A great vacation starts with a little planning. Whether you’re going on a road trip, flying, or taking a train, some best practices apply. From making sure you take care of your car to ensure a flawless road trip or checking your passport expiration date, ticking these tasks off your to-do list now will drastically reduce headaches in the future. First, focus on safety. This means not posting on social media or any other semi-public space about your vacation plans—and making sure the kids don’t, either.
It can be tempting to snap a selfie of that limousine ride to the airport, but put it on hold. You can always post all of these photos after you return. Advertising that you’ll be gone, even if you have a housesitter, is a green light for thieves. You never know who might see these “ads,” and you’ll be putting your safety at risk. However, do tell trusted neighbors and/or friends so they can keep an eye on your home for you and remove any door hangers that also tell strangers the house is vacant. Arrange for mail to be stopped, and leave on a few key lights to make it seem like you’re home.
You’ll also want to make sure any important documents are with you in both hard and soft copy. This is especially important if you’re traveling overseas. It’s surprisingly easy to get a temporary passport replacement at US Embassies around the globe if you have a photocopy or soft copy available. Choose a trusted cloud service provider to keep these documents readily accessible.
Having cash is a good idea for any trip, even if you normally don’t carry it at all. This is especially important in some foreign countries where cards aren’t as readily allowed. Many banks offer foreign bank notes without any added fees and can order less common currency with some notice. However, still make sure you notify your credit card companies of your travel plans. After a long trip, you don’t want to worry about cards being turned off or paying high ATM fees to get local currency.
Treat yourself by cleaning your home before you leave. After any trip, it’s a special treat to return to a clean home. Make sure all dishes and laundry are clean and do some tidying up. It might not be the most enjoyable of pre-vacation tasks, but you’ll be thankful when you return home. If you have a housesitter and they’re up for it, you can also offer to pay them an additional fee for a little cleaning.
Always pack a first-aid kit which includes bandages and your preferred treatment options for headaches and sleeplessness. Otherwise, you’ll likely be taking expensive trips to stores for these items you already have at home. If you’re taking a road trip, such emergency kits should be kept in vehicles at all times. However, before a trip is a perfect time to re-check these kits for any expiration dates and make sure you have everything you need.
Finally, make sure you give yourself adequate sleep the night before a trip. Don’t save packing until the last minute, and certainly don’t save cleaning for the night before. Starting your trip on the right, rested note can set the tone for the entire vacation. It can be tough with so much to do and excitement over the trip, so the night before might be a good time for some natural sleep aids such as melatonin.
About the Author
Rachel is a freelance content writer located in San Diego, California and has written a variety of health, parenting, and fitness articles. Currently, Rachel is writing for Audi Marrieta. In her free time, she enjoys running along the beach with her two puppies and practicing yoga.