Many of the vagabonds that hang around L?avant Poste love traveling and have seen and written to us about what is going on around the world. As I am preparing to leave very, very soon, I though I?d give some tips that I think are helpful, right before that 1 month long vacation to the Faroe Islands.

Bills

  • The month before you leave, make sure you make a record of every single bill you have to pay each month.
  • Get ready to get all of your billing sorted out 2 weeks before you leave. You?ll want to do this because you want to save that last weekend for partying with your friends.
  • Then, try to switch these bills over to electronic pay, so you don?t have to worry about any credit problems when you return.
  • If you can?t switch certain bills over to auto-pay, make sure that you record the address and amount of the bills you get in the mail one month before.
    • It?s likely that before your vacation would won?t have these bills and info yet. So, you can give the checks to your best friend to send them out on your payday.
  • If you have a savings account you should make sure you get your monthly bling in there too (you don?t want to miss out on any of that interest now do you)? Most banks will let you schedule a payment transfer online.
    • If you don?t have a savings account, I recommend going with INGDirect. They don?t have any physical offices and can therefore offer high interest rates of 4.5% and above. Plus they let you schedule transfer from you existing checking accounts 😉
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Home

  • Do your laundry before you go so you have some clean underwear when you return. Most likely all of your cloths will need a good cleaning when you come back. It?s better to save that Hawaiian shirt you?ll never wear to work for the laundry machine.
  • You?ll always need clean underwear.

Computer

  • Average users – shut er’ down and uplug the cord to protect from power surges, electrical problems and to save some electricity. (You don’t want to come home to a crashed hard drive now do you? Save those hassles for a few weeks after you get back home).
    • If you’re going overseas and are planning to connect to your machine at home remotely – use Switch Off (it’s free) to shut down at a prescheduled time.

Car

  • Fill up your car.
    • Leaving your hot ride with an empty gas tank for a month or more could invite rust and lower gas mileage. Fill er? up before you leave. (Longer than 6 weeks? You’ll need some special additives and about 1/4 full).
  • Don?t leave your car parked under a tree. Acorns, sap, and birds with diarrhea can ruin your paint while you are away. Not to mention tiny dents or big ones from fallen branches.
  • Invest in a car cover. At only $50, they?ll help to protect your paint as well. Nothing ruins a great vacation like a dead squirrel on the hood.
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Social

  • Call you mom. Trust me. Call her before you leave, moms like that sort of thing 🙂
  • Grab a drink with your close friends. You?ll want to have a good drink before your trip and after you return with stories too racy to tell sober.
    • Even an email or Myspace bulletin might do – for those not-so-close friends.
  • Clean up your desk at work and say bye to your boss. Might want to ask if they?d like anything from your vacation destination. If you?ve got a co-worker you share an office with, this is a must.
    • It is just polite. Besides, if you followed my advice and called your mom, she?d tell you the same thing 🙂

As always, feel free to add, our readers (and me) would love to hear any additional ideas and experiences. This is a quick wrap-up of the things that I came across these past couple weeks.

A bientot everyone!