Check list. Day before travel overseas.

Why don’t I follow my own advice, and pack and finish all preparations early? Tomorrow I leave for Mexico in a few hours and I”m still crossing things off my list. Here’s my pre-trip “Don’t Forget To Do” list.

1. Call my credit card company to add a “Travel Alert” to my account. When they see ATM debits and Credit Card charges from Mexico they’ll accept them. I am careful to give the exact dates so they know when I’ll be home.

2. Call my cell phone carrier and add the International Plan. With ATT it cost $4.99 for a month. The charge can be pro-rated, so I make a note to call and cancel it as soon as I get home. Most importantly, I ask how much each minute will cost if I call from Mexico to the USA. How much will text messages cost? I learn that I should turn the phone off, (use Airplane Mode) or I’ll be charged minutes for every phone message and text sent to me.

3. I go into the bank and get lots of crisp, clean $1 bills to use for tips and shopping (when the vendor doesn’t have change). I also take a couple hundred dollars in US currency, which I keep in my money belt or lock in my suitcase in my room, if a safe isn’t available.

4. Check my list of last minute items I’ve forgotten in the past:

  • cell phone charger,
  • night gown, toothpaste,
  • washcloth (many hotels overseas do not provide them),
  • large safety pin or clothespin to fully close hotel drapes,
  • a rubber door stopper for added security in hotel rooms.

Good luck. I hope you can learn from my mistakes.   Au Revoir.

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About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.

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