Inside Nomadtopia: Staying On Top of It All

June 6, 2013 | , ,

Planning and living a successful, sustainable nomadic life can require a lot of organization. If you stay on top of the important stuff, you can relax and go with the flow the rest of the time. It’s all about balance!

As we prepare to leave Argentina indefinitely, and will be passing through the States briefly, there’s a lot of stuff to sort out. Here’s just a few things that have come up recently.

Credit Cards, Expiration Dates, and More

I just signed up for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred card (one of the favorite cards of travel hackers), and had to decide when to apply for it so the card would arrive in the U.S. in time for me to meet up with it on my travels. Luckily the card has already arrived, so I’m all set.

Turns out both of my other credit cards expire within the next four months, and it would be rather inconvenient to be abroad with expired credit cards! So I called both companies this morning and requested that they send the new cards to my U.S. address now, so I can receive them before I leave the States.

While I was at it, I also checked my driver’s license. Looks like I’ll be planning a trip to NJ next summer to renew that! Yep, it has to be done in person, unfortunately. But so far it seems worthwhile to continue to maintain my U.S. license, instead of trying to get one abroad (and I definitely don’t want to go without; I love road trips!).

Frequent Flyer Miles and Travel Hacking

Keeping track of how many miles you have with different airlines (and when they might expire, too) is easy with a system like Award Wallet. And, if you do a bit of research on the policies for using miles, you can really come out ahead. I’m not a very pro travel hacker, but sometimes I manage to pull off a pretty sweet deal.

I recently discovered that you can book one-way award tickets on United and American, but not on Delta. So we did some fancy footwork to pull all the miles together (and even got a bonus when sharing miles from one account to another), and ended up booking four one-way tickets with award miles. Estimated savings? More than $5,000! (Note: Be careful when traveling on one-way tickets; often you’ll be required to show proof of onward travel, so be sure you have a plan in place.)

Follow-up

You know when someone says “things are really busy, how about we check in next month”? Or you get an email notifying you that a domain is expiring, or something needs your attention, but it’s way too early for you to take action? Not to mention Mother’s Day and other events.

If you don’t have a system in place to remember this stuff, you’re not likely to think of it in time, and it’s even worse when you’re traveling and can’t even keep your time zones straight.

I use a somewhat random combination of Boomerang for Gmail, Asana, and Google Calendar to keep track of everything.

If I receive an email and want to remember to take action on it closer to the date, I tell Boomerang to send it back to my inbox at a specific time.

If a client asks me to follow up later, I add it as a task in Asana with a date, and I’ll get an email reminder the day before (I could also use Boomerang for this, but I like having it on my radar in my task list).

And everything from birthdays to paying bills are set up as recurring events in Google Calendar so I’ll get reminded when it’s time. I figure the more reminders the better, to keep things from falling through the cracks along the way.

There’s so much more, but I want to keep this from getting too long, so I’ll dive into even more in another post!

What are you most worried about having fall through the cracks? Do you have strategies in place to stay on top of everything when you’re traveling?

 

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