It’s easy to forget a thing or two when you have a zillion things to do to prepare for your trip.
This list should help both the prepared, and unprepared, minds of most travelers:
1. Make sure you pay outstanding bills prior to leaving:
This will help avoid late fees. Go a step further and set up auto payments for the time you’ll be away for a more hassle free vacation.
2. Clean out your purse and/or wallet and get rid of useless clutter:
Get rid of expired coupons, rewards cards, and any junk you won’t need.
3. Copy important documents:
Passports and credit cards get lost. Most times you can get away with carrying a copy of your passport on your person and leaving the original securely at your hotel, preferably locked in a safe at the front desk where you’re staying. Go a step further and scan copies of everything and email them to two of your email accounts.
4. Check your work itinerary:
Don’t leave your clients or the powers-that-be at your work hanging while you’re gone. Ensure you haven’t got anything scheduled in your absence that will surely cause problems when you get back — or cause you to be interrupted while lounging at your cabana in Maui, or scaling the Andes in Peru.
5. Make sure someone’s picking up your mail while you’re gone:
An overstuffed mailbox to a burglar is like a huge plate of lasagne to Garfield the cat!
6. Call credit card company and banking institutions:
Tell them you’re going out of town and where you plan to go, to avoid having a hold put on your accounts for sudden “suspicious” international charges.
7. Turn on your vacation autoresponder for email:
This is done easily in your email provider’s settings tab. Tell people you’re on vacay and may not respond until the date you return home.
8. Pack your own snacks:
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is get stuck paying $7 for a bag of nuts when the hunger pangs hit at 30,000 feet!
9. Clean out your darned fridge!
There’s nothing worse than walking through your front door to the stench of rotting meat and veggies after an invigorating vacay! Go a step further and take out the trash before you go!
10. Actually make a to-do list of your own:
I haven’t included everything here. There are items and tasks that are important to you and your loved ones that may not appear on this list like buying foreign currency for the country/countries you’ll be visiting, confirming hotel reservations, getting the appropriate emergency numbers or emergency number app for the country you’ll visit, packing up your chargers, makeup and hygiene products (and putting liquids in bags so they’re not confiscated), getting prescriptions filled, etc.
Being prepared and have a list so you can cross things off as they’re done for maximum pre-travel efficiency — and maximum enjoyment once the plane lifts off the runway!
Happy and safe travels!
Main image by Ian Livesey