Smart Travel & Incentives is pleased to offer some advice regarding vacation checklists. Vacation planning often begins months in advance, but to simplify things a bit we are only including items that are critical beginning the week before you travel.
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One Week in Advance
- Begin going through all your travel documents and make sure you have copies of any documentation required for your travel.
- Check with airlines, charter services, hotels, resorts, etc. and confirm your reservations and where applicable your seating location. Be sure to ask the airlines about any changes in restricted items and recent changes in security levels.
- Drop off any items requiring dry cleaning.
- Make arrangements to secure any valuables you are leaving behind
- Make arrangements with a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers, etc. to make sure your house does not look unoccupied. Also arrange to board your pet(s) or come and check on them while you are away.
- Make sure that all your current bills have been paid.
- Notify the local police and/or security company about your travel plans and that your home will be unoccupied.
- Start limiting the amount of perishable groceries you purchase at the grocery store.
- Start looking at the weather reports in your destination location to be sure you pack accordingly.
- Start removing all old tags, stickers, etc. from your luggage and make sure that each of your luggage items are properly identified on the inside and outside. At a minimum include your name and either a telephone number or an email address.
One Day in Advance
- Be sure to return any videos, library books or other borrowed items.
- Be sure to water all your house plants and move them to an area with indirect lighting. Plants are usually good for a couple of weeks if watered and moved someplace cool with indirect lighting.
- Clean any perishables out of the refrigerator and turn the temperature to its lowest setting.
- Confirm any flight reservations as most airlines recommend doing so 24 hours prior to departure to make sure you are aware of any cancellations or delays.
- Pack your entire luggage and have it ready by the door for your departure the following day.
- Prepare your car making sure it is fueled up, washed, vacuumed and check the tire pressure and all fluid levels (oil, power steering, radiator, wipers, etc.).
The Day of Travel
- Be sure to dress in your bulkiest and heaviest clothes as this will lighten your luggage substantially saving you money and effort.
- Be sure to leave a clear set of instructions and emergency numbers for your house sitter, pet sitter, or anyone else who you might have coming to check on the house during your absence.
- Check all the windows and doors and any other entry ways into your home to make sure they are properly secured.
- Do a final walk through in every room of the house. Check to be sure that you have not left on a coffee pot, iron, curling iron, etc.
- Make sure if you have any pets that you leave out enough food for the duration of your trip or have made arrangements to have them tended to or housed while away.
- Remove any garbage and recyclables from the house.
- Set any alarms, home security cameras, etc. and be sure to lock the door behind you.
- Set timers for your radios, lights, even televisions when you can to insure your house does not look vacant.
- Set your air temperature at 65F in winter or 72F in summer and be sure to close any curtains, drapes or blinds in most windows but be sure to leave the front of the house as you usually would to make sure it looks normal.
- Turn the temperature on your water heater down.
- Unplug any expensive electronic devices in case there is a power surge form an electrical storm while you are away.