Checklist advice needed
I can't believe we are down to 33 days!! I'm getting so excited but also very nervous. I am so afraid I will forget something important, so I'm trying to make a little checklist of things to do before travel. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I just printed out our travel vouchers and Mobay confirmation and put them in a safe place with our passports. I already signed up for Romance Rewards, but when should I pre-check-in? Do I have to call the airline for any reason if we went through a travel agent, to check in or confirm details or anything? When would I do that? How early should I get to the airport? Is there anything else I can do to calm the anxiety and enjoy the anticipation? And most important - is it too early to start packing?? :D
Ha! Glad to know I'm not the only one ready to go! We leave in 20 days and I will probably get the suitcases out this weekend. I have already set aside things I need to take that I don't use such as all of our sunblock and gifts for a couple staff members. I am trying to pre check in on romance rewards but for some reason I can't...if I still have an issue next week I'll call. I have booked and paid for arrival VIP at MoBay so that we can get to that resort as quick as possible (we get in on a Saturday afternoon and have had the crap luck of getting there at the same time as 3 other airplanes)
As far as getting to the airport...we almost always take the first flight out and a lot of times no one is even at the desk to check us in so you might want to call the airport if you fly out early.
Oh...bring bug spray or wipes for your legs...keeps the little sand flees off of you (only an issue at night but trust me they help) those darn bites actually hurt and last longer than mosquitos.
I have used a checklist for both a previous trip and an upcoming trip. Things I put on this checklist.
We live in a location with winter and snow. It seems every time we begin our journey we leave home in a snow storm. The airport we fly out of is about 300 miles away. We stay at a motel the night before we leave. At about 5 days out, I check the weather daily. This may make a difference when we actually leave for our departure location.
Our house will be empty while we are gone. We live out of town and have a well. I turn the heat down to about 60F. I set the hot water heater to pilot. I switch off the circuit breaker for the well pump. Etc.
We have pets. At about 3 weeks out I verify the kennel they will stay at.
I go to my bank and let them know that I will be out of the country. They will flag my credit card count that there will be charges from out of the country. I give them specific dates. On one of our trips our house sitter received calls every time we used our credit card. If it wasn't for our house sitter, our credit card may have been frozen. This actually happened to a couple we were traveling with. While at the bank, I get the cash for the trip. You don't really need a lot of cash. Tipping is not allowed on the resort. But you will need some smaller bills for tips when you are off of the resort. Your bus driver, tour guide, etc.
You may or may not want to go to your cell phone provider and ave a Caribbean Calling plan put on your phone. Myself, I get a small calling plan only. The resort has Wi-Fi and you can turn off the cellular data on your phone. Your email and text messages will go through the Wi-Fi connection. Keep the Caribbean plan on your phone for 3 weeks to a month after you return home just in case it takes a while for all of the transactions to catch up.
I have some work related stuff on my checklist. There are some things I do so that things can continue while I am gone.
I have an entry in my checklist to clear both my personal and work calendars. I don't want to be reminded daily that it is lunch time at work or of the meetings I may miss. I set my out of office replies on my work email. I don't set a vacation reply on my personal email or social networking sites. I feel this is just asking for trouble.
I have an extra packing list. If this is your first trip, I can tell you that most likely you will pack too many clothes. You will spend most of your time in beach attire. Swim suit, cover up, t-shirt, flip flops, etc. Pack extra swim suits and cover ups. You will change into your evening attire just before dinner. Usually shorts and a nice shirt or blouse. You will need some dress clothes to go to the Eight Rivers restaurant.
We also go through a travel agent. For us, there is no real need to check in at the airline until we reach the ticket counter. And the travel agency will have someone near the ticket counter to help us with this.
You will need to be at the airport about 2 1/2 hours before your flight. TSA rules say that they can and most likely will deny you or your luggage from getting on the plane if you try and check in less than an our from your departure time.
We have never done the Romance Rewards Pre Check in. We may or may not do this on our upcoming trip
Don't worry. it will all work out
Enjoy your stay in paradise.
We usually pre check in about a week before arrival, have a blast !!
