I have what I call a Florida Book. It could be an Arizona book or a Europe book, depending on where you are traveling to for an extended time. It is a bright-red, soft-covered notebook with clear plastic sheets.
I change it every year by inserting the following information:
1 I scan medical information including hospital stays, medical tests, diagnosis's, a medication list, dates of shots, allergies, eyeglass prescriptions, etc . I have a synopsis typed up with the same things a new doctor would ask you. (Our family doctor finally has a website portal, but there is no information before this year, so it is useless)
2. I scan purchase receipts and serial numbers of recent devices that we are bringing with us.
3. I update my home phone and address list, making a copy to leave at my primary residence and one to keep in the car that has family & friends, business, and medical numbers. The medical numbers list has card or account numbers. Sometimes along with the phone number, I also copy the buttons to press to get to customer service.
4. Then, I update a list of phone numbers that I used last year at my vacation site. Anytime I make a call that I might repeat in the future, I put it on my list. It might be rental information or business around your vacation home. Much easier than looking it up in a phone-book or the computer again.
5. I also have an address list for Christmas cards and a Birthday list. I buy my birthday cards, get well cards, and Christmas Cards before we leave. Facebook doesn't work when your family is not a member.
6. I update my favorite cookbook recipes. All of my recipes are in a file with subsections for main dishes, desserts, etc. No lugging any cookbooks around. I can print out what I need with the printer I am bringing.
7. I download a map of the area around my vacation home. I find out where all of the nearest hospitals, pharmacies and doctor and dentist offices are. For us this is important, as we rent in different areas each year.
8. I copy maps and addresses of shopping areas like malls, favorite chain stores like Walmart, Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, and supermarkets. Since thrift store shopping is also a hobby, I copy a list of addresses and phone numbers of nearby thrift shops. I especially like the St Vincent de Paul, and Hospice stores. Goodwill & Salvation Army vary according to the area.
9. I also pack a book of tourist sites & make a list of places that I especially want to visit like all of the Pinellas County Parks.
10. I copy all of my cards like driver's license, bank, medical, AAA, AARP, supermarket and pharmacy discount.
I know all of this preparation takes a lot of work, but after it is done, it is easier to get ready to leave next year.