Unless you are an experienced traveller, many people over look the other tasks that should be handled prior to your trip until they learn the hard way. The mail man will be quite upset if you mailbox is jammed full after a week of neglected newspapers and letter. Your credit card company will ‘protect’ you by freezing your account if they they see numerous charges from another country. You poor house plants will be quite thirsty if they are neglected for too long. And your refrigerator will become a smelly science project if you leave perishables to rot! Creating a travel checklist is an easy solution. It will ensure that you prepare well in advance for your trip and won’t be caught with any frustrating surprises. Have no fear, we’ve created a handy travel preparation checklist for you!
Well Before Your Planned Trip:
- Check that your driver’s license and, if necessary, your passport have plenty of time left on them. Many foreign countries require at least six months on your passport. Also, keep in mind that passports typically take at least six weeks to renew or process.
- If taking a vehicle or RV, get your oil changed and have the mechanics do a quick once-over to be sure everything is in safe, working order and ready for a long trip.
- Arrange for a neighbor or friend to water house plants and collect mail. If you’ll be gone for longer than a week, arrange for your mail to be held at the post office.
- If you have pets, allow plenty of time to arrange a pet sitter or to line up a kennel. Gather all of your pet’s essentials (food, special bed, toys, medicine, etc.) well in advance, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
- Check over your outdoor gear making sure that your clothes are in good condition and still fit. You’ll want plenty of time to shop around for the best replacements, prices and selection.
- If going overseas, check with your doctor and make sure you don’t need any extra vaccinations. Some tropical countries require all travelers to show proof of vaccination against diseases such as yellow fever.
- Ensure luggage is in working order (zippers and straps in tact, wheels rolling properly). Determine which luggage piece you’ll use and always bring the smallest piece possible for your needs. The House has a huge selection of luggage, all sizes, colors and prices, from the top selling luggage brands like Burton and Dakine.
A Week Before the Trip:
- Make sure you have enough of any prescription medication to last the trip.
- Be sure that you prepay any bills that might come due while you are gone.
- Gather guidebooks for your trip that you don’t already own and select a good book or two to read. Flights can often be delayed and some pleasure reading will make the time go by faster!
- Notify and remind others of your absence. Email a copy of your itinerary to a friend and/or family.
Right Before You Leave:
- Charge all of your batteries for camera and cell phone and pack your chargers. Make sure to have spares, especially if going off the grid or overseas. A universal travel adapter is a useful, long term investment.
- Check the forecast for your location and make final adjustments to your packing list.
- Organize all of your paperwork and documents. Review and print out reservations, boarding passes and itineraries.
- Call your credit card company and let them know your travel plans. This will prevent the unpleasant surprise of your card being temporarily disabled due to suspected fraud.
- Clean out perishables in your fridge and take the trash out.
- Set out of office alert for work and/or personal email accounts.
- Unplug idle electronics (toaster, hair dryer, computer, coffee maker, etc.).
- Set automatic timer on some lights at different times throughout your house.