So you've been in your new country for awhile and it's time for a vacation/holiday.. If you've read Parents on the Move!, you will know that the different Levels of Living overseas like to take different sorts of holidays/vacations. However, where ever we go it can be a source of tension if we don't divy up the preparation jobs.
I recently attended a training for a fun, useful and uncomplicated way of accepting strengths and weaknesses in those with whom we work- even works for travelling companions! It's called C-Me. You can put the results on the fridge (ie this is a helpful tool!) and help each other remember what you and others bring to team work.
This evaluation confirmed that I am not a fan nor am I competent with paper work. It is a big weakness in my skill set. So, while I LOVE the adventue of travel it bores me stiff to organise travel insurance. Still, even I have come to terms with the fact there are "some things" you just need to do to be a responsible adult. C-Me helped me realise why I feel tension surrounding paperwork. I may need to address this issue, but I reward myself for heroic efforts at doing documents. Listed below are a couple of useful "some things," that can make a difference in order to enjoy safe and happy summer travel.
Here we go (Blues, you'll love this. Bear with me Reds. And you will know what I mean if you follow the C-Me link):
1. Level Ones ( Two and up will know this) Check that your passport is up to date, and that there is more than six months left before renewal date. Some countries will not let you through immigration if it's less than six months before renewal is required. Remember, you cannot send American passports back to the State Department. You need to go to your local embassy's website and click on Citizen's Services, where you will be taken step by step in the renewal process. You will need a new photo and size of photo depends on your passport country. In the UK, A little high street shop called Snappy Snaps is great for knowing which size photo is required for any particular country. Their prices are reasonable and you get your photos immediately. At the moment, the US Embassy in London is saying it is working on a four week turn around time.
2. Photo copy your documents: make a copy of all important documents, including your National health card or insurance or passports and put these copies in an easily accessable file. When I say easily accessable, I mean accessable to someone at home. It's important to send a copy to a friend or family member that is willing to be woken up in the middle of the night AND has working wifi, should you need these documents.
3. No one ever likes to think it necessary, but plan to have emergency contacts on your phone and let someone know where you will be flying, including flight numbers and expected return dates.If you check into a hotel, note the room numbers of family or friends travelling with you. Standing outside a hotel in the middle of the night practice fire alarm can have its amusements, but it's more fun when you know all you love are present and accounted for.
Whew! Now that I've done the blue bits for travelling, I shall reward myself by boldly caring out a little Red Reward...just thinking about crossing the Atlantic for Sisters Week makes me smile. Atlanta here we come! (that is if I've done the passport renewal documentation correctly and it's back in time.....details still make me a little nervous.).