Before You Leave – Pre-Trip Must-Dos

If you are anything like myself, then the weeks leading up to a trip (of any size) can sometimes be mad chaos! Between all of the excitement, packing (re-packing) and finishing everything up with work, there is always something I forgot to do or wish I had done. Here are my top tips for items you should take care of before you jet off! Bonus: They might even save you a nickel or two!

Fresh Fields

Unplug Everything! (Kinda)

There is a pretty good chance that your iPhone charger doesn’t need to be plugged in while you are out of town, same probably goes for your bedroom lights and TV. Surprisingly, even if the TV isn’t on, it is still drawing energy from your electricity source. Who doesn’t love saving some nickels! Quick Energy Tips:

  • Unplug any appliances or electronics that won’t require energy while your away
  • Cancel or postpone any automatic subscriptions (subscription boxes, food delivery, newspapers, cell phone bill, etc.)
  • Turn off all the lights or set them on timers

Copy (or Photograph) all Important Documents

When you are staying is hotels and hostels abroad, they often require to keep your passport or take a copy of it for the duration of your stay. I wasn’t very comfortable with handing over my passport and was glad I had taken multiple paper copies of my passport to hand over. I also left a folder with all of my trip information, including copies of debit and credit cards that I had with me, and left it with my parents should anything have happened (and it did!).

  • Photocopy all important stuff you are taking with you (credit/debit cards, passports, etc.)
  • Leave a folder of all available travel information including hotel address/phone number, flight times/numbers, activities, tour information, insurance policy

Schedule Automatic Payments

Picture this – You have finally arrived at your hotel in Greece, it’s late and you spent all day on the bus to get to this beautiful location … but, along with yourself is another 40+ tourist all checking in and logging into the hotel wifi. The wifi connection wasn’t great to start with but with that many people on it, it is going down fast! To make matters worse you have a phone bill due asap. Quick Money Tips:

  • Download your Bank’s app
  • Setup automatic payments for reoccurring bills that will come due while you are away
  • Let your Bank know where you are going and how long you will be there
  • Check on international Bank charges and what options you have available

Assign Power of Attorney

Prior to my first big trip I really thought I had done everything I needed to do in regards to banking/money issues. Unfortunately I missed a big issue … I was unaware that my bank had put a very small international withdrawal limit on my accounts. This exists for my safety when it comes to information theft, but in this case, it left me stranded with very little money and no way access any more. Thankfully I lived in a smaller town where my mom and I banked at the same place and they knew she was my mother. Because of the relationship my mom and I have with our bank she was able to make changes to my account that otherwise would not have been possible because I didn’t have Power of Attorney assigned. A HUGE lesson was learned here! Quick Attorney Tips:

  • Formally assign Power of Attorney
  • Become informed of the requirements should there be an issue while your away (i.e. Can I make changes online? Do I need to come to your location if there is an issue?)
  • If your debit card and credit card are through the same bank and one is stolen/damaged/broken will the other work? Both my debit card and credit card are through the same bank, and later I found out that if one wasn’t working the other one wouldn’t have worked either because they are under the same account. BIG MISTAKE
  • Check on all international policies for insurance claims, passport theft, and bank management

Tidy Your Space

Nothing is worse than coming home from a trip with a suitcase full of dirty laundry and all you want to do is have a nice hot shower … but in the flurry of leaving on vacation you didn’t take out the trash, catch up on your laundry or clean out the fridge. Sucks right!? Quick Tidy Tips:

  • Make your bed
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Clean out your fridge of everything that could go bad while you are away
  • Do all the laundry
  • Take out all trash and recycling

I hope you found these tried and true tips helpful!

~ I Call Earth Home

Long Trip Packing Tips!

Congratulations! You finally booked that long awaited, multi-month adventure! #travelgoals Now it’s time to pack. Aside from all the other items that need to be checked off your list prior to takeoff, your biggest worry might be the list of items that have to fit in your checked luggage … and stay under the weight limit! Here are some long trip packing tips from someone who has learned them the hard way (on a 45 day, 17 country tour)

Grey elephant shirt, neck pillow and sunnies!


