Before going on a vacation, you have a lot on your mind: packing, getting to the airport on time, laundry, getting the kids ready, you name it! That is why we have created the ultimate pre-travel checklist, so you don’t forget a thing!
Many of the items on this list are often forgotten and overlooked. This is completely understood! However, if you follow our list, you will save yourself time and money later on! Plus, you will feel more prepared, and your trip will go much smoother!
If you need help packing, check our out ultimate packing checklist for any vacation!
Otherwise, continue reading for more on the ultimate pre-travel checklist!
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1. Clean Up
I know, I know. The last thing you have time for before a vacation is cleaning the house. But trust me, you will feel much better coming home to a nice clean house at the end of your vacation!
You don’t need to deep clean the entire house, however, take some time to wash the dishes, tidy up the bathroom, vacuum, etc.
Think about your future self coming home after a luxurious vacation, only to come back to a dirty, messy house!
Plus, who doesn’t want a clean house, at any time!
2. Take out the trash
This should definitely be part of your ultimate pre-vacation checklist. It seems obvious, but boy will you KNOW if you forgot this one.
Think about summer time, closed windows, and a full garbage sitting in your house for a week. AH!
It may be difficult to remember when you are lugging your suitcases and backpacks to the car early on in the morning to catch your flight on time, but if you can remember to do this one, you will certainly thank yourself in the future.
3. Wash your bedding
While were on the topic of cleaning, lets talk sheets!
I just love coming home to my own bed with dirty sheets, said no one ever.
You might come home late at night, feeling jet lagged and tired from your long vacation. Treat your future self to some nice clean sheets to crawl into!
Make your bed (even just this once!), so your bed is nice and inviting for your tired future self.
Read here for more information on a guide to self care on an airplane!
Bonus points if you wash your PJs and lay them out by the bed!
4. Clean out the Fridge
This tip should be on top of your ultimate pre-vacation checklist as well. Just imagine coming home to a refrigerator full of rotting food. Yum.
Before you take out the trash, look through your refrigerator and cabinets for any food that would spoil while you’re gone, and give it away or toss it.
In combination with a smelly garbage, imagine rotting food on top of that! Gross.
Take a few minutes the night before and get rid of old food so your future self won’t have to come home to that!
5. Cook a nice meal
Sometime during the week of your vacation, spend some time to cook a nice meal, then freeze it.
After coming home from vacation, you won’t want to cook, and will most likely be craving a nice home cooked meal after eating at restaurants all week.
Cook something healthy that you enjoy. Soups freeze well, and are a tasty, healthy treat to come home to! Load the meal with veggies, as your body will certainly be craving them after a vacation!
Here are some post-vacation detox meals!
6. Prepare a spare key
This is another great tip for the ultimate pre-travel checklist, that is often overlooked. You never know when something might happen while you are away. Maybe there is a leak in your house, the basement flooded, or you realize you forgot to close a window and a storm is coming. Save yourself some stress by making a spare key.
Place the key in a designated hiding space somewhere outside your home: under a mat, in a fake rock, under a real rock, or in a plant. If an emergency were to occur, you could tell someone trusted where the key is to enter your home.
Additionally, provide someone you trust with a spare key in case of an emergency: a neighbor, friend, or family member. You just never know, and it is better to be safe than sorry!
Before you leave for vacation, make sure you adjust your thermostat.
If leaving in the winter time, set your thermostat at 50-55 F at the lowest. If leaving in the summer, aim for 85-90 F. This will help save energy, while ensure pipes do not freeze while you are away.
If you have pets in the home such as fish, reptiles, etc., you may need to adjust these temperatures accordingly, however, these temperatures are a good rule of thumb!
8. Stop mail
If you will be traveling for awhile, or are expecting important mail or packages to arrive during your vacation, talk to the post office to stop your mail.
This can be done easily online, or in person at the post office!
Leaving your mailbox stuffed with letters or packages on your porch could inevitably lead to theft. Save yourself the stress of losing your mail, and simply pick it up at the post office once you get back home!
If you have any bills that will need to be paid while gone on your trip, try to pay them ahead of time so you do not need to worry about it while on vacation.
If you need to wait to pay them, set up auto payment if you can. This way, you won’t have to worry about remembering to pay them while your laying on the beach, or trying to get a good wifi signal to get online.
Paying bills shouldn’t be a part of anyones vacation, so take care of it before you go!
10. Refill Medications
In the weeks prior to your vacation, take inventory of any medications or supplements you take. If you are running low, make sure you have enough refills. If not, nows your time to get a doctors visit in before you leave!
Make sure you have enough to get you through not only your vacation, but about a week after you come home. This way, you won’t be rushing around to get refills after your trip.
I like to pack a few extra days worth of medication when packing for a trip. That way, if one falls, gets lost, or the trip gets unexpectedly longer due to a cancelled flight, you will have enough!
11. Tell your bank you're traveling
Another tip on the ultimate pre-travel checklist is to tell your bank you are traveling, especially if it is internationally. Many banks have automatic security measures to detect unusual spending on cards. If you live in the US, and all of a sudden you are making purchases in Bali, that might be a red flag to your bank!
You don’t want to be caught getting your card denied during an important transaction like a hotel bill or a rental car.
Tell your bank ahead of time, so you don’t get caught in these situations!
12. Set up an automatic email response
You are on vacation, not work! Chances are, you will still get a million emails while gone on your retreat. Let people know you are out of office by setting up an automatic email response.
Make sure you let your coworkers know in the email when you will be gone, and when you will return. Here are some great auto reply message samples.
Thank you for reading the ultimate pre-travel checklist! We hope these tips will be helpful for you in your upcoming adventures! Leave a comment below if you have anything to add to our list!