Summer is right around the corner and with it: SUMMER VACATION! Complete this checklist before jetting off to ensure the most seamless and stress-free vacation possible!

It’s a bit of a long list, but by checking off these essentials before your vacation, you’ll be fully prepared to soak up all the fun in the sun this summer without worry about things back home!

Things to do at home the week before going on vacation

Put in your request to have your mail held and don’t place any Amazon orders with a delivery date that coincides with your vacation dates

Before you embark on your travels, be sure to request a hold on your mail. Contact your local post office to arrange for your mail to be held until your return. This simple step is especially useful for longer trips. Alternatively, consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail while you’re away.

Start eating up perishable foods

Pay attention to expiration dates in your refrigerator and cupboards and try to use up any items that might expire while you’re away. On the same note, while shopping in the few weeks leading up to your vacation be mindful not to purchase these items that will expire before your return and might not get used up before you leave and try to avoid purchasing them.

Check your prescriptions

Fill any prescriptions in advance so you have enough to last the duration of your vacation. 

Make arrangements for your pets

If your pets will not be traveling with you on vacation you’ll want make plans for their care before you leave. This can include enlisting the help of a neighbor, friend or relative, or hiring a pet sitter or boarder while you’re away.

Pay any bills that will be due while you’re gone

To prevent late fees or penalties as well as the stress of having to pay bills while on vacation, pay or schedule payments for any bills that will be due while you’re away.

Let your bank and credit card company know you’re leaving the country (or traveling to another part of the US)

On that note, also let your bank know that you will be traveling to avoid your cards being blocked while you are away.

Contact your cell phone provider (if traveling internationally)

  • Most cell phone plans include Canada and Mexico in their coverage at no extra charge, but it is always a good idea to double check. 
  • If you are traveling outside of the US, Canada or Mexico, most cell phone providers provide an international plan that can be turned on while you’re away. Usually this is around $10 a day, but check with your specific provider for specific details. 
  • If you truly want to escape while you’re away, consider turning your phone on airplane mode for the duration of your vacation. You can still connect to the resort’s wifi for posting photos and surfing the web, but you will not be able to receive or make texts or phone calls. 
  • Make the appropriate plans with your cell phone provider based on the type of vacation you want to enjoy!

Load up on your downloads

  • If you are traveling internationally with long flights or layovers consider downloading everyone’s favorite entertainment onto their devices before jetting off. This could include ebooks, audiobooks, movies and/or music. Although many airlines offer in-flight entertainment, it varies depending on your destination.
  • You might also want to consider if you want this entertainment when lounging poolside or on the beach, or during potentially long layovers (this is especially important to think about when traveling with children).

Research your packing list

I personally LOVE packing for a vacation! It boosts my excitement and helps keep me busy while I’m eagerly anticipating my departure! To ensure nothing is forgotten, consider researching a packing list for your specific vacation type. Consider all of the aspects of your vacation when planning and all the activities you might be participating in. I live in flip flops and my favorite vacation is lounging by a pool in Mexico, so flip flops are usually fine. If you plan on doing any excursions or tours or a lot of walking on your vacation consider the type of footwear and other essentials you might need as well.

Schedule any before-travel grooming or beauty appointments

  • If you’re anything like me, most of your vacations are to beachy, tropical destinations where you’ll be wearing lots of flip flops or be barefoot by the pool most of the time and you want your vacation pics to look their best!
  • To make sure your beach chair lounging photos or feet in the sand photos as well as all the photos you want to take holding those beautiful cocktails looks up to par by scheduling your manis and pedis before you jet off!

Do your laundry

Finish up any last loads of laundry you have so they are not sitting there for days or weeks possibly causing smells when you return

Double-check the time of your flights and prepare accordingly

As your travel day nears, it is important to double-check your flight and accommodation details. You’ll want to pay attention to times and dates you’ll be flying to and from your destination. These times will be very important when scheduling transfers to and from the airport and knowing when you will arrive home to schedule the release of pet sitters, etc.

Find a few things you want to do while on your vacation

  • Once you have your destination picked out, one of the next steps you’ll want to do is find a few fun activities to do while you are there! This can be at the resort or off property through an excursion or tour company.
  • If you use a full-service travel agent like myself to help plan your vacation, we can be a lot of help with this item as well as the previous item on this list to make sure your flight times arrive and depart at a good time, arrange your transfers, help recommend and book excursions, etc.

Make a copy of your passport and ID

It’s always a good idea to make a copy of all of your travel documents as well as your passport and ID. Keep these copies separate from the actual items.

Ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone

To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or who lives in your area or neighborhood to check in on your property while you’re away.

Give a friend or family member your basic itinerary

It is a good idea to let a family member or friend know the basics of where you’ll be and when. This contact person could be the one picking you up from the airport, etc.

Bring any outdoor furniture in

Lastly, to prepare your home for being away for a while it’s a good idea to store items like pool equipment, patio furniture cushions, toys, etc. to prevent these items from blowing away or possibly being stolen.

Stop by the bank to withdraw cash

Cash is essential to have on hand for things like tips for servers, bartenders, room service, housekeeping, bell services, transfer drivers. Most places will accept US currency, but local money is always appreciated. Depending on the length of your trip, take out about $200 in small bills for tipping throughout your vacation.

Things to do the day before going on vacation

I don’t recommend you leave TOO many items at the last minute during your vacation preparations, but there are a few items that are best left for the day before travel.

Tidy up the house

Returning to a clean home after vacation is the best feeling ever (second to sipping margs poolside in paradise). This will ensure you can come home and relax as much as possible before the unpacking begins.

Throw away any food that will spoil while you’re away

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but to deter any bad spells creeping up while you’re away, make sure to throw out any food that may go bad while you’re on your vacation.

Check-in online for your flight

You can check into your flight online 24 hours before your scheduled flight. This can save you time once you arrive at the airport. Once you check-in online you will receive a digital copy of your boarding pass. Be sure to screenshot a copy of this in your phone incase of poor WIFI connection once you arrive.

Fully charge all electronics you’re bringing

Write yourself a note of last minute things to grab/do in the morning. Things like: grab phone charger, take out the trash, pack last minute toiletries, lower or raise your thermostat, water plants, double check for your id and passport,  and any other small items you need to remember to do the morning of leaving that couldn’t be done previously. Leave yourself a note with these tasks so nothing is forgotten.

Get set for the vacation of a lifetime!

And there you have it! Follow this guide for a stress-free vacation! 

For an even more stress-free vacation, consider delegating the planning of your vacation to a travel agent like myself so you have more time to focus on the rest of these tasks!

For more travel tips and tricks consider joining my Facebook group to learn more about how I serve my clients in all their exclusive vacation needs! We talk tips, advice and have a lot of fun! My clients discover the world in immersive, private, incredible hand-picked gem locations or back to their old favorites! Whatever is right for them! They love all the little details and 24/7 care while they are traveling. They feel taken care of as I help in case of travel hiccups. They know they can reach out to me at any time! Join Salty and Free Adventures Travel C0. Facebook group feel the difference of a Salty and Free vacation!

Start adventuring with a sense of freedom and a touch of salt!


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