Why do you need a pre-departure checklist for your vacation?
Because you want to go on your trip and not have to worry that you forgot something...
...or worry about your house.
Some of these things will be done close to travel time, but you need to think about some of them weeks in advance.
Getting shots and passports and visas can take time.
Make a pre-departure checklist when you start planning your trip if you haven't traveled all that much. We have a checklist that we go through every time.
Let's deal with what you need to think about before you pack for that trip.
The first thing we're going to tell you is to check your passport if you're traveling internationally. That seems obvious, doesn't it?
I can't tell you how many times Mark has had passengers come up in a panic because they left their passport on the dresser at home...
...or because they just realized that their passport isn't current... or... here's one I love...
They shredded their NEW passport, and came with the old one.
Check well ahead to see if you need international travel vaccinations. Some of these are a series and require time to become effective.
Do you need to get a prescription for malaria pills?
Make sure you have plenty of any prescription medications you take. It's a good idea to pack more than you will need in case you're return is delayed.
Pack an extra pair of glasses or extra contacts.
Get copies of prescriptions
for eye glasses and prescription medications. This could help you if they're broken or lost... and prescriptions take up no room in your luggage.
Paper airline tickets are pretty much a thing of the past... but... we've still come across them from time to time!
Check to make sure you know whether you have paper tickets or e-tickets. Again... how tough is this? Mark has passengers all the time that show up thinking they have e-tickets when they really have paper tickets that are home on the dresser....
Make sure to check which kind of airline tickets you have. If they are paper tickets.... take them with you.
If they are e-tickets, print out the confirmation and take THAT with you, so you have proof of what you purchased and where you're going.
What else should be on your pre-departure checklist?
How much money will you need for the trip, and how will you carry it? (See money belts below... )
Tell your credit card companies and the bank that issues your ATM that you'll be traveling.
It's good for them to know where you'll be traveling and the dates so they won't think there is fraud going on.
And speaking of credit cards... choose one or two and leave the rest at home.
Leave cards you won't use (like library cards) at home too, but...
Do take cards that might help you get a discount like...
You know, we often travels with no reservations and only loose plans to ramble, but the one thing we do usually reserve ahead is a rental car if we're going to use one. It's usually cheaper, you know you'll get a car... and in the size you want. (We like small cars for the small roads we often drive on!)
If you'll be renting a car...
Along with any emergency contact numbers you might have. Not just so they can follow along with you, but so they can contact you if need be.
When it comes to your travel safety, there are some things you might want to add to your pre-departure checklist.
There is a lot to think about when you're getting ready for a trip. These are only suggestions.
Make your own pre-departure checklist. Make a pre-departure checklist for making your home secure during your trip too. If you take a little time for this, you'll leave on your trip knowing you've got things under control... then the other little travel surprises that might crop up will be easy to deal with.