Pre-Trip Preparation Travel Packing List Items

These are travel packing list items that you would do to prepare pre-trip, e.g. in the days or week immediately prior your trip.  Also, check out our packing tip video at the bottom of this page!

Check out our YouTube Video on how to Inspect Your Suitcase:

These pre-trip preparation items are tasks that you may need to do in the days or weeks prior to your trip.  We are always amazed at how many things we need to take care of prior to going on a trip.  The main things are related to your home.  You may need to arrange for someone to look after your home while you are away.  Some home insurance policies require someone to check on your home regularly if the home will be vacant for a long period of time.  An often overlooked item, to arrange for care of your house plants.  You can give them to neighbours to water, however, we have found this to be an inconvenience to our neighbours.  Now, there are many products, e.g. aquabulbs, that will water your plants for a short period of time.  It is a good idea to put a vacation stoppage on your newspapers so that they don't pile up outside your door.  A pile of newspapers at the door will show a burglar that nobody is home!  Usually, you can even stop the local free newspapers by calling their office.  You can put a hold on your magazine subscriptions with the magazine companies if you aren't going to be around to read them.  Also, you can put a hold on your mail at the post office.  We have noticed that the post office is starting to charge too much for this service, so we ask our neighbour to pick up our mail and buy them a gift with the money that we would have spent on the mail hold!  Be sure to pay your mortgage, rent, and/or bills if you are going to be away when they are due.  Also, don't forget to record your favorite television shows on your pvr/Tivo/VCR.  Finally, related to your home, you may want to notify your neighbours, relatives, friends, alarm company, and the police that you will be away.  If you are not travelling with your pets, you will need to find someone to look after them.  If you don't have somebody to look after them, talk to your veterinarian to get recommendations on where to board your pets.  If you are travelling with children to a foreign country you may need additional documentation.  For example, if only 1 parent is taking the children, or you are taking children from another family, it is a good idea to have a notarized letter from the other parent(s) stating that it is ok to travel with the children.  Now, after dealing with your home, children, and pets, you will need to deal with items related more closely to your trip.  These items should be done in the days immediately prior to your trip.  You should refill any prescriptions so that you have enough medication for your trip.  Do any banking that you require, e.g. get traveller's cheques, foreign currency.  We usually recommend that you get a little foreign currency for your trip so that you aren't stuck using the currency exchange at the airport.  We were given counterfeit currency at the currency exchange in San Jose, Costa Rica!  Some foreign countries bank machines only accept a 4 digit pin, so if your's is more than 4 digits, you should change it before you leave.  Also, don't forget to recharge the batteries in your camera, cell phone, laptop, mp3 player, and ipad so you are ready to go!  Finally, don't forget to inspect your suitcase for damage  Watch our video (above) to see how to do this!  Completing these travel planning items in the days prior to your trip will help you immensely!

This page was last reviewed and updated on June 6, 2013

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