Before You Travel Checklist!

Prepare for Vacation with this
Travel Checklist!

Planning and preparing for a vacation can be stressful. Our travel checklist and schedule will keep you organized and stress-free!

One Month or More Prior to Your Trip

  • Start Planning Your Trip. Look for special deals on travel.
  • If needed, apply for a passport. It can take up to 12 weeks to receive your passport so be sure you allow yourself enough time. The same thing with immunizations. Some vaccines are administered in stages that are weeks apart so you will need to plan accordingly.
  • Book your flight, reserve your hotel room, and purchase travel insurance if necessary.
  • Arrange for pet care. Be sure to call in advance, especially if you are planning a trip during the holidays. Kennels can book up months in advance for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, so make your reservation as soon as you know your vacation dates.
  • Plan what you will need to have for your trip and purchase anything you do not already have on hand. Examples - Clothing, Luggage, Travel Accessories, etc.
  • Create your Organized Travel Portfolio- A notebook or folder to hold all your travel information in.

One Week or More Prior to Your Trip

  • Have your mechanic check to make sure your car is travel-ready. Get the oil changed, the tires rotated, and have him check the belts and fluids.
  • Arrange for mail to be held until you return and cancel newspaper delivery while you are away. Mail left in the mailbox and newspapers collecting on the doorstep are signals to thieves that no one is at home.
  • Create a Packing List of all items you will need for the trip - clothes, accessories, books, magazines, maps, passports, airline tickets, etc.
  • Gather the items you don’t need now but will be needed for the trip. Place these things in an out of the way spot until you are ready to pack them.
  • Invest in a few electronic timers and attach them to lights, the television or a radio in the home. Setting the timers to turn on at random times during the day and evening will give the appearance of someone being at home.
  • Purchase traveler’s checks, Visa Travel Money or Visa Gift Cards if you will be using them.

3 Days Prior to Your Trip

  • Wash clothes.
  • Pay any upcoming bills in advance.
  • Place jewelry or other valuables in a safe or safety deposit box.
  • Leave a house key and your itinerary with someone you trust – a friend or family member. Include in your itinerary the phone numbers where you will be staying and the airline flight numbers if you are traveling by air.
  • No one wants to come home to a messy house after a relaxing vacation or busy business trip. Take the time before you travel to straighten and clean your home. You’ll be glad you did when you return home to a clean house.
  • Pack your suitcases. As you place an item in your suitcase, cross the item off your packing list. Highlight any remaining items that will need to be packed at the last minute.

24 Hours Prior to Your Trip

  • Remove any perishable foods from your refrigerator.
  • Take out the trash. Ask a neighbor to take your trash cans to the curb on trash pick-up day.
  • Fill up the car with gas. Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
  • Don’t forget to water your plants before you leave. If your trip is longer than a few days, arrange for someone to care for them.
  • Call or go online to reconfirm your flight and to ask if better seats are available.
  • Recharge your cell phone, e-books, i-pads, and other rechargeable items.
  • Check on road conditions and any construction notices. The Department of Transportation has a National Traffic and Road Closure Information site. In many states you can dial 511 to receive traffic information. Find out which states provide 511 services. 

Day of Departure

  • Wash Dishes and straighten house.
  • Call or go online to confirm and check status of your airline flight.
  • Pack your last minute items into your suitcase. Use your highlighted packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything!
  • Turn on the electronic timers you added to your lights, television and radio the previous week.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances.
  • Be sure stove, oven, irons, curling irons, etc are turned off.
  • Adjust your thermostat higher or lower than usual to save on electricity while you are away.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked and secure before leaving; and that you activate your home security system.

By following this before you travel checklist, you will have the peace of mind that you have everything you need for a pleasant trip or vacation and that you will return to a home that is protected, clean, and organized.

For additional tips on planning your next trip, check out this article: Planning a Successful Family Trip!

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