Thursday, May 31, 2012

More things to do before you go

This site is obsolete

Electrical, email, computers, phones, and much more

Addresses - Things to cancel and addresses to change
Council / Rates
Bank accounts not being used that have fees
Auto deductions
see Phone home and see reference to mobile and internet.

Blogging and web-sites
Take preparation photos before you start either.
Start writing word docs you can turn into a blog / web site once you hit the road.
Read other blogs / web sites.
Web vs. Blog - Do your research as to which will work best for you. 
Unless you want to be a writer, don’t bother, as it will just weigh your days down, and gobble up your time.
Register for any advertising - you want to link to your blog – great way to raise funds for the trip.  
Be aware unless people click on the links, you won’t make money!
Thanks to Jakki for inspiring me to blog, and giving me my first lesson or two.
And thanks to Terri at Web Vixen for helping me with set-up.

Camera and Phone - Downloads
Download pictures from phones and camera's.
Try to download your photos every few days maximum.
That way if you lose your camera or it is damaged, you do not lose you memories.
Especially important if you are blogging / have a web page.
Remember to back-up too.

Charging List
Draw up a list and laminate of everything that needs charging at night – or on your arrival.
You can make this your child’s job to plug in and charge all that is needed for the next day. 

Chargers and cords
Label with Dymo all power cords, computer cords and chargers.
Make sure you have them all – you can choose to double up cameras etc to use the one cord, but I prefer to start out with one for each, as you may find you have limited time to charge items in an airport etc, and one cord won’t give you time to do all.
Make sure your cords are International compatible for phone chargers.
You can get retractable USB cords on-line for $1.

Computer - Back-up
I use a slim external drive for back up (Seagate). 
ALWAYS keep separate from your computer!
Set up iCloud and use that too.
Organise a good back-up system whilst away (see above). 
I know some one that lost ALL their holiday photos.  
Research your best options but consider theft, computer breakdown etc as two likely possibilities.  
If your computer is with your back-up flash drive or external drive, in the same bag and it is stolen, there go all your memories.  
Set up back-up photos to photo bucket or equivalent.

Computer - Lap-top
Suggest a good laptop with a DVD drive – one is needed for parent and child each
Good protective but not bulky case for laptop.
Have your laptop updated with latest software and possibly serviced.

Computer - Modem
Cancel Modem services and return for refund

Computer -Mouse & Mouse Pad
Definitely pack if used to using a mouse or doing hours of work where laptop keyboard top mouse can be tiresome.
Tip - if you have a wetsuit computer case, this will double as a mouse pad, so no need to pack one.

Change email addresses inc. Facebook, ebay, Paypal, iTunes etc
Cancel all non essential email addresses – but before you do – make sure you email and advise the ones you want to know of your travel email address.
Open a Gmail account or equivalent.

Pack headphones or earphones, and a double jack.

Home Phone
Cancel home phone

iPod and iPhone
Battery back-up Pack - We bought 2 as the iphone and ipod can use the same pack, but you can be caught in places with no electricity for days, so limit the kids games on your phone and ipod in these places.
I recommend purchasing from this helpful chap who supported us in getting ready for the trip.
Also his prices were the best around! see 


Pay mail transfer for 6 - 12 months.

I suggest 12 months – there will always be some one you forgot to notify.

Set up a family member or friend to read your mail – they can scan any bills you need to attend to etc.

You can also leave them a bank account if they are kind enough to pay some accounts for you.

Mobile Phone - Apps for Travel

Download apps for travel including: - maps, Gps, games, language translator, currency converter, flashlight, and any others to suit you.  You might need to do this over several months so as not to use all your gb allowance per month.

A good App is walkie – talkie – you can use both mobiles as a walkie-talkie if you trust your child to go of at a short distance in a safe place.

Also a compass is a great App.

Mobile Phone -  Contacts

Back-up your mobile and keep your contact list somewhere safe – copy it to a friend or send yourself an email too.
You can do this on iPhones when you sync.

Mobile Phone - International Sim Card
Buy International Sim – I recommend 

Mobile Phone - Number
Mobile phone numbers can be suspended for up to 12 months – talk to your provider.  
Suggest a family member re-new this whilst you are gone – mine is a $20 yearly fee.  
That way you can return to the same mobile number.

Music and Movies
Copy your favourite CD’s to iTunes and put on your iphone or ipod for the trip.
Copy a few movies into your hard drive for the trip or rip to a USB Flash Drive memory stick….
 …Saves the weight of carrying DVD’s.
If going to third world countries, I found copies of DVD’s sold very cheaply, or they copy / burn a disk. 
In places like Fiji, there are shops that rip the DVD directly onto your flash drive, instead of buying the disk if you ask them. 
Then you can have new movies to watch all the time.

Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo 3DS Rechargeable Power Case "DOUBLES YOUR PLAYTIME".
Well worth the $30 as will work on any of the DS range I believe.
The Power Case doubles the battery capacity for your 3DS giving you more play time. Insert your 3DS into the Power Case and plug in your original 3DS AC adapter to charge both the Power Case and the 3DS.
Once your internal battery gets low, just flip the switch and you have instant power! The rubberized surface gives you a more comfortable feel during game play and the Power Case protects your 3DS from nicks and scratches.

USB Flash Drive
Buy at least 1 X 64 gb is recommended for each laptop.
Buy a few USB Flash Drives if you want to use one for movies, and another one for computer back-up, pictures, movies, music etc.


USB Slim Hub
We purchased 2 great travel USB Hubs for $5 each from the Reject shop.
The cord packs inside the unit. they are clear, or with colour tint.  They have 4 ports.

Tax Returns
Lodge your Personal and Business Tax returns.
Make sure you make an appointment with your accountant as soon as your home is sold or 6 weeks before you go.  If it is close to end of financial year, just book one - you can always change it, but hard to get into once June 30 hits.
You need to organise Group Certificates, and Centrelink can prove difficult if requesting early as they can cease payments, so use caution here.
Don’t attempt to leave the country without doing your tax. 
Hefty fines usually occur, and it looks like tax evasion, so you can have an ugly scene to address whilst overseas, and it can ruin a good time.

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