Travel Check List – Before You Leave
- Enroll in frequent flyer/discount programs & check membership benefits. Many of your current credit cards/memberships/clubs offer discounts when traveling.
- Request in-flight meals for special dietary needs, and seating assignments
- Check auto insurance/credit card policy to make sure coverage on rental cars
- Check medical insurance policy for coverage of out-of-town needs
- Decide whether to buy travel/rental car insurance. These may be cheaper if pre-purchased online
- Request smoking/non-smoking accommodations/or extra beds in hotels.
- Purchase or arrange to borrow guidebooks/phrase books for destinations
- Ensure passport or visa is current
- Have car serviced beforehand if you are driving
Also available for download: Tools For Better Travel – Trip Planning Checklist, Everything You Need For a Great Trip
TRAVEL CHECK LIST – PRE-TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
- Arrange for pet sitter, watering plants, mail or packages pick up etc.
- Leave emergency contact info and itinerary with relative or friend
- Get appropriate inoculations for destination. Some countries will not let you enter without proof.
- Notify credit card companies when and where traveling, and verify credit limits, cash access, service fees etc. They may deactivate your card in mid-trip for making purchases outside of where you normally shop.
- Purchase local currency. You may be able to lock in a lower rate at your local bank.
- Pay bills or prepay items that may come due during your trip.
- Put hold on mail, newspapers etc, notify trustworthy neighbors you will be away. Stacked up mail/papers are a sign for thief’s that says, come on in, we’re away and won’t be back soon.
- Arrange transportation to and from airport. Hiring a service may cost less than the parking fees at airports.
- Make two copies of your travel itinerary, passport, credit cards, driver’s license, and give one to trusted friend, one in carry-on. If you lose these you can have the information on hand, and it may even get you through immigration.
TRAVEL CHECK LIST – PACKING
- Shoes, (hiking, dress, casual, slippers etc)
- Swimsuits (swimsuits make great overnight wear as well.)
- At least one pair of light clothing that will dry fast. These cloths dry fast and you can hand wash them and have regular clean cloths if necessary
- At least one pair of dress cloths. Many fine restaurants, theaters etc. will not allow casual wear).
- One good lightweight jacket. Layering clothes when it’s cold can save you from lugging around a heavy jacket.
- Toiletry. Hotel’s usually give soap, shampoo, towels, irons, blow-dryers etc (some you have to ask for).
- Leave extra space in your suitcase for purchases.
- Only bring clothes you know you will wear. Remember many clothes take up room, are heavy, and often unnecessary.
- Passport/ID, All travel tickets, confirmation codes/phone #’s, credit/debit cards, membership cards, directions to hotel, local currency, insurance cards etc.
- Bring a light change of clothes. Your luggage may not make it with you, or arrive late.
- Electronic equipment and chargers. A cell phone often can replace all other items.
- Things to keep you occupied (magazines, books, hand games etc.)
- Extra copy of your travel itinerary, passport etc.
- Money/passport/credit card belt. If you wear it under your cloths you most likely will not lose it, or have it stolen.
- Prescription medicine, aspirin, upset stomach medicine. Some doctors recommend taking a standard anti-biotic with you, especially to third world countries.
- Travel plugs/adapters if leaving country
- Extra pair of glasses, sunglasses, contacts etc.
- Snacks and bottled water. These can save you from paying $5.00 for water at the airport.
TRAVEL CHECK LIST – LEAVING DAY
- Set alarm, timers for house lights, watering etc.
- Empty trash, water plants, check fridge for possible perishables.
- Call emergency contact or person taking care of things.
- Update websites, social networks, blogs that you manage.
- Lock all windows, doors and turn down/off thermostat, computer & appliances.
- Check flight/train websites for possible last-minute changes.
Making Your Trip Successful – A Travel Check List is a great place to start, but check out our other travel tips on our Travel and Recreation Section.