Things To Do Pre-Vacation

Today I’m going to share my Pre-Trip To Do List with you.

You’re not remotely surprised I have a list for that, are you?

  1. Print a copy of your travel documents. I know we know live in a paperless world, but we’ve all encountered Wifi-free moments when pulling up our email reservations hasn’t been easy.  And if you’re traveling internationally, you may experience even more challenges with international cellular service.  This is one of those things you may not always need, but when you do, it’s really helpful to have.  I often consolidate things like flight details and confirmation numbers, hotel reservation information, etc. into one document, print it and stash it in a pocket of my carry on.

2. Scan in a copy of your passports {and visas, if applicable}. Then save them to a password-protected file that you can access.  If you ever lose your passports, having copies of them will help expedite the process to get new ones while abroad.

3. Charge all your electronics and remember to pack the chargers and adaptors.  I am notorious for forgetting to pack one important charger.  It’s a major bummer.  Don’t be like me.  I usually have these on my list a few times, and then a neon post-it note on the door to avoid this catastrophe.  Clearly, I’m scarred for life from that one trip to Vail where I forgot the camera charger more than eleven years ago!

4. Arrange for someone to manage your garbage. Leaving your trash barrels outside overnight are an easy way to let people know you aren’t at home, so you don’t want to put them out early or have them sitting there longer than usual.  Since it’s also on my To Do List to run around the house and empty the trash cans before we leave, you don’t want full barrels sitting extra long to smell or attract critters.  This is a great job to offer up to young, responsible neighbor kids.

5. Arrange for someone to manage your mail and packages. If you don’t have a mail slot on your door, ask a neighbor or friend to come gather your mail and any packages that may be dropped off while you are gone.  If you’re going to be gone a week or more, it may be worth putting a hold on your mail at the Post Office.  Again, don’t advertise that you are away from home!

6. Stop your newspaper(s). If you still get a delivered newspaper, this is easy to take care of online and simply suspend your home delivery while you are out-of-town.  Notice a theme to my not advertising your absence yet?

7. Set your alarm! Seems easy enough, but my alarm company guy once told me that more than half his clients never use their alarm service.  It won’t help protect your home if you don’t activate it.

8. Set a timer or leave a few lights on. I swear I’m not paranoid with all these safety tips, but your home is the most expensive thing you own, right {well you and the bank, most likely}, so a few precautions seems reasonable!

9. Clean out your refrigerator of any perishable items. If you keep fruit out on your counter or bread in a bread box, check those areas, too!  You don’t want to come home to rotten or moldy foods ~ or worse, fruit flies in your kitchen!

10. Set up water globes for your plants. Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?  I, of course, have the blackest thumb in the universe and all plants wither in horror in my mere presence, but I acknowledge that most people have live plants in their homes.  Keeping that in mind, if you are leaving for a week or more, you want to set up some way of watering them while you are gone.

11. If you’re headed out on a road trip, be sure you’ve checked out your car.  Do some basic inspecting of your vehicle: oil, fluids, gas, tire pressure, etc.  Clean it out of all the empty water bottles, goldfish crumbs, and random things that might have accumulated while you’ve been busy living your life.  While I’m sure you’re on top of things to entertain the kids while on the road, remember to pack a “car bag” for the unexpected: cleaning supplies for a bout of carsickness, wipes for sticky hands, etc.

12. Make beds and leave a tidy house. I know this can seem daunting after packing a whole family up to leave on a big adventure, but it’s worth it when you return and are jet lagged and still have to unpack and face a pile of laundry.  We arrived home late tonight from Spring Break adventures.  It was almost 24 hours from the time we left our hotel to the time we walked back in the door.  It was so nice to walk in to a clean house and just have to take showers, and not worry about much more.  Mostly because I’m too groggy to do anything else!  I promise it’s worth the effort.

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