Departure minus 2 weeks
New post on my TravelPod blog http://www.travelpod.com/z/sleepydwarf/1/1409961600
In two weeks we’ll be ready to go. It doesn’t seem real at all. I have 10 days of work left, during which I have to get a major project to the point that I can hand it over, and do my annual performance review. 10 days sounds like a lot, but these are part-time days and there are guaranteed to be interruptions that need my immediate attention that will distract me.
I have so much to do!
This week I’ve been making final arrangements for our trip. Everything that we decided to book in advance is now booked.
When we made arrangements with the travel agent we booked all the big things, but decided to leave all the train journeys and smaller tours until closer to the trip date, as we weren’t sure what type of ticket we’d need or what time we wanted to travel. Some days we’ve picked a flexible ticket and others a time specific ticket.
So that’s all done, and we have an itinerary that ranges from being quite tight on some days to being totally flexible on others.
We’ve also sorted out travel money. This will involve a combination of fee-free credit cards and debit cards (neither of which charge a currency conversion fee) and a small amount of cash.
And an emergency credit card in case things go horribly wrong.
I have no idea if this is ‘the best’ way to do it, but after looking at several options, it’s the one I’m most comfortable with. I’ve notified my banks of my travel dates, and they’ve assured me nothing will go wrong.
I started to look at options for phones. People who have been to the UK have told me not to bother with sorting this out before I go because it gets expensive (for example, my service offers a $10/day pack for unlimited calls back to Australia, so for 13 days this would cost $130). The consensus has been to buy a SIM card when we get there – either for our current phones, if the’re network unlocked, or by buying a cheap phone when we get there.
I’ve asked countless people endless questions about phones, and I’m told I’ll be able to get a SIM from Heathrow when we arrive and set up an arrangement to be able to call home that won’t cost anywhere near the $130 I’d have to pay if I went with the local option. (Some phone companies have been more helpful than others in this regard.) So control-freak me is going to have to settle for not having this sorted before we go.
I’m sure it will be fine. Many people have done this. People that have done it say it’s easy. Relax!
Next week I’ll be finalising my packing list and deciding which handbag to take with me.
I’ve learnt a lot about bags this week, and what I do and don’t want to use on days I’ll be on my feet all day.
I’m going to try and take as little stuff with me as I can, while at the same time making sure I won’t be hand washing clothes every night in the hotel.
You can look forward to posts on both of those things before I leave.