Travel Tips & Trip Ideas Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Checklist: What to Do Before You Go

Jump to last reply

Hi --

Detail-oriented frequent traveler here. There's an excellent packing list posted on this forum, adding my list of what to do to prepare for a trip.

Additional information, hyperlinks to resources and a printable pdf available here: http://bit.ly/15Eic8H

11 MONTHS OUT

□ Book international flights, if using frequent flyer miles
□ Claim your seat, if allowed

6 TO 11 MONTHS OUT

□ Book international flights if not using miles
□ Book hotels. The best ones fill quickly

2 TO 6 MONTHS OUT

□ Order your passport and visa, if necessary
□ Obtain vaccinations and medications (some vaccinations are administered in a series and must be initiated months in advance)
□ Book your in-country/in-continent destination-to-destination flights
□ Book a driver, if appropriate
□ Schedule your petsitter or nanny (their schedule may fill-up quickly during holidays)
□ Make restaurant reservations

ONE MONTH OUT

□ Order a hard copy map of your destination at Amazon and/or upload city/country specific apps
□ Confirm flight, ground transportation, accommodation and restaurant arrangements and reservations
□ If you’ve booked through a travel consolidator, verify your reservation directly with your hotel
□ Book tickets to major attractions online
□ Request certificates for hotels booked with points, if necessary

ONE WEEK OUT

□ Purchase trip insurance, if appropriate
□ Ensure you have the correct converter adapter for the country(ies) you’ll visit
□ Scan your vital passport pages and email the file to yourself and one or two contacts. Print a copy to store in your checked bag
□ Organize your itinerary; email the document to yourself and one or two contacts.
□ Buy snacks (I don’t travel anywhere without KIND bars and nuts)
□ Notify your credit card companies that you will be traveling to a foreign country
□ Withdraw cash
□ Confirm arrangements with petsitters, nannies, housesitters, post offices, newspaper delivery, etc.
□ Obtain an international driver’s license if you will be renting a car abroad (go to the American Automobile Association for a list of locations to obtain a license). (By the way, you still need to bring your state-issued driver’s license)
□ Register your trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Recording information on your trip allows the Department of State to assist you in case of an emergency and provide travel updates
□ Plot places that you want to visit (stores, restaurants, museums, etc.) on your hard-copy map
□ Determine your communication strategyTWO NIGHTS OUT

TWO NIGHTS OUT

□ Pack
□ Notify trusted neighbors of your trip
□ Download plenty of podcasts, books, movies and songs
□ Get a manicure, pedicure, wax, shave, tan, take a laxative, etc.
□ Begin Malarone if you’ll be entering a mosquito zone in the next two days
□ Prepare at work

ONE NIGHT OUT

□ Double-check what you’ve packed against your packing checklist
□ Call your airlines (or look them up online) to confirm the status of your flight(s) and know your departure terminal. If you can book your seat only 24 hours out, claim your seat. Check in
□ Order a taxi to the airport, if appropriate
□ Remove and secure unnecessary items (excess credit cards, bank cards, etc.) from your wallet
□ Lock-up valuables (jewelry, credit cards, checkbooks, keys you don’t need to carry, etc.) if people will enter your premises while you are away
□ Charge your electronics
□ Water plants, fill pet food and water bowls
□ Tag your luggage
□ Set your alarm. Double-check it
□ Leave out instructions and payment for petsitters, housesitters

DAY OF TRAVEL

□ Make mental notes when you turn off your appliances and lock your doors so you don’t drive yourself crazy wondering if you did it later
□ Adjust your thermostat
□ Close blinds, shades, etc.
□ Keep your keys and medications in your carry-on!

48 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
View all Travel Tips & Trip Ideas activity »
  1. 1 Saving money travelling the world
  2. 2 Which place would you like to travel ?
  3. 3 Traveling with a smartphone
  4. 4 Help? Where to go with an 18 year old boy?
  5. 5 Transferring on an international flight
  6. 6 Need Help: Winter US/Carrib Vacation Ideas
  7. 7 Accessing online banking while in Europe
  8. 8 Why Do A Cycling Tour?: A review of various tour companies and general tips
  9. 9 AutoSlash and Hotel Tonight - Your Reviews
  10. 10 Thanksgiving week trip
  11. 11 Is there a company or website that compares SIM cards?
  12. 12 Around the World Ticket/Trips
  13. 13 Hotel bidding site recommendations.
  14. 14 Thrifty OHare parking
  15. 15 Family Holiday in Turkey-with three kids aged 12,10 & 7
  16. 16 Hitchhiking robot - way cool!
  17. 17 Anyone Tried US CBP's Mobile Passport Program at ATL?
  18. 18 Discounted luggage websites
  19. 19 First Time Going to Europe - Ideas?
  20. 20 New York, Vegas or the Carribean
  21. 21 Buddies Turning 40 - Where to Go?
  22. 22 Where to go over New Years?
  23. 23 GAP YEAR TRAVEL
  24. 24 Why Do People Bother With Tripadvisor?
  25. 25 Vacation with 1 year old?
View next 25 » Back to the top