In this Episode, You'll Learn:
- The 10 most common dates travelers forget
- How long before a Passport expires?
- How long before Global entry expires?
- How to keep track of these deadlines
- How to never forget your anniversary again
Have you ever had that moment, where you wake up and realize that you completely forgot something? Maybe a meeting, a project deadline, or worse an anniversary It's that panicked, sweating feeling where you're freaking out and wondering how you forgot and what you're going to do to get it done.
Or as stand up comic Brian Regan put's it, it's like the feeling you get when you forgot the science fair project was due…
“Oh no! That's due today! I had nine months to work on it and I did nothing!”
As travelers, we're busy… very busy! And hopping around to different parts to the world can make it easy to completely forget deadlines we might have on the other side of the world like our internet bill. And worse, forgetting more important things like renewing our passport can actually be a big problem.
How to Remember These Deadlines when Traveling
Obviously trying to just remember these hasn't worked well, so let's put in place a few tools to help us remember these. I recommend using 2 tools:
Use a Digital To Do List
I've used many different types of To-Do lists from Post-it Notes to paper notebooks to the more modern digital to do list. And by far the most efficient system that I've found so far is to put all these deadlines in a To-Do with start dates set back a few months from their expiration date. This gives you plenty of time to renew that passport before it actually expires. Here are some things to look for in a to-do list:
- Go Digital! If you're still using a paper planner, drop that extra few pounds in your luggage by moving to a digital planner
- Use a digital to-do list app that syncs across all your devices: phone, tablets, laptops
- Find one that “feels good” to you. Since you'll be in this quite a bit, make sure you like the way it works
- I really like Wunderlist and Asana
- Write each deadline as a to-do in your app and the expiration date
- Now decide how much time you need to complete the item and enter start date
Here's how I write these in my To-Do List:
Passport Renewal (Expires July 2020) Start July 2019
Here's a screenshot of how I have these items listed in Asana.
Use a Digital Calendar
A To-Do list is perfect for tasks, but it isn't as good for dates like birthdays and anniversaries. So we're also going to use a digital calendar like Google Calendar or your iPhone Calendar. The big reason to use a digital calendar here is the recurring dates. You don't want to have to enter everyone's birthday each year, so simply creating a recurring event will be much easier.
Travel Related Deadlines:
Alright, so on to the deadlines that are important for us to remember as travels. These first three are all travel specific.
1 Passport Expiration Date
It's pretty hard to travel the world if our passport has expired, so ensuring that this is up to date is one of the most important reminders.
- US & UK Passports are valid for 10 years
- But some countries will not let in if your passport expires in the next 3-6 months
- So give yourself at least 1 year before your passport expires to start the renewal process.
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Passport Renewal (Expires on …) Start Date = Passport Expiration – 1 year
2 Driver's License Expiration Date
Since this is often your primary ID for boarding a plane, we also want to keep this up to date.
- Every state has a different expiration date for a driver's license
- I live in Austin, so in Texas they expire every 6 years
- But when I lived in Arizona, they don't expire until your 65!
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Driver's License Renewal (Expires on …) Start Date = Expiration – 6 months
3 PreCheck Expiration Dates:
We already know from using the Perfect PreCheck program in Episode 4, that using Global Entry, the Clear Program & some International Programs can make traveling SO MUCH easier. But that is of course if they are still valid.
- Global Entry expires every 5 years
- Clear renews yearly
- International Programs vary
- It can take some time to schedule the Global Entry interview, so give yourself 1 year
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Global Entry Renewal (Expires on …) Start Date = Expiration – 1 year
Home Related Deadlines:
While we may be off jetsetting around the world, there are still a few things back home we need to keep in check.
4 Bills: Rent, Mortgage, Credit Cards, Utilities
- Go Paperless – setup all your bills to go to your email
- Setup Automate Payments for things like internet & utilities
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Rent / Mortgage (Expires on first day of each month) Recurs monthly
Ug, I know!
- I Give myself 2 months to do these
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Taxes (Expires on April 15) Start Date Feb 15, Recurs yearly
6 Car Inspections
If you're at home you can easily glance at your windshield to check when your car inspection expires but if you're always traveling it can be hard to remember it.
- I give myself 1 month to do this
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Car Inspection (Expires on …) Start Date = Expiration – 1 month
7 Flu Shot
Even though the flu shot effectiveness varies from year to year it is still better than nothing, so I highly recommend getting one every year.
- I get this every fall
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Flu Shot (Yearly) Start Date = Sept 1
8 Routine Health Checkups
It's also a good idea to schedule these regularly and I like to set them up together so you can knock them all out at once.
- Yearly Physical, Eye Exam, Dentist
- Batch schedule these together near
- Enter this in your To-Do List: Physical (Yearly) Start Date = Sept 1
9 Yearly Events
There are really two things to keep in mind when it comes to recurring dates like birthdays and anniversaries. You obviously want to remember the date so that should go in your calendar. But just as important is to create a To-Do item to remember to buy a gift or pickup a card.
- Enter these in your Calendar: Holidays, Birthdays, Anniversaries
- Create a To-Do for buying gifts – 1 month before – make it recurring
Sometimes we get so busy with work we forget that we need to take time to recharge. And if you're like me and don't plan your vacations till the last minute then you miss out on the anticipation of your vacation which is one of the best parts.
- Calendar: Block off vacation time
- To-Do: Create an item to plan your vacation and book travel
Alright, now that you know some important deadlines we're going to want to remember, let's take action and put these in our calendar and To-Do list.
- Download a To-Do app like Wunderlist and Asana
- Enter these in your To-Do list
- Passport Renewal
- Driver's License Renewal
- Global Entry Renewal
- Mortgage / Rent
- Car Inspection
- Flu Shot
- Routine Health Checkups
- Buy Birthday Gifts
- Enter these in your Calendar
Thanks for listening and we'll see ya next week!