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Preparing For Your Next Trip: FREE Printable Travel Checklist
Welcome fellow traveler! Are you looking for help preparing for your next vacation? No worries–you have come to the right place. I’m pretty sure I’d do well if I ever entered a timed contest that involved prepping a house and packing for a vacation. We’ve done a lot of last-minute trips and I’ve made plenty of mistakes that have taught me how to vacation prep like a pro! Don’t forget to print the FREE printable travel checklist at the end of this post.
Preparing Your House and Car
- Put a penny in the freezer. You might be wondering why you should keep a penny in the freezer, it’s a good way to know if there was a power failure back at home while you were on vacation.
- Take out the trash! It seems like a simple thing but the consequences of forgetting this can STINK (ask me how I know this).
- Unplug any unnecessary electronics at home.
- Adjust your thermostat. There are some many great options now that allow you to have control of your thermostat even when you’re not at home.
- Make sure your vehicle is prepared with an Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit.
- Hide a key to your house somewhere you can easily get it when you return home. What if your keys get lost while traveling or a water pipe bursts at your house and someone needs to get in? Be prepared for these unexpected events.
- Check your car to make sure it’s roadworthy. It’s a good idea to check things like your tire pressure, oil and windshield wipers. Don’t forget to fill up your gas tank! It would be just awful to start a road trip to Disney World with a carful of kids and run out of gas…yes, that really happened to us.
Our Favorite Travel App
Don’t forget to download our favorite travel app–DOSH! I use it to help us save money while we are traveling. We are able to save money on hotels, restaurants, shopping and more! I recommend it because of how easy it is to use. All you have to do is download the app, link a credit card and that’s it–YOU’RE DONE!
Once you make a purchase at any of the places where DOSH offers cash back you will automatically see that money in your DOSH wallet. There is no need to scan receipts, mail-in rebates or enter promo codes.
- It’s a good idea to prepare your phone, tablets, and cameras before your next vacation. Make sure your photos are backed up in case your device gets stolen (this has happened to me twice-read all about it).
- Gather all important documents: itinerary, flight information and tickets, passports, driver licenses, insurance cards, emergency contact and a list of allergies.
- Charge all of your devices ahead of time and any portable chargers. If you’re renting a vehicle at your destination don’t forget to pack a car charger.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary, flight information and phone numbers for the places you are staying with a friend or family member at home.
- Arrange pet care for your pets.
- Pay bills ahead of time. It’s good practice to make sure bills are paid for a couple weeks after you plan to return home. You never know when you might be delayed getting home. Preparing ahead of time can help you avoid the added stress of worrying about unpaid bills back at home. We had friends who were vacationing in the Carribean when 9/11 happened. They were unable to return home for a couple weeks.
- Don’t forget to set up the out of office auto reply for your e-mail.
Tips and Advice
- For International Travel: Check the date that your passport expires to be sure that it doesn’t expire within six months. Do this early because it can be stressful and expensive to get passports renewed at the last minute.
- If you are traveling with a group, make sure everyone in the group has each other’s information like an emergency contact. This should include a list of allergies and birthdates. We learned the value of this the hard way when someone in our group was injured while traveling out of the country. When registering her at the hospital we didn’t know the answers to any of the above questions.
- When flying, always weigh your luggage at home before arriving at the airport. Few things are more embarrassing than trying to get under the weight limit while you have an impatient line of people behind you.
- If you’re flying, double check that the name on your airline reservation matches your Drivers License or Passport.
- Car seat laws are different in each state, research this ahead of time. Our favorite travel booster seats are the BubbleBum. They are easy to inflate when it’s time to use them and they fold down so you can easily stick them in a kids backpack.