We are all guilty of imagining what outfit we will wear on that beautiful day in Paris as we wander up and down the Avenue des Champs Elysées, breathing in the persian air and admiring the city’s perfect architectural symmetry; but we didn’t plan for that beautiful day to have periods of wind driven rain, hail and an amazing amount of humidity! Needless to say my light canvas jacket and ballet flats didn’t fair well. This left me running from patio tent to patio tent until I stumbled upon a souvenir shop that conveniently sold massive umbrellas (that don’t fit in suitcases by the way).

Tip: Pack small and light weather deflectors! I compact umbrella and light weight waterproof jacket, that would have fit nicely in my shoulder bag, would have been a lifesaver!


When you are travelling for extended periods of time you tend to get tired of wearing the same thing over and over. And at the same time you start to pick favorites. Right before my trip I went on a mini shopping spree and bought different items of clothing I thought would be great to have with me! I could see them working for many different outfits, very versatile, and they were cheap. This ended up being a big waste of money and space, the new pieces were often shoved to the side as I stuck with the clothing I knew were comfortable and fit well!

Tip: If you’re not sure if you like it, don’t pack it! If you don’t have the perfect beach dress before you leave don’t go out and buy one, wait until you get there and make it a souvenir! Not only will it be a special purchase, it also won’t take up precious space until necessary!


For some crazy reason I thought I would blow dry my hair and maybe even curl it as I typically do at home! That was not the case for me. In the mornings I couldn’t be bothered to spend any longer then I had to in tiny european bathrooms when I had cities and countries to explore! And in the evenings, when I was heading out to enjoy the nightlife or go for dinner, I found it easier to just put my hair up! Same goes for cosmetics, tinted moisturizer, compact powder and some mascara became my daily routine.

Tip: Unless you are 100% sure you are going to use it at least every other day, leave it out of the suitcase. Hair dryers, curling rods, flat irons, a 10 step makeup routine .. all weigh an incredible amount and can take up that space you were saving for those handmade wooden clogs!

5 Reasons Being Solo on a Group Trip is the BEST!

Once upon a time I booked a 45 Day, 17 Country adventure with 41 strangers and it was the best decision I ever made! There were many reasons to be excited about this trip, but much to everyone’s surprise, one of the main reasons was that I was going SOLO. When friend’s would say “Really? You’re going by yourself?” I would always respond with “Nooo, I am going with 41 strangers!”, as crazy as that sounds, I promise you won’t #regret it! And here is why:


Each morning we would be provided a map of the city we were in with a list of the main attractions and monuments. Almost instantly everyone would start prioritizing what they wanted to see and where they were planning on going that day. As a solo traveler I was able to join different people each day depending on what I wanted to see! You get to call the shots and spend your time doing what YOU want to do.


You might end up going on that white-water rafting day trip or paragliding the Tyrol – those once in a lifetime experiences that you never would have done if you’d been in the comfort of your own country and friends. Maybe you are shy at home, but on tour your the life of the party! Last to go sleep at night, and the instigator of room parties! The freedom to be whoever you want to be (as cliche as it sounds) is the best feeling in the world!


Within the first 24hrs I had a bus load of new friends from all over the world. Being away from your normal group of friends puts you outside of your comfort zone. You can’t sit back and let the conversation happen, you have to go find it, get involved and let your personality shine.  You can and will go over to that group of friendly looking peeps and just start chatting away. No one know your story, and you don’t know theirs! Bonus: Great conversation starter is just asking someone where they are from!


You might just surprise yourself! When you’re in a different country you face new challenges that might seem impossible (or scary), but really you know you got this. When you trust your ability, and instincts, you learn very quickly that you don’t always need your security squad for all of life’s adventures.


Your friend drama from home, stays at home. No need to worry about your dependent drunk friends ruining your night out in Barcelona. You’re there for you and you alone, so the only drama you’re going to experience is if you make it (after all it is a group trip, and a TINY bit of drama is sometimes fun …)


~ Oktoberfest 2015
I Call Earth Home © 2016 | Made with love by NUDGE MEDIA DESIGN.