Do you have a fun trip planned?
Sometimes the day or week before going out of town can get pretty hectic!
You’re racking your brain, trying to think of all the things you need to get ready before leaving.
Here’s your answer!
Whether you’re preparing your house for an extended vacation, or leaving on a last minute trip, here’s a list of the things to do before vacation.
This vacation preparation checklist is broken up by what to do the week before, day before, and morning of leaving for your trip.
Be sure to grab your printable copy of the vacation preparation checklist at the bottom of the post!
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What to do 2-7 days before vacation
1. Put in your request to have your mail held
Or ask someone to pick it up for you while you’re away.
An overfull mailbox is a sure sign to robbers that your not home.
2. Put a hold on newspaper delivery
Does anyone get a physical newspaper delivered anymore?
If so, be sure to put a hold on yours.
You might be able to skip deliveries and save a little cash as well.
3. Stop ordering things online that might not come in time
The last thing you want is a bunch of packages on your porch when you’re not home.
4. Start eating up perishable foods
This will ensure that you don’t come home to a stinky fridge full of rotting food.
Also stop buying new perishables in the days before your trip.
5. Pay any bills that will be due while you’re gone
It’s such a peace of mind to know your finances are caught up.
You can avoid late fees and feeling behind when you return from your vacation.
6. Make arrangements for your pets
Call the kennel or ask a friend or relative to take care of your furry friends while you’re gone.
You may even want to do this earlier than a week in advance to ensure your sweet pets are taken care of.
7. Check your prescription medications
Get any necessary refills to make sure you won’t run out during vacation.
8. Load up on entertainment
Download ebooks or audio books (your trip is the perfect opportunity to try an Audible 30 day Free Trial, and receive 2 free books!), movies, music you’ll want to listen to.
Or visit the library!
9. Brainstorm packing list
Start writing a list of what you want to bring, and think about what your vacation outfits will be.
You’ll be able to pick up any items you’ll want to have on hand.
10. Check your supply of toiletries
This gives you time to pick up any travel sized items you’ll need for your trip.
11. Double check the time of your flight and destination check-in
Things change a lot at the airport, so be sure to check and triple check the details.
12. Jot down a list of fun things you’d like to do at your destination
Check out the Visitor’s Bureau website of where you’re going to come up new ideas.
Have a ready-made list (or itinerary if you’re thorough) will ensure you’ll never get bored.
Be sure to include some rainy day options as well!
23. If traveling internationally, let your bank and credit card company know
This way they won’t be alarmed at foreign charges.
Many banks offer a travel notification form online you can fill out instead of calling.
24. Do any before-travel grooming or beauty activities
Gotta make sure those brows and feet look nice!
15. Make a copy of your passport, ID and the front and back of your credit cards
And keep somewhere safe, in case anything happens to your wallet.
16. Take a picture of your prescription labels
This way you’ll have all the relevant information, in the event that any of your bottles get lost or stolen.
17. Ask someone to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone
It’s so reassuring to have someone make a quick check to make sure the mail and newspapers aren’t being delivered, or that a pipe hasn’t burst or something.
Now let’s look at what you need to accomplish the day before your trip!
Things to do the day before vacation:
18. Clean or tidy your house
Nothing makes the end of a vacation worse than coming home to a messy house.
Tidy up, clean the bathrooms, wipe down kitchen counters, and you’ll feel so happy to be home when you return.
19. Throw away any food that will spoil
There’s nothing worse than a stinky fridge, so get rid of anything that won’t last.
20. Do your laundry
Make sure any clothes you want to pack are clean.
You’ll really thank yourself if you wash your sheets too!
21. Check in online for your flight
Do anything you can to avoid long waits at the airport.
Especially if you’re traveling with kids!
22. Check the weather report for your destination
Adjust your packing accordingly to the weather report.
Be sure to bring a jacket and umbrella if you have room, because you just never know.
23. Fully charge all the electronics you’re bringing
Including phones, tablet, laptops, bluetooth headphones, etc.
