Travel Preparation Checklist

10-30 Days Before Departure

  • Packing List: Download or create a gear list appropriate for your trip and activities
  • Pets: Arrange pet care; plan far ahead for pet boarding
  • School: Prearrange absences for children
  • Luggage: Ensure luggage is sufficient for the needs of the upcoming trip
  • Vehicle: Schedule pre-trip maintenance

5-7 Days Before Departure

  • Meetings: Reschedule appointments; notify others of your absence in advance
  • Bills: Check due dates for bills; pay early if payment is due before you return
  • Prescriptions: Ensure your supply matches or exceeds the duration of your trip
  • Books: Pick up a guidebook, paperback some magazines and/or load your electronic device
  • Support: Leave a copy of your trip plan/itinerary with a friend

2-4 Days Before Departure

  • Deliveries: Suspend/postpone any scheduled deliveries
  • Mail: Suspend mail delivery or arrange with a neighbor to collect it
  • Yard: Mow lawn or arrange for it to be mowed (and plants watered)
  • Trash: Arrange for a neighbor to put the trash out for you
  • Lights: Set automatic timers at different times throughout the house
  • Batteries: Charge rechargeables (for camera, laptop, headlamp, etc)
  • Documents: Organize paperwork (tickets, passports, maps, permits, etc) in one location
  • Reservations: Reconfirm reservations (plane, hotel, campsite)
  • Weather: Check forecast for the destination, adjust packing list accordingly
  • Begin packing: Organize what you can ahead of time

1 Day Before Departure

  • Refrigerator: clear out perishables
  • Office: Display a note for coworkers of your return date
  • Computer: Set out-of-office automated response
  • Check-in: Use online check-in for flights, hotels, etc

Day of Departure

  • Plants: Water inside and outside
  • Heating/cooling: reduce thermostat and water heater settings, raise air conditioner setting
  • Electricity: Unplug any non-essential or idle devices