Pre-Travel Checklist

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!

Pre-trip preparation…

  1. Verify your passport is up-to-date and will remain valid through at least one month after your return
  2. Arrange all required travel visas
  3. Obtain any necessary vaccinations and/or prescriptions.
  4. 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.
  5. Order foreign currency from your bank.
  6. Wash and mend/prepare all clothing and shoes needed for trip
  7. Fill out and mail absentee ballot if vacationing on Election Day.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Buy film/memory card and batteries for your camera.
  11. Create shopping list of things needed for trip.
  12. Ensure all airline tickets, voucher, and itineraries are in a safe place.

One week before departure…

  1. Suspend all mail and newspaper delivery
  2. Call emergency contacts; tell them your vacation dates and location
  3. Call home alarm/security company; tell them your vacation dates and contact information
  4. Visit AAA for an international driver’s license (if required)
  5. Print complete itinerary and contact information for neighbors who watch your house
  6. Check and fill necessary prescriptions
  7. Print complete itineraries for you and your travel companion (include vouchers and tickets where applicable)
  8. Print hotel confirmations, car rental vouchers, and airline confirmation numbers
  9. Call cell phone provider to check coverage and rates.  Add time to your phone card if needed.  Print country codes and dialing instructions.
  10. E-mail itineraries to friends and family
  11. Type notes/instructions to housekeeper, house sitter, pet sitter, babysitter, etc.
  12. Call credit card companies to let them know where/when you will be using your cards and obtain PIN numbers if needed
  13. Print copies of passports; exchange with travel partner and leave one with at-home contact

One day before you leave…

  1. Water houseplants
  2. Remove perishable food items from refrigerator and pantry.
  3. Wash all dishes.
  4. Drop pets at boarding kennel and/or prepare in-home care necessities
  5. Arrange for taxi or shuttle pick-up if needed
  6. Set lights and radio/TV on timers
  7. Confirm flight times and print boarding passes at home (if applicable)

The day you leave…

  1. Turn all thermostats to vacation settings
  2. Shut off natural gas valves if required
  3. Empty trash
  4. Lock all doors and windows securely
  5. Close blinds and curtains
  6. Turn on answering machine
  7. Turn on porch light
  8. Check to make sure you have itinerary, tickets, vouchers, and passport packed and easily accessible
  9. Get cash from ATM or currency exchange booth

Sanity Savers…

  1. Pack a book to read
  2. Pack your contact lenses, solution, and glasses in your carry-on for easy access during the flight.
  3. Pack MP3 player or iPod and power adaptors in carry-on bag.
  4. If traveling domestically, purchase post cards stamps ahead of time and take them with you.
  5. Print/take address labels of people you will send post cards to.
  6. 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.
  7. Buy a guide book for your destination.
  8. Buy a foreign language dictionary.
  9. Pack a shopping list of souvenirs or a list of people to purchase gifts for.
  10. Print maps and addresses of places of interest before you leave.

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