You’ve counted down the days and your long-awaited vacation is finally here. But if you’re like most people, it seems every time you head out of town you realize you have missed something on your vacation checklist.
Whether it is a travel essential that went unpacked or a task at home that went undone, nothing spoils a vacation like realizing too late that you forgot something. Why not put your mind at ease with a few pre-vacation tips?
The Complete Vacation Checklist
Some pre-vacation tasks are time-sensitive, so we’ve broken this list up into three timeframes. This way, you can be sure that everything gets done when you need it to be done.
Things to Do the Week of Your Trip
Put a hold on your newspaper subscription, if you have one. Summer is the biggest time of the year for break-ins for a reason. Burglars try to target homes when the owners are away, and nothing says “nobody home” like a pile of uncollected newspapers.
Contact the Post Office and put a hold on your mail. Much like with the newspapers, you don’t want an over-stuffed mailbox signaling that nobody is home. Nor do you want identity thieves stealing sensitive information from uncollected bills or account statements.
If you have pets, arrange for a sitter or a kennel stay.
May sure any bills are paid and current.
Refill any medications as necessary.
Arrange for transport to the airport or reserve and extended stay parking space.
Alert the bank and credit card providers of your travels plans. If your cards are suddenly being used outside the state or in another country without prior notice, most institutions flag them for suspected fraud and put holds on them. Policies differ from one institution to another, but most request at least 48 hours notice.
Things to Do the Day Before Your Trip
Clear out any perishables from your fridge, as well as any open foods in your pantry that might mold or go stale.
Get all the laundry done, including your bedsheets. Your future self will thank you when they come home to a clean bed.
Along those same lines, give your home a good cleaning.
Go online to check-in for your flight and print off your boarding passes.
Confirm your hotel and rental car reservations
Set-up an away message for your company email, if you have one.
Take out cash from the ATM. Be sure to break some bills into fives and singles in case you need to tip valets, shuttle drivers, or any other service people.
Pack everything aside from your toiletries and your travel clothes.
Things to Do the Day of Your Trip
Pack your toiletry bag after getting ready for the day.
Make sure your home is completely locked down.
Make sure the garbage disposal is clear, and take out the last bag of trash.
Unplug all your small electronics to prevent wasting energy or short circuits while you’re away.
Water any house plants.
Double check for passports, boarding passes, and IDs.
And before you leave the house, don’t forget to check everything you’ve done. You never know when you forgot something.
Hit the Road
Customize this vacation checklist to meet your needs, and you’ll be able to set out for your vacation with peace of mind.
Enjoy your trip, and don’t forget to check out our other articles on making the most of your living space.