And be sure to pack their chargers and any appropriate adapters afterward.
24. Stop at the bank for cash
You may want to get some small bills for tipping shuttle drivers and baggage carriers.
25. Get packed
Aside from last minute items, pack everything you can the day before.
26. Write yourself a note for last minute things to pack or do in the morning
You might think you’ll remember everything, but you probably won’t.
27. Do anything your pets might need
Pack their stuff if they’re staying elsewhere, or leave out extra food and water if they can stay home alone.
28. Remove anything from your wallet and purse that you won’t need
This lightens your load, and makes life easier if anything happens to your wallet while traveling.
29. Label or personalize your luggage if flying
Put a ribbon or sticker (or some easily identifiable personalization) on your suitcase so you can find it quickly on the conveyor belt. Just don’t put your phone number or address on it!
30. Hide your spare key
You could bring it in, or hide it better, so no one messes with it in your absence.
One of these fake rock key-hiders can come in handy, as long as you hide it well also.
31. Mow the lawn
Do any necessary yard work before you leave, so it stays looking nice.
If you’re going to be gone for a long time, hire someone to handle it while you’re away.
Now get a good night’s sleep. You should be tired from your busy day of vacation preparation!
Things to do the morning you leave:
32. Empty trash cans in your house
You’ll definitely appreciate empty, non-stinky trash cans when you return.
33. Do the dishes
Not to beat a dead horse, but coming back to a tidy house will help those post-vacation blues a little.
34. Make your bed
You’ll appreciate your own bed all the more if it’s made and ready for you to crawl into.
35. Pack any last minute toiletries and items from the note you wrote yourself
Don’t forget your medications and chargers!
36. Pack snacks
Bring snacks for the car or plane ride, so you don’t have to stop anywhere (and overpay), or get all cranky from hunger.
37. Make sure all the doors and windows in your home are locked
Be sure to include your garage or shed when locking everything up.
38. Water house plants
Give those plants one last water, unless you have a really trustworthy house sitter to take care of it.
39. Set timers for your lights
To make it look like you’re home when you’re not, put a lamp or two on timers.
And if you’re returning at night, it’s nice to come home to a couple lights on.
40. Lower or raise thermostat
Depending on what season you’re traveling, you’ll want to lower or raise the temperature at home to save money and energy.
41. Close all curtains and blinds
Not only does this help save energy on home heating and cooling, but it’ll ensure the looks-loos don’t peek in your windows and realize you’re not there.
42. Be sure that you have your ID and passport
Double and triple check that you have all the documentation you need to travel.
Multiple forms is preferable!
43. Double check all travel info
Make sure you have any tickets or passes you need to bring, and triple check that you have your phone.
44. Unplug unnecessary electronics
This will save on electricity, and lower the risk of fire.
45. Weigh your luggage if flying
Make adjustments accordingly to the weight limits of your airline.
It would stink to pay extra, or have to remove items at the last minute.
Next, this list wouldn’t be complete without a few tips for what to take care of at work before you leave town!
Things to do at work before vacation:
46. Confirm vacation approval
Make sure you turned in your vacation notice, and that it’s been approved!
47. Set up your away email message
Even if you plan on checking your email, this will make you feel less pressure about responding right away.
48. Wrap up any projects you need to finish
And don’t agree to anything new, if possible!
49. Let others know if they’ll need to handle things in your absence
The last thing you want is to come back to a bunch of neglected tasks that someone else could have taken care of.
50. Make a list of what to tackle upon your return
It’s so hard to remember where you left off when you come home from a trip.
Do your future self a favor and make a checklist.
51. Tidy up your desk
It will make going back ever-so-slightly less horrible. : )
Now go have fun!
I hope this list of last minute things to take care of before vacation gives you some reminders and peace of mind.
You can rest easy knowing that you’ve properly prepared your home and yourself for your trip.
Even though it can be a hectic time, it’ll be so worth the energy you took to take care of these details!
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