Departure checklist Two
So ‘departure checklist one’ covered what to take with you. Well in this list I plan to cover what not to take with you like bad debt and a whole lot of worry and stress.
Depending on where you come from, should an election occur, you may be liable to receive a fine for failing to vote. Whether or not voting is compulsory in your country, you may wish to register for a postal or absentee vote to ensure you have had your say when you return. For Australians wishing to register, a link has been added to this home page for you.
Direct debits or standing orders and other bank account matters
What you need to do will vary greatly depending on how long you plan to be away for. I personally have had two bank accounts closed due to inactivity but for people on shorter trips you should not have that problem. Each bank and type of account will do things differently but regardless of how long your trip will likely be I would have your bank inform you of a few things;
- Cost of all transaction fees whilst overseas
- Conditions of inactivity and any fees attached (this is applicable if you plan to open an account in your new place and may not have reason to use your home account)
- What is involved in sending or transferring money overseas to or from your account
For many reasons you may have organised payments coming out of your account known as direct debits or standing orders. A trip may require the cancellation of some or all of these from both the bank and organisation happily receiving your money. Examples of these may be;
- Gym memberships
- Private health fund payments
- Magazine subscriptions
- Pay tv
- Wine clubs
- car/house payments
- CD/book club
- Any catalogues you may have sent out
Some companies will allow a temporary suspension of service so you may also want to negotiate a continuation of your contracts upon your return if possible. As an example, I am able to jump the waiting list for my NIB health care benefits when I return to Australia because I previously had health cover with them.
leave a copy of details at home
we have all heard stories of bags being lost/stolen/or thrown overboard off a sinking ship. When the panic subsides it may be necessary to retrieve your banking details or any other important information and quickly. Some people do this through the internet by sending themselves an email etc but I would strongly recommend leaving a copy with someone at home. In the event you are unable to attend to this problem solving personally or by internet this will give you a plan B.
Storage of your stuff
This is one thing you definitely get better at with experience but the key is to downsize what you have before leaving and then find a viable place for it. A parent’s garage may be perfect, but also remember they may want to use it while you’re away so the more organised and easier to move it is, the better
Licensing and car registration
Again straight forward but another thing that can be frustrating to sort out from overseas. I was able to renew my license with a photo kit from the NSW RTA website but each of your own cases will be different. You may already have a plan to leave a car with a friend or sell it but don’t forget to check when the registration and insurance may be due and agree on a plan of action before leaving. Of course you may decide your license will not be needed but being prepared may save you time, hassle and money when you get back.
Study leave (approved leave of absence)
This was extremely simple for me to get and meant that when I returned to complete my degree in social science-recreation and tourism I was able to enrol with minimal difficulty. To apply for this I simply wrote a letter to the university explaining how my year away would be beneficial to both my academic and personal lives and I was subsequently sent a letter notifying me that this had been approved.
Do go the doctor
No one likes doing it, especially if you feel the news may not be great but I can guarantee it will be easier than negotiating health care whilst abroad. Most people remember to check things like vaccinations specifically related to their travel but many people forget ongoing regular health care checks or treatments that may have been previously scheduled like five-yearly cardio check-ups, or bone density scans.
You will find something no doubt in your own circumstance that I have missed but the idea is to think along these lines for a stress-free time. With no time spent stressing or feeling helpless when these things need to be sorted out you can concentrate on where to head for dinner, what to wear and what to drink.