It’s almost time to leave! Have you made all necessary arrangements before leaving your home for two weeks? Even if you are only leaving for a long weekend, these travel tips will save you from pre and post-travel stress! Many thanks to Greg, our trusted world traveler, for providing this handy checklist. Feel free to call us with your own additions to this list!
- Verify your passport is up-to-date and will remain valid through at least one month after your return
- Arrange all required travel visas
- Obtain any necessary vaccinations and/or prescriptions.
- Check your toiletry supply to make sure you have the correct sizes and amounts of needed items. Find a quart-size zip-top bag in which to keep carry-on liquids for the plane rides.
- Order foreign currency from your bank.
- Wash and mend/prepare all clothing and shoes needed for trip
- Fill out and mail absentee ballot if vacationing on Election Day.
- Arrange a friend, family member, or neighbor as a contact person. Make sure they have a copy of your itinerary, contact information, and copies of your passport and credit cards should they need to be accessed/faxed.
- Pay all bills due at the time of your trip. For long holidays, make arrangements to have a friend or family member pay these or set up auto-pay from your bank account.
- Buy film/memory card and batteries for your camera.
- Create shopping list of things needed for trip.
- Ensure all airline tickets, voucher, and itineraries are in a safe place.
One week before departure…
- Suspend all mail and newspaper delivery
- Call emergency contacts; tell them your vacation dates and location
- Call home alarm/security company; tell them your vacation dates and contact information
- Visit AAA for an international driver’s license (if required)
- Print complete itinerary and contact information for neighbors who watch your house
- Check and fill necessary prescriptions
- Print complete itineraries for you and your travel companion (include vouchers and tickets where applicable)
- Print hotel confirmations, car rental vouchers, and airline confirmation numbers
- Call cell phone provider to check coverage and rates. Add time to your phone card if needed. Print country codes and dialing instructions.
- E-mail itineraries to friends and family
- Type notes/instructions to housekeeper, house sitter, pet sitter, babysitter, etc.
- Call credit card companies to let them know where/when you will be using your cards and obtain PIN numbers if needed
- Print copies of passports; exchange with travel partner and leave one with at-home contact
One day before you leave…
- Water houseplants
- Remove perishable food items from refrigerator and pantry.
- Wash all dishes.
- Drop pets at boarding kennel and/or prepare in-home care necessities
- Arrange for taxi or shuttle pick-up if needed
- Set lights and radio/TV on timers
- Confirm flight times and print boarding passes at home (if applicable)
The day you leave…
- Turn all thermostats to vacation settings
- Shut off natural gas valves if required
- Empty trash
- Lock all doors and windows securely
- Close blinds and curtains
- Turn on answering machine
- Turn on porch light
- Check to make sure you have itinerary, tickets, vouchers, and passport packed and easily accessible
- Get cash from ATM or currency exchange booth
- Pack a book to read
- Pack your contact lenses, solution, and glasses in your carry-on for easy access during the flight.
- Pack MP3 player or iPod and power adaptors in carry-on bag.
- If traveling domestically, purchase post cards stamps ahead of time and take them with you.
- Print/take address labels of people you will send post cards to.
- If you are driving, pack maps of all destinations. If using a GPS, make sure all needed maps are loaded and take extra batteries/power adaptors.
- Buy a guide book for your destination.
- Buy a foreign language dictionary.
- Pack a shopping list of souvenirs or a list of people to purchase gifts for.
- Print maps and addresses of places of interest before you leave.