Travel Prep 101: The Pretrip Master Checklist

Last-minute duties can easily clutter the mind before a trip. Even though the process might initially seem mundane, between self-care, housekeeping and, in some cases, pet-care, travel prep can develop into a very exhausting endeavor. Your brainpower and energy should be devoted to the upcoming trip, not expended during preparation. Instead of committing these responsibilities to memory, print out this list and check every box before you jet off!

Several Days Before

  • Stop newspaper deliveries
  • Hold mail, or arrange for someone to collect it
  • Make arrangements for pets
  • Sign up for flight and weather alerts
  • Make sure you have your passport and/or driver’s license ready
  • Refill prescriptions and buy any necessary medication

The Day Before

  • Clean refrigerator and lower temperature
  • Dispose of perishables
  • Do laundry
  • Pack for the trip
  • Confirm travel arrangements, including transportation to airport, flight time, etc.
  • Vacuum, sweep and clean surfaces
  • Wash dishes
  • Double check passport and/or driver’s license
  • Withdraw cash from ATM
  • Inform bank that you will be traveling
  • If the trip is a long one, notify your neighbors

The Day Of

  • Close windows and blinds
  • Set thermostat 10 degrees below the average outside temperature
  • Take out trash
  • Make sure travel arrangements are set—check in online, confirm car rental, etc.)
  • Unplug appliances throughout the house
  • Make sure no food is open or left out
  • Charge electronics
  • Water plants
  • Adjust or turn off sprinkler system
  • Download audiobooks or other sources of entertainment
  • Double check that essential medicines are stocked, packed and accessible
  • Feed pets or drop them off with a boarder or sitter

Minutes Before

  • Turn off lights
  • Check stove and oven
  • Do a final scan of the house or apartment
  • Lock doors and windows
  • Close garage
  • Set security system
  • Make sure essentials such as phone, keys, wallet, phone charger, medications and glasses or contacts are packed