Sunday, August 1, 2010

Working out the details. A Big Checklist!

With my travel itinerary finally nailed down, I can now shift my focus to working out all the other trip details and with two back-to-back trips to plan for, there are a LOT of details! 

I really hate to be unprepared and I don't want to forget anything important so I can't live without a checklst of some sort.

This posting serves as the checklist of things I need to do for both the trip to Mali and Senegal and the one to India and Bhutan.


Visas
  • Senegal: No visa required for US citizens. 
  • Mali:  Visa required.  2 copies of completed visa  application form, 2 photos and copy of yellow fever certificate.
  • India:  Visa required. Completed application form (include Sikkim as a destination to make sure permit for Sikkim is included with the visa), 2 photos, $73.  Make appointment at Travisa.
  • Bhutan: Email front page of passport to GAP.
Vaccinations and medicines
  • Shots for typhoid, meningitis, and hepatitis B
  • Syringe kit
  • Refill presciption for Zithromax and Cipro
  • Get prescription for inhaler
Money
  • Euros for Senegal and Mali
  • Rupees for India.
  • Ngultrum for Bhutan - not available outside the country
Insurance
  • Buy travel insurance (World Nomads)
Tours
  • Finalize tours for Amritsar and Dakar

Packing List

This time around, packing is require a bit more planning than in previous trips because three days after I return home from Mali, I'm back on the plane to India and Bhutan.  What I've decided to do is plan the packing list for India and set aside a few of the items for Mali. 

For Mali, I will packing one suitcase with my work clothes and a backpack with my *regular* travel clothes.  The backpack is one that I inherited from my friend and former colleague, Ivan, who had to give it up when he relocated to the UK for a new job.  It's the perfectly sized pack for the week long trip and I think Ivan used it less than a handful of times so it's practically brand new!  He was sad to have to give it up but I promised him I would put it to good use :-)

Here's the list so far.  The letter enclosed within the parentheses indicates the country that the item is needed for - M=Mali; I=India and M/I=both countries.
  • Passport, airline tickets and travel documents all with photocopies (M/I)
  • 2 passport photos in case permit for Sikkim is not included with the Indian visa issued in DC. (I)
  • $US and euros (M)
  • $US and rupees (I)
  • Credit and debit cards (M/I)
  • Windbreaker/rain jacket (M/I)
  • Fleece jacket, cotton (light) sweater (I)
  • 5 short sleeve tee shirts (I); 3 short sleeve tee shirts & 1 tank top (M)
  • 5 long sleeve shirts (I); 2 long sleeve shirts (M)
  • 2 pair of hiking pants (M/I)
  • 1 pair of long pants (I)
  • 3 pair of capris (I)
  • 2 part of capris (M)
  • Underwear (M/I)
  • 5 pairs of short socks (I)
  • 2 pairs of short socks (M)
  • Sunhat & sunglasses (M/I)
  • 1 pair walking shoes, 1 pair sports sandals, 1 pair rubber slippers  (M/I)
  • Towel (M/I)
  • Toiletries (M/I)
  • First aid kit including Cipro, Zithromax, Advair, Immodium AD, Tums, Tylenol flu & cold medicine, Tylenol, band aids, Neosporin, lip balm, sunblock, insect repellent, anti sting/itch salve, Potable Aqua tablets, syringe kit (M/I)
  • Toilet paper, Purell and feminine napkins/tampons (M/I)
  • Binoculars, flashlight, and pocket knife (M/I)
  • Nikon dSLR camera & my Kodak video camera, spare batteries, chargers and outlet adapters, SD card, USB SD reader (M/I)
  • Pen and notebook (M/I)
  • MP3 player (M/I)
  • Travel alarm clock (M/I)
  • Sleep sheet  (M/I)
  • Snacks and soup mix for those days when meals are far and/or few between (M/I)
  • Packs of Crystal Lite To Go and Zippfizz (M/I)
  • Drain plug, laundry detergent, and plastic hangers for drying clothes (M/I)
  • 1 collapsible tote (I)
  • Candies for the kids in India and Bhutan.  I've been advised to not bring anything for Mali unless I can provide for an entire village and unfortunately, I can't do that so I will have to figure out another way to treat the kids.
....and last but not least.....my  netbook so I can record the events of each day on this blog. 
After I get back from Mali, I will have to re-pack for India and Bhutan.  Same gear but I will shift into another pack. 

As usual, I have a long list of things to take but somehow it all fits! I just hope I can keep it straight as to what stuff is going with me where -:)