM #

    I’m glad to see that I have completed (or scheduled!) almost everything on this list. I would also highly recommend taking a copy of your passport with you. I lost my passport while I was in Paris a few years ago–the day before I was scheduled to depart–and the only way I was able to get into the American embassy and have an emergency passport issued within hours was showing French guards a copy of my passport. Hugely helpful- now I also have a picture of my passport on my iPhone in case anything happens to my luggage.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 4, 2010 at 12:42 PM #

      Hey Christine, I’m part way through the list. I move back home next weekend so can get most things sorted then like change of address.

      I’ll have a copy of my passport on my iphone, in my email, hosted on my blog and saved to my macbook hard drive. I’m not taking any chances with that one either.


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