While being on a trip should be all fun, getting ready for a trip can be nothing but stress. There are so many things that need to be done in preparation of a trip, not including packing. From calling your bank, to setting up precautions incase anything happens, to prepping your home for while you are way – it can be overwhelming just trying to think about everything you that should be done.
So to help elevate some of that stress, I have put together a checklist of things that you can do before your trip to help prepare for anything that may get thrown your way on your trip, and to give you a little bit of peace of mind while you are gone.
NOTIFY BANK OF YOUR TRAVELS.
You do not want to get to your destination, go to use your debit and/or credit card and have it denied because you forgot to notify your bank that you would be out of the country. This could put you bind and cause needless headaches trying to call your bank and get your card taken care of.
CHECK YOUR BANK’S INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS.
Go online and double check if your bank has any international partners. Depending on your bank, if you use an ATM and it belongs to one of you bank’s international partners, you may not incur the transaction fees (as if you were using you bank’s regular ATM ).
MAKE CLEAR COPIES OF YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS.
This includes your passport, driver’s license, and any important documents that you may need. Make copies and keep those copies in a safe place, separate from everything else. If anything happens to your purse or bag, you will need those copies.
LOCATE THE CLOSEST US EMBASSY OR CONSULATE TO YOUR DESTINATION.
If anything were to seriously happen or if you need to get an emergency passport – this will be where you need to go. You will want to make sure you know where the closest one to you will be and the contact information. I use the Apple app Smart Traveler to get this information (plus so much more information – it is a good app to have), but you can also use good, old, reliable Google.
Add the contact information to your copies of important documents. As much as I love my app – it will be useless if it is on my phone that may get lost or broken.
ARRANGE AN ‘AT HOME’ EMERGENCY CONTACT.
For me, this is my mom, but this could be anyone at home that you trust and will be able to help it an emergency situation.
They will be the one that you may call to help with any emergency situation that may come up while you are on your trip. The planner in me likes to have 10 back up plans in place, so for me, my emergency contact isn’t until plan 6 or 7 … but it is always good to have a person at home who at least knows a general idea of your itinerary and the embassy information incase something happens.
SET A LIGHT IN YOUR HOME ON A TIMER.
This could be a lamp or two inside your house and/or outdoor lights, but set up lights on a timer. This will help make it seem like someone is coming and going from your house while you are not there.
You do not need all of your electronics plugged in while you are not home. Unplug any electronics that you can while you gone.
TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT AS LOW AS YOU CAN.
You do not want to turn it off and risk any pipes freezing depending on the time of year, but set your thermostat on a low setting so it isn’t running as much as it normally would while you are gone.
MAKE ARRANGMENTS FOR YOUR MAIL SO YOUR MAILBOX DOESN’T GET FULL.
You don’t want your mailbox to get to full while you are gone. An overflowing mailbox can alert people that you are not at your house. You can prep for this by either reaching out to the post office and see if you can get a hold on your mail while you are gone, or ask someone to grab your mail for you.
DO THE DISHES, CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE, TAKE OUT THE TRASH, & MAKE YOUR BED.
While I personally enjoy coming home to an environment that has been picked up (doesn’t need to be deep cleaned – just picked up), if I can’t pick up, I at least make these items a priority.
Cleaning out the fridge is definitely more for long term trips, but doing the dishes, fridge, and trash before you go are to make sure you don’t come home to a science experiment in your kitchen.
As for making your bed with clean sheets – think about how good it feels to crawl into bed when you’ve just cleaned your sheets. Now add that to how good it feels crawling into bed after being away for some time. This is my number one priority over any other house chores and I always thank myself the first night home after a trip.
DOWNLOAD THE DESTINATION LANGUAGE ON GOOGLE TRANSLATE.
Research the language(s) of your destination and download that language on Google Translate (and more, if you don’t have google translate – download google translate on your phone). This will be an amazing resource if you don’t know the language.
The camera feature will allow you to point your phone’s camera at menu’s and signs and translate them for you on the spot. And the conversation feature will help you have a conversation with someone who may not speak English.
Seriously – Google translate is an amazing app to have. But, make sure you download the languages you will need so you can use it when you phone if offline.
DOWNLOAD MAPS ON GOOGLE MAPS.
In addition to Google translate, make sure you download any Google maps you may need.
DETERMINE YOUR ROUTE TO WHERE YOU ARE STAYING.
I find that getting from the airport or station to where ever I am staying is one of the most stressful parts of the trip. I am usually tired from traveling and I am carrying all of my belongings in a location that I am unfamiliar with. That is why I have my route on how to get to where I am staying mapped out before I leave home. I want to know if I am looking for a taxi, a bus, a shuttle, a car rental .. whatever I am doing, I want to know before I get there.
**Also – make sure to write down the address, in the language of your destination, too. That way, if you are doing a taxi or bus or need help at information, you can provide the location you need to go in their language to receive the most accurate directions.
I know – that is a list that to remember.
AND, there are even some case-by-case items that can be added to your prep checklist if they pertain to you like:
Just the thought of trying to remember all of that can be overwhelming, which is what I was trying elevate. So don’t worry – I have you covered!
I have put together a checklist that you can download and print to use before your next trip!
Now you can remember all of these items and get ready for your next trip with less stress then you had before! Enjoy!!
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