I suggest reading back through the boards to the many "wish I had thought of that" posts. Some great info there! Have a blast and leave your worries behind!
ggirl40 You forgot to tell us where you are going... Just kidding it really dosen't matter you will have a great time wherever you I don't know if you have read this but give it a try. There are some very good suggestions. You certainly can't bring everything listed, but there may be a few items that you may like to pack. My suggestion is don't overpack. You will be in your bathing suit most of the time. Take 3 or 4 outfits that you can mix and match. Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Have fun!
One thing we do is keep our passports in ziploc bags. This keeps that little immigration slip of paper safe that you have to present when departing Jamaica. Make sure to confirm your flights with your airline within 24 hours of departure. I do this on line as well as pre-paying baggage fees.
CSA soon come!
Life is good :)
Other than medications and personal items you may need, you can buy anything else you might have forgotten. What I have done for years is designate a certain area in a room in my house, and as I think of things I put them in that area. I usually start doing this the month before travel. I've made a list over the years, save it to my computer and print it out and place in the area. Over the years I've added and subtracted from the list, but honestly, I've never forgotten something I've needed since 1996. :o (Passports very important so they go to the area first.)
Thanks so much for the great tips!
madjack, that is an awesome list - thank you for taking the time to share it. I had forgotten to put "tell the bank" on my list and I do NOT want to be declined anywhere! Is there a specific Caribbean plan for cell phones? I have AT&T and I was going to ask them about international texting - how can you do it through WiFi? I will definitely need to keep in touch with the kids!
doncindy, we are going to CSS and sunscreen is at the very top of my list. My first time ever wearing a bikini (many years ago) I got the worst sunburn of my life and this time we were going to wander over to the AN beach so... VERY important! LOL!
suzi, I am on page 4 of the "I wish I had thought of that thread" and I've been taking careful notes. Is there a way to print that entire thread so I can go through it with a highlighter?
About the passports: some people were saying you should photocopy them. If they get lost, will a photocopy help you get back home? My biggest fear of all is not being able to come back because of something like that.
You should pull up your reservation with the airline. Check your assigned seats, you can upgrade or change if needed / available. Make sure your frequent flier number is in the reservation. I would also check in and print boarding passes, this is usually available 24 hours before your flight. Saves a step at the airport.
I really don't understand these folks who obsess with over packing - pack what you want - bring your favorite clothes that make you feel pretty, sexy and happy. Just be aware that your checked bag shouldn't exceed 50 lbs. I don't plan on rewearing most tops - it can be warm and humid and fresh is preferable over stinky to me. I also prefer sun dresses and skirts at night to shorts. On the flip side incase it's slightly cooler at night I always bring a light wrap or sweater.
You can read all the checklists on here and you'll still overpack. Each time I go I make a list of what to bring. It's always too much so when we get back I scratch off the items I didn't need. Each trip the bags get lighter yet we still bring too much. Hopefully this next time I'll get it right.
The thing to remember is that you won't wear anything more than a bathing suit during the day and only need a cover up for lunch. Bring a few choices for dinners and re-wear them if you can to save room. Limit shoes too. Only bring the sunscreen you plan to use.
After you pack, take one outfit out. You'll be glad you did.
I once read somewhere- you should always make a couple copies of your passport. Leave one somewhere safe at home, and also bring one with you, kept separate from your actual passport. If, god forbid- you would lose your passport-it will be much easier to replace -and possibly help you get home .
The other reason to make copies, is you are supposed to travel with your passport when traveling off the resort. Instead of carrying your passport you can carry the copy to show if asked explaining the original is in your room. Now we don't travel with it walking the beach, but going anywhere else we make certain to have our copy with us. Of course no body in Jamaica has ever asked too see it.
We did get pulled over in a Road side check in Venezuela. The guys were serious, all were heavily armed with AK/47's and it was a bit intimidating. They accepted the copy, but made certain that we were staying where we said we were. At the time I smoked and the leader asked about my cigarettes, and if he could have one. I gave him the pack. He was happy and I went a few hours without a smoke, but that was ok. :D