should do in advance
Get information regarding your destination, including:
get any maps that may be applicable
study what there is to see and do at your destination
talk to any family members, close friends, and even neighbors who have
vacationed at the destination you have chosen
talk to the US Government State Department regarding foreign travel precautions
use the internet to check several reviews of your destination
Make all necessary travel and destination reservations and purchase your
Obtain a passport or renew your current one.
If it is recommended, get all the necessary shots and vaccinations that may be
Arrange to board you pet or hire a babysitter to care for them. Either way, make
sure you have taken them to your veterinarian for a check-up and any necessary
Make arrangements for someone to mow and water your lawn.
Have one of your neighbors watch over things and remove any door hanger ads,
leaflets, or pamphlets that show up when you are away.
If you need to take any prescription medications with you, make sure you get
them refilled wherever necessary.
If you are planning on renting a car at your destination, check with your
insurance carrier to make sure that you are covered there. Otherwise, you will
have to purchase supplemental coverage from the car rental company.
Purchase any incidentals you may need such as:
entertainment for your children and yourself during the time spent traveling
European power converter
insect Repellant - DEET works best provided your skin will tolerate it
money bag and passport holder
do prior to leaving
Have the Post Office suspend your mail and suspend your newspaper deliveries.
Change your e-mail and voicemail message at work – put an absence notification
in place on both of them as well. If you don’t have an answering machine or
voice mail at home, unplug the phone from the jack.
Make sure that you have some cash for the trip and purchase traveler’s checks.
Pay any monthly bills that are due or will come due while you are away.
Put your work address on your luggage, not the address of your home.
Call your security monitoring company and let them know how you can be contacted
while you’re away.
Even if you are only going to be gone for a few days, leave your contact number
and detailed instructions with the one who will be watching your home while you
are away. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, pay a house sitter
to take care of things such as your garden, plants, and pets. The advantage to
having a house sitter is that the home doesn’t look empty. Pay a trustworthy
neighbor or offer repay the favor down the road.
Hide all of your jewelry and valuables in a safe place in the home or put them
in a safety deposit box, if you have one.
Thoroughly water all of your plants indoors and outside, as well as your lawn.
Wash any dirty dishes either in the dishwasher or by hand.
Remove perishable foods or prepare them and freeze them from the refrigerator,
or prepare them and freeze them and then set your refrigerator on
Remove all kitchen garbage and take to the trash. Don’t forget to prepare a meal
for the evening of your return and freeze it.
do as you are leaving
Remember to lock all your doors and windows. Make sure that your drapes are
nearly closed and the blinds are almost drawn shut.
Turn off your kitchen appliances, especially the oven and stove. Leave a couple
of room lights on and set them on a timer. Make sure that you unplug all of your
electronics as well, including your small kitchen appliances.
If you are taking a winter vacation, do not turn your heater completely off. Set
the thermostat to 50° instead so your pipes don’t freeze and make sure the flue
on your fireplace is closed. When vacationing in the summer, set you’re A/C to
78°. Turn off the cold and hot water to your washing machine.
Don’t forget to bring:
Camera and plenty of film (if it isn’t a digital)
Contact lenses and applicable accessories as well as extra eyeglasses
Passports, reservation confirmations, and tickets
Raingear and umbrellas
The Benefits of All-Inclusive
Family Vacation Check List