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There’s a lot of fun to be had on vacation! Hopefully, you’ll get to have new experiences, you’ll eat some great food, and you’ll have plenty of time to rest and relax. That’s when you get to your destination, though. There are a lot of things to do before you leave. These things may not be very much fun, but they are important if you want to make sure your trip is a success.
Ten things you should do before you leave on vacation include:
- Get your hotel information organized
- Get your activity information organized
- Get your transportation information organized
- Call your bank and credit card companies
- Pay the bills
- Go through the fridge
- Clean the house
- Make sure someone will check in on your house
- Go through your packing list
- Make sure at least one person knows where you’re going
Get Your Hotel Information Organized
Have you prebooked your stay? Whether you’re staying in a hotel or you’ve booked an Airbnb, it’s important to get that information organized.
That means printing a confirmation of your stay or making sure you have a copy saved to your phone, but you may also want to call ahead of time. You can call to confirm you’re on the books, but calling a day ahead of time is also a good idea if you have any special requests, or if you want to ask for an upgrade. The closer you are to the date of your stay, the more likely they are to accommodate you.
If you haven’t made reservations ahead of time, at least make a list of all the places you might want to stay. There are a lot of affordable options to consider!
Get Your Activity Information Organized
Chances are, you aren’t arriving at your destination and winging everything. Whether you’re traveling to Branson, MO and are looking up Branson Shows or you’re traveling to the Grand Canyon and have a list of natural wonders you want to see, it’s important to get an idea of what you want to do and when.
Make a list of the things you want to do. A few activities to add to your list might include going to a:
- Five-star restaurant
- Waterpark or beach
- National or state park
If you have pre-purchased tickets, now is a good time to get them ready to go! Put them in an envelope, a folder, or a baggie and place them in your purse or a carry-on so they don’t get lost or forgotten.
Get Your Transportation Information Organized
There’s a lot to get organized when you’re getting ready to go on a trip. Not only do you need to finalize your accommodations and figure out what you’re going to do and when, you also have to make sure you are prepared to get there.
If you’re boarding a plane, it’s important to make sure you have all the information you need to board. That includes your ticket, but it also includes making sure you have the right form of ID. If you don’t, you’ve got a day to get it sorted!
This also includes the information for a rental car, as well as bus or train tickets. If you’re driving your own vehicle, make sure it’s ready for the trip. Fill the tank with gas and get your oil changed, if it could use a tune-up. It might also mean getting car activities ready for the kids and placing garbage bags in the backseat.
Call Your Bank and Credit Card Companies
Banks have a lot of fraud protections in place, which is a good thing. However, it can cause headaches when you travel. If you attempt to use your debit card halfway around the country, or halfway around the world, they may flag the payment as suspicious and freeze your account.
Do yourself a favor and call your bank and credit card companies ahead of time and notify them of your trip. That way your account isn’t frozen while you’re traveling.
If there’s an account you won’t be using, you may want to consider calling ahead and letting them know that no payments should be withdrawn while you’re gone. You can also call one of the three major credit bureaus and freeze your credit account to reduce the chances of experiencing identity theft while you’re on vacation.
Pay the Bills
Don’t find yourself trying to process payments on your cell phone because you didn’t do it before you left. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re on vacation is bills!
Make sure all your bills are settled up the day before you go on vacation. If you’re planning a long vacation of two weeks or more, you will want to pay all the bills that will come due while you’re gone, even if you haven’t received the bill in the mail yet.
If you really want to make things easy, choose auto pay for bills and you won’t have to worry about what you have paid, and what you haven’t, while you’re away from home.
Go Through the Fridge
Don’t return home to a rotten jug of milk after your vacation! Do yourself a favor and take the time to go through your fridge before you leave.
That includes tossing out everything that could spoil while you are gone, but you may also want to take the time to do a quick clean too. It enables you to take care of any sticky messes or spills that could stink up your fridge while you’re gone.
While you’re going through your fridge, make sure there’s something in the freezer you can pop in the oven real quick when you return home! That way you aren’t stuck cooking as soon as you walk through the door.
Clean the House
Not only should you go through your fridge, you should also clean your house. That doesn’t mean you have to do a deep clean! It just means you want to get things tidied up so you don’t return home to a dirty, messy house.
A few chores you’ll want to tackle the day before you leave include:
- Washing the dishes
- Making the beds
- Taking out the garbage
- Cleaning the toilets
Make Sure Someone Will Check in on Your House
The day before is also a good time to confirm that there’s someone who is willing to keep an eye on your house. That might mean having a neighbor who knows you’re gone so they can report suspicious behavior on your property, but it might also mean having a friend or a family member stop by.
Make sure someone has a key so they can come inside and take care of a pet, if you have one that requires care while you’re gone. They can also water plants, bring your mail inside, and they can double check that you turned off the stove and unplugged the hair straightener.
Don’t have a friend or family member who can help out? Consider hiring a house sitter before you leave.
Go Through Your Packing List
Hopefully, you have already started packing. Even if you think you’re all done, you should double check your packing list to make sure you have everything you need.
The day before is also a good time to ask a travel companion for their input. Tell them what you have packed, ask them what they have packed, and see if the two of you can come up with anything you may have forgotten.
If you’re traveling with children, you definitely need to take another look at what’s in that bag! Double check that you’ve packed important items if you’re traveling with young children, and go through packing lists with tweens and teens to make sure they aren’t procrastinating until the day you leave.
Make Sure at Least One Person Knows Where You’re Going
You should definitely stay off of social media while you’re away from home. You don’t want potential thieves to know you aren’t at home, but that doesn’t mean no one should know where you’re going.
Make sure there’s at least one person who knows you are going out of town. Tell them where you’re going, when you’re leaving, when you are coming back, and agree to check in while you’re gone. When you tell one person where you are going, you have a backup if something goes wrong. If for some reason you don’t return home or they can’t get ahold of you when you’re supposed to be checking in, they will know it’s time to start looking for help.
It may not be a lot of fun to get everything ready ahead of your big trip, but it’s important. When you do the things on this list, you can make sure everything goes smoothly away and at home. That way, when you return, all you have to do is throw in a frozen pizza and pass out on the bed.