Whether you are leaving your state for a weekend getaway or heading to Europe for a two week trip there are certain things you need to do before you leave the comforts of home.
1. Make A List, Check It Twice
I know that not everyone is a list-maker, but creating lists when you are leaving to travel can be extremely helpful. It can be easy to forget something important when you are excited about your destination and all of the things you are going . Plus, it’s SO satisfying to cross something off your list. I actually make two lists. One list for things to pack leading up to the trip and one specific for things that I can’t pack until the morning of, like my toothbrush and deodorant.
2. Pack Meds, Vitamins/Supplements
Make sure that you pick up any prescriptions and over the counter meds you need a few days before your trip. Depending on where you travel you may not be able to get what you need at the local pharmacy without a prescription. When we were in Lille, France in 2018 I took a full beer can to the face during World Cup excitement, woke up with a black eye and a killer headache. At the pharmacy I learned that couldn’t buy ibuprofen without a prescription. They offered another painkiller that was over the counter but I had to google if I could take it because I’m allergic to certain meds. Lesson learned, pack any meds you think you may need!
3. Purchase Any Specific Items You Need Before You Go
Depending on where you are traveling to you may need to purchase some items specifically for the region you are traveling to. Going to Florida? You don’t want to arrive without your bathing suit and quality sunscreen. Heading to Vermont in January? You’re going to need your mittens. These things can be purchased upon arrival of course but I hate shopping for bathing suits and don’t need that level of added stress to my vacation!
4. Call Your Bank/Credit Card Companies
Make sure to call your bank and credit card companies to let them know that you will be traveling. I do this even when traveling outside of our state. It’s so much easier to make the phone call from home and will give you piece of mind. You don’t want to have your card unexpectedly denied because you forgot to make a simple phone call. Many times you can do it through the company’s app as well.
5. Make Copies Of Important Documents
You never know what can happen and it’s always a good idea to have a backup of important documents. I have a travel file with copies of our passports, driver’s licenses and life insurance policies. I may be a bit of a true crime junkie but I always want to be prepared.
6. Give An Emergency Contact Your Itinerary
Make sure to let someone know the important information of the dates you are traveling, your flight numbers, where you’re staying, and contact information. Since we fly standby a lot this can be tricky for us, but the minute the door closes on the plane I make a reservation and text my mom. Again, better safe than sorry.
7. Have Your Mail Held Or Ask A Neighbor To Pick It Up
Depending on how long your trip will be you will want to make sure that you have your mail held at the post office or ask a neighbor pick it up. If you are going to hold your mail, put this on your to do list and try to get it done within a week of traveling, it can take a few days to kick in.
8. Organize Your Wallet/Purse
I don’t know about you but my purse is often swimming in receipts and random gift cards. Take a few minutes to reorganize for your trip and remove anything that you won’t need. Heading to Spain? Then you probably don’t need that Target gift card or Sam’s Club membership. Place these extras in a safe place at home, like an envelope or lockbox. Also, if you have currency from a country that you are visiting put that in your wallet!
9. Make Plans For Your Fur Babies
Make sure to arrange proper care for your pets if they are not traveling with you. Pick up any medications that they may need, plenty of food and leave detailed instructions for their caretaker, including which vet they go to. If you are thinking about boarding, keep in mind that certain times during the year (summer, school vacations, holidays, etc) boarding at your vet may fill up so you will want to make arrangements far in advance.
10. Get Your House In Order
I HATE coming home to a messy house. The days leading up to traveling I always go through the fridge, mop the floors, have Andrew empty the trash/recycling. If we have plants that are still alive I water them. The last thing you want to see when you get home is a sink full of dishes.
I hope these tips help you get ready for your next adventure! Do you have any tips for travel? I’d love to hear them. Happy Travels!