About 15 years ago I was settling in for the evening in my hotel room in Manchester, England, when I was startled by the ringing of the phone.  On my first trip to Europe and having spoken to my wife a bit earlier, I wondered, “Who could possibly be calling me?”

It was my wife, who said Chase had just called, and they were a teensy weensy bit curious as to why charges from the UK were suddenly showing up on my credit card.  I of course was blissfully unaware of the fact that I should have advised them that I’d be out of the country, and when I called them, cleared the matter up in a few moments.

Thinking back on that experience and a few others, I now realize how woefully unprepared I was for traveling across the pond. I had my passport and an itinerary, but little else.  If I’d lost my passport, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do.  If I’d lost a credit card, I had no idea of the number to call to get in touch with the issuing bank.  I hadn’t a clue where the U.S. embassy was.  I had no idea what to do if I became ill.  The list goes on and on…

As my wife and I prepare for a trip to Italy this spring, (my first trip to Europe in about 8 years, her first ever), we’re in much better shape.  Over the years I figured out – mostly by trial and error – what to do, and our research for this trip has been fairly extensive.   This information, including some great tips from Practical Hacks readers, were covered in a recent post, 45 terrific travel tips for first time or infrequent international travelers

As our trip approaches, I’ve been mentally going over a list of things we need to address.  Taking it a step further, I developed new versions of the Trip Checklists which appear on the FREE Downloads page, customizing them for international travel.

Not only do they address what to pack, but – perhaps more importantly – they cover what you ought to do 90, 30, and 7 days before your departure. There’s one for men and a version for women, although women be advised:  my wife was abusing me just a few moments ago regarding the discrepancy which apparently exists between what I think women wear and what in reality they wear.  As I pointed out to her, “Uh, like, how would I know??”   If you have ideas for how the lists can be refined and improved, let me know by commenting!

If you’re planning to travel internationally, these lists will ensure you’ve covered all bases including bringing along your camisole, whatever the hell that is.  (I relied upon other online packing lists for women when I developed mine; obviously, I’m no expert when it comes to women’s clothing.) 

See both lists hereFREE Downloads- Travel

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