Yes! You’re finally doing it! You’re going on vacation. Whether it’s your once-a-year getaway or a once in a lifetime opportunity, you are finally taking the break you’ve needed for so long. To ensure that you have the greatest time possible on your trip, run through this quick checklist of things you need to do before you go. Happy travels!
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #1: Get someone to look after your house
Arrange for someone you trust to take in your mail, packages, or anything else that might accumulate outside your door while you’re away. Nothing says ‘please break into my home!’ more than a pile of newspapers gathering on your welcome mat like a nest of mice! You can even have your friend come and stay in your home while you’re away or at least check in on the place every night.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #2: Hire or ask someone to keep things alive
You might be able to go a few days without drinking water, but your prized petunias probably can’t. Ask your friend or hire someone to come over and water any house plants, a well-cared for lawn, or other flora that you regularly care for. If you have pets, this is even more important. Tabitha the tabby or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough the Doberman pinscher need regular loving, and, even more so, daily food staples. So, make sure someone is available to feed, walk, and care for your four-legged friends while you’re away. If you don’t know someone who fits the bill, you can take them to a pet clinic that offers these services.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #3: Tie up loose ends at work
The last thing you really need when you finally take that well-deserved vacation is to get interrupted by an irate client, an unaware manager, or a co-worker who just has one quick question. Take care of any open assignments before you leave, forward a copy of any important files or documents that co-workers might need access to while you’re gone, set your IM and other collaboration apps to Away or Unavailable, and set an away message as an automatic email response. Now, the only thing left is to be strong enough to not check your work email while you’re away!
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #4: Clean up your act!
Unless you want to see all that R&R fly right out the window the minute you walk through the door, you’d better make sure your home is clean before you leave. Not saying you have to do your entire spring cleaning before you go away, but it’s a good idea to cover the basics. Clean out the fridge, scrub down the bathrooms and kitchen, check that there’s no wet or really dirty laundry that can’t wait till you get back, and take out the garbage, so you aren’t greeted by some unpleasant aromas or visitors upon your return.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #5: Make sure you’re covered monetarily
There are many schools of thought regarding how to pay for items while you’re traveling. Some hold that cash is the best option because you can get a lower price from the locals when you’re talking dollars. Others maintain that traveler’s checks work best because they’re universal. But the most tried and true method for payment whether you’re traveling internationally or locally is still the credit card.
For one thing, you have a record of every transaction, so nothing sketchy can pass under the radar. Plus, if you lose your card or it gets stolen, you don’t lose out on anything. The credit card company cancels it immediately, and any fraudulent charges are covered by the company. With a travel credit card, you also rack up major points that you can redeem for free airfare, hotel rooms, and other goodies, so you’re getting paid while you’re on vacation. Finally, plastic has an almost unlimited budget, and the last thing you want to hear when you’re on vacation is, ‘sorry you don’t have enough cash for that.’ Bottom line, don’t travel without a travel card.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #6: Unplug fire hazards
What’s worse than coming home to a mess? Coming home to no home! Unfortunately, it happens more often than you’d think. Homeowners go away on vacation, a fire breaks out, and bye bye bedroom. To reduce the risk of fire outbreak while you’re gone, unplug all electronics that don’t have to be kept plugged in. Things like televisions, routers, computers, power cords, and even appliances like washer/dryers can all be left unplugged while you’re gone. This’ll also earn you a lower electricity bill at the end of the month.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #7: Set yourself up for success
If you’d rather leave some lights on as a safety precaution, set your electronic devices and systems accordingly. This means putting your thermostat on a lower setting, setting your lights to go on and off with a timer or app, and putting your fridge on the away setting. These will all save energy while you’re gone. You can also set the TV to go on for an hour or two at night to really sell the whole ‘status quo, everyone’s home’ act.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #8: Contact any service providers necessary
This is an easy one to forget in the frenzied days before a trip, but it’s an important one. Contact all service providers that need to know your travel plans. Call your credit card company, so they know that you’ll be abroad. This way overseas charges won’t be denied, and you won’t be stuck without a method of payment. Get in touch with your phone provider to see if they have an overseas plan for making calls, using data, and receiving messages. Notify your home security system, so they’ll be on guard for any activity around the house.
Also, if you’re going for an extended period of time, you might want to get in touch with certain service providers to see if you can freeze your contract, cancel a subscription, or get a reduced rate since you won’t be using the service for a while.
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #9: Check the weather
Oh yeah! That’s a good idea. You might be surprised how many vacationers don’t even think about this one, but it can affect your whole trip. Check the weather to see what to pack, how to plan your itinerary, and if you need specialty items while you’re away.
It’s also helpful to check the weather forecast in your hometown for the day you’ll be arriving back home. That way you’re not caught in your Bermuda shorts the day a blizzard hits New York!
Trendy Traveler’s Tip #10: Get travelers insurance
It’s the kind of thing that you hope to God you never need but will thank your lucky stars you have if you do. A trip to the emergency room in a foreign country could run you upwards of $1000s. Conversely, traveler’s insurance is only a couple of dollars, and when compared to what you’re spending on the rest of the trip, it’s really peanuts. Plus, if you do end up getting hurt, needing medication or even worse hospitalization, or losing your luggage, you’ll be really happy you sprung for this safety net.
Your bags are packed, and you’re one foot out the door. Check that you have your tickets and passports, that all the windows and doors are locked, and that you have your cell phone, and then go have the time of your life knowing you’ve got everything covered.