Vacation Checklist

Since people are always traveling, we thought it would be helpful to provide a "vacation checklist" for the many things that need to be handled and taken care of over the months, weeks, and minutes prior to your leaving town.

How many times have you left for vacation and had to turn around for that one thing you forgot? We hope this vacation checklist will help you be better organized and prepared for your next trip. Be sure your vacation is a fabulous journey with many wonderful memories instead of one that will be remembered as a disaster by using this handy vacation checklist before your next trip. Vacation Planing

This section of the vacation checklist will be helpful when planning your vacation. These are the things that you obviously need to do to plan your vacation and will need to be done months to weeks in advance.

First and foremost, check with employers to be sure the week or weeks you and your spouse will need to take off for vacation are available….schedule appropriately!
Gather information about where you'll be visiting.

Road Atlas or Trip-Tik from AAA (map).

Learn about the various places you most want to visit, restaurants, shopping, etc.

Check the US Government or State Department's Advisories about traveling to your chosen destination.

Get ideas from others who have traveled to your chosen destination for tips about things to see and do or even hotels, restaurants, etc., to avoid.

Check forums and other sources on the internet for recommendations.

Book flight if traveling by air. Check with the airlines for restrictions for carry-on luggage.

Make hotel/condo reservations.

Planning to rent a car? Make appropriate arrangements. Also check with your auto insurance company to see if you'll be fully covered where you're going or if you'll need the supplemental insurance offered by the rental company??

Renew passport or obtain passport/visa if needed. It is recommended to allow up to 8 weeks for this to be processed.
Arrange for vaccinations if your destination warrants any.
Arrange for pet sitter or boarding if necessary.

If boarding, be sure pets have all necessary shots.
Arrange to have your lawn mowed and cared for, especially if traveling for an extended period.

Ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on things and to pick up any packages, leaflets, etc. left at your door.

Be sure that you will have enough prescription medicine. Always keep them in their original containers. Do not add nonprescription drugs or vitamins in prescription containers. Order enough to cover your vacation time.

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellant - Avon's Skin-So-Soft works well also
  • Anti-nausea and/or anti-diarrhea medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Money/passport bag.
  • Power adapters: Check requirements for the country to which you'll be traveling.
  • Entertainment for kids/yourself during travel time (books, games, word puzzles, etc.)

To-Do List:

This section of the vacation checklist is for all the many things you need to remember to handle in the week or two prior to your trip.

  • Buy batteries for camera, camcorder, Game boy, portable audio devices, etc.
  • Film and/or memory cards for cameras
  • Stop the mail
  • Stop newspaper deliveries
  • Update voicemail at work with absence notification
  • Update e-mail at work with auto reply absence notification
  • Get money, traveler's checks (Note: Many places, even some banks, are not accepting traveler's checks), or pre-paid traveler's cards
  • Pay upcoming bills that can’t wait
  • Put name and destination phone number or destination address in luggage. Don’t put the address of your vacant home.
  • Carry only the essentials in your wallet or purse (unfortunately criminals do not "take" vacations)
  • Record phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen credit cards or debit cards and put them in a location other than your purse or wallet. Hint: If a credit card is stolen, you can report it and stop additional charges. If your debit card is stolen, stopping additional charges can freeze your access to cash. Consider using your credit card when away from home.
  • Let your credit card companies know if you are traveling to a foreign country
  • Leave emergency phone numbers with relatives, neighbors, or pet boarding facilities
  • It makes it easier to spot your luggage if you buy brightly colored luggage tags or straps (you can find these at your local discount chain)


Now that it's actually time to pack, hopefully you won't have a problem remembering to pack your toothbrush and underwear!! This section of the vacation checklist isn't to tell you what to pack, just simply a checklist of the MOST IMPORTANT things to remember while you're packing and getting everything together!

  • Tickets
  • Passport
  • Reservation Confirmations
  • Prescription medicine (take a list of all your prescription drugs)
  • Cell phone and charger!!!
  • Contact lenses, lens case, and extra solutions
  • Extra eyeglasses or lens prescription
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella or raingear
  • Travel pillow
  • Camera, extra batteries, film, etc. Note: If leaving the country, proof of purchase of expensive camera equipment can avoid customs problems
  • Bring a plastic bag or other type laundry bag for damp and/or dirty clothes
  • Remember to plan extra space in your luggage for souvenirs you've bought
  • Anything you absolutely need, i.e., prescriptions, glasses, SNACKS, etc., should be packed in your carry-on bag

Last Minute Reminders:

Just so you're not wondering if you remembered to turn off the coffee pot when you reach that last rest area, use this section of the vacation checklist for those last-minute things to do just before walking out the door!

  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Unplug all small kitchen appliances (toaster, can opener, coffee maker, microwave)
  • Unplug computers, televisions, and stereo equipment
  • Turn off water to external faucets
  • Turn off water to washing machine (especially if your hoses are old!)
  • Adjust thermostat appropriately

Final Checklist:

This section of the vacation checklist is our last reminder to go have fun!!! OH!...One more important thing to remember....Don't forget the kids!!! :) :) ;)

Looking for more travel-related articles? Check these out!

Tips for Traveling Abroad
Tips When Traveling By Car
Is planning a cruise in your future?
Money-Saving Tips if Traveling by RV
Travel...Deals and dicounts on travel

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