The 2 Months To Go Checklist

Gadgets, Gear, and Clothing

Both Kris and I have made quite a few purchases over the last few months trying to figure out what to wear and what to bring with on on the trip. We’ll fill in the details with our full packing list here soon, but here’s a few major purchases that we’ve made:

  • Clothes: Shirts (I’ve gone mostly breathable, but Kris has made quite a few purchases from Free People which we’ve been told has increased their Q2 sales by 25%.), raincoats, shorts, skirts, ExOfficio underwear, SmartWool socks, sandals, and sneakers.
  • Gear: Daypacks, a sink stopper, a clothesline, sleep sacks, travel towels, Monster Surge Protector, a hair trimmer, packing cubes, Point It: Traveler’s Language Kit, head lamps, a Steripen, cable locks, Light My Fire Sporks, toiletry bags, and water bottles.
  • Gadgets: A digital camera, Macbook Air, gorilla pod, x shot camera extender, and headphones.

The Europe Route

Europe has so many options, narrowing down a list of destinations has been one of the more challenging task of our planning. Here’s where we’re at so far:

  • London to Paris visa Eurostar high-speed train.
  • … maybe Spain, maybe Morrocco, maybe Italy (with definite stops in Cinque Terre and Venice), maybe Slovenia, maybe Croatia, maybe Austria. Maybe.
  • Meet Kristin’s sister in Budapest, then head to Bucharest, and Istanbul together.

Stay tuned and I promise we’ll have something locked down soon.


We did our research on visas a little while back and determined that we would only need to apply in advance for Australia and Vietnam.

Australia is very straightforward and can be issued completely online. It’s an electronic visa so the information is simple associated with our passports once approved. We’ll get this taken care of a fews before we catch the flight.

Vietnam is a little more challenging and requires an application submitted in person or mailed. If we were in San Francisco or New York we could get this completed while in the US, but that’s out of the question for us. Instead, we’ll plan on getting the visa as soon as we land in Bangkok at the Vietnam Embassy. A few folks have written about their experience and from what I’ve gathered, they visit the embassy, hand over 3000 baht, the application, and their passport, then return in 5 days to pick up the visa. We’ll cross our fingers that it’s that easy.


We started our vaccinations a while back so it’s about time to finish up. Hep A is last on the list.

We’ve also been told to provide a more detailed route so that we can figure out how many Malaria pills we’ll need. Apparently for the type that we’ll be prescribed, we’ll start taking the pills a couple days before we arrive in the at risk area, during the visit, and then a week after we leave.

The CDC has a table with information on at risk areas so we’ll need to sort out the timing of these destinations. Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all have Moderate risk. Parts of rural Southeast Asia also have Low risk. Better safe than sorry.

UPDATE – 8/18/2013: The CDC also has a map application that makes it really easy to see at risk areas for Malaria. Check it out here.

To the Cloud

I use Evernote for nearly everything I might need for reference at any given point in time. It’s my digital filing cabinet and it stores work notes, restaurant menus, picture backups, tax return archives, interesting articles, medical documents, and much more. Everything gets scanned into TurboScan and then I can immediately open the freshly minted PDF into Evernote.

So before we head out, I’ll be scanning a few more important documents in to ensure that it’s available on the road if needed. Here’s the list:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Trip Itineraries
  • Visas and Supporting Documents
  • Yellow Fever Certificate
  • US Embassy Information
  • Travel / Medical Insurance Documents

2 thoughts on “The 2 Months To Go Checklist”

  1. You don’t mention how you’ll be arriving in Vietnam, but if you’re arriving by flight you don’t need to get a visa in advance. You can get a visa-on-arrival letter instead, which you can apply for online. If arriving by land, you’ll need to get a visa in advance though. We had problems with the visas we got from the Bangkok Vietnam Embassy. See, which you mentioned above.

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