Whether you’re going away for a short trip or have an adventure planned for the next few weeks, there are quite a few things you need to do before going on vacation. Sometimes we get so caught up in planning our trip and packing our luggage that we forget all the other important things that we need to do before we leave the house.

To make it easy for you so you can enjoy your well deserved vacation, I’ve compiled a travel checklist of 9 things you need to do before going on vacation. With the help of this list, you can make a few small preparations beforehand that will make a big difference for you when you get back from your trip.

The Ultimate Travel Checklist: 9 Must-Do’s Before Your Vacation

Get Valid Travel Insurance

No one expects bad things to happen to us when we’re on vacation. But what if it does happen, are you prepared for it? If not it’s wiser to get travel insurance beforehand as it can protect you from various problems like lost luggage, stolen purse/wallet, or even if you end up going to the hospital because of a sickness or injury. And if anything like this was to happen you’d be glad you got that travel insurance.

The best part is travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of options available and if you spend some time searching for the right travel insurance companies you can get one for cheap.

Verify your reservation

I know this might not sound that important to you. Because let’s be real there’s no way you could mess up the date for your reservation, right? But it happens more often than you think. Sometimes you mess up without realizing and when you finally reach the hotel and see your mistake it’s already too late for it. So, it’s much better to take some time out before your trip and call in to check all your reservations are done properly and match them up with the date and time you had booked them instead of being stranded in front of a fully booked hotel with your luggage in hand.

Bring Cash with you

In today’s world everything is paid for with a single swipe of the card. There’s a good chance you won’t consider bringing cash with you and the thought of bringing cash probably didn’t even cross your mind. However, its a good rule of thumb to carry cash with you on your trip. When traveling you may come across small vendors which prefer cash. There’s also a chance you don’t have access to the ATM, or maybe you want to tip a worker or get a taxi, heck having cash can help you out with other emergencies as well.

While you can reduce the amount of cash you need to carry by pre-paying your way through most of the things, it’s still important to have enough cash for each person’s daily meals and entertainment needs for the duration of the stay. 

Clean your home

The last few days before your vacation might be some of the most hectic days for you. From getting packed to taking care of your pets, and plants, going through your travel plans, and doing all of this along with your present day to day work can be messy. But even then the last thing you want is to come back from your vacation into a mess of a house with chores already piled up for you. 

To save yourself from this it’s best to start cleaning up at least a few days before you leave. From doing your laundry to taking out the trash and sorting up the refrigerator to freeze or throw away anything that could spoil while you’re away and finally tidying up the house. Doing all of this will feel so rewarding when you’re finally back from your vacation and longing for a good rest.

Leave Anything You Don’t Need

We’ve seen this happen too many times. People pack their bags to the brim with extra stuff they don’t even need and just grab their wallets or purses as is and end up losing important cards or other items on their vacations. Some people even bring sentimental items with them on their vacation only to lose them because they weren’t careful enough

You can easily avoid this by sorting out your luggage for the things you don’t need and going through your purses and wallets. Remove any extra credit cards, loyalty cards, personal items especially ones of sentimental value, etc. so you don’t end up losing any important belongings.

Secure your home

The last thing you want is to come back from your vacation and see the lights on or the air conditioner running all that time you were gone. Before leaving make sure to unplug all of your electrical appliances, especially the ones that pose a fire hazard. You can keep some automatic lights scheduled to turn on to make it look like people are still in your house reducing the risk of burglary. 

Also check to make sure all doors, windows and any other entry points to the house are properly locked and secured. Lastly, if you’ve got any outside furniture that could easily be stolen, remember to store it inside to keep it safe.

Alert your credit card company

You’ve finally reached your destination now it’s time to get that refreshing margarita to get your day going, but when you swipe your card it declines because you never alerted your credit card company about your travels.

Transactions coming from a new area are declined and while we all appreciate this security feature, it can be a hassle when you’re on a vacation constantly moving around. Before you leave, simply alert your bank about your vacation so you don’t get locked out of your own funds. While the process may differ from bank to bank, it won’t take more than 10 minutes to get the process done. This is totally worth the effort when you imagine how much of a pain your vacation would’ve been if you forgot about it.

Take care of bills ahead of time

Before heading out an important thing you need to check out is your finances and deadlines. Depending on how long you’re planning a trip for there may be upcoming bills that might cross the deadline and one thing is for sure you don’t want to be paying late fees on them. So it’s best to schedule these payments early on, especially if your due date is in the middle of your trip. Otherwise, you can always clear your bills first and then head out to avoid any suspensions or extra fees. 

Make a list of all of the last-minute items

People usually pack clothes and other items way ahead of time and while that’s perfectly fine, you should also plan for the last minute items as well. Make a checklist listing down all the things that you currently are using but will need to grab while traveling, because of course not everything you need can be packed straight away. There are many items that you use until the day of the trip. So it’s best to note all these things down (phone, chargers, toiletries, styling products, medications, identification documents, etc) as usually these items are the ones most people end up forgetting to take on their trip.

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