To get out of town stress free and return happy

My to do list before every trip is my prized possession. I’ve honed it over the years as my travel commandments to leave on time, low stress and as prepared as possible to have fun on vacation. While most of our trips are of the flying variety, this will serve as a good comparison for your own pre-trip checklist prior to enjoying vacations.

Strip the bed and change the sheets

Something about stale sheets upon return is gross. It could be the fact that we were pampered on vacation with fresh sheets every day, or just the fact that the air conditioning wasn’t turned on for a few days or weeks. Either way, walking into a bedroom with clean sheets and made bed after a long flight is incredibly comforting. We usually do this in the morning as we drink coffee. Last person out strips the bed, and the first person puts sheets on.

Move Cars into the Garage and Gas Up Day Before

I’ll admit, we are a bit lazy on where we park on the day to day. Oftentimes cars are along the street or in the front of our driveway. The day before we fill up our tanks and then move vehicles into the garage if we aren’t road tripping or taking them to the airport. No need to get gas on the way to work when we get back or worry about hail, storm, theft with our cars tucked into their home.

South Africa Garden Route

Leave Cash for Household Services (housekeeper / lawn)

Especially on those long international trips, keep in mind anyone who will be servicing your house while you’re gone. Assuming your other bills are on autopay, keep in mind any of your periodic bills you’re paying the old fashioned way with cash, check or venmo.

Take out Trash

Who wants to come back to a stinky house and possible bug situation? Not me. Do yourself a favor and take out the trash on your way into the uber or car and leave no trash inside the home on departure. Learned this lesson the hard way.

Run Dishwasher in PM / Unload Dishwasher in AM

This is another coffee-sipping activity. There is something weird that happens in the dishwasher when stagnant air is locked in for several days or weeks. I’ve come home to moldy plates which is not how I want to spend the day after vacation cleaning them. The evening before departure turn on the dishwasher and unload in the morning allowing yourself to come home to a tidy home.

Put on wedding ring

Am I the only one who forgets to be married on vacation? Whoops. Unless you are intentionally leaving behind jewelry, put on that wedding band! I work from home and I’m out of the habit of wearing it day to day. Your spouse will likely appreciate the symbol of your love and commitment while tromping around in a foreign place.

Prepare and Portion Dog Food for Boarding

I am a helicopter dog mom. Many boarding facilities will provide dog food for an incremental cost but it could come at the cost of gastrointestinal issues for your pup. The night before a trip I portion out all food and make it easy on the boarding staff to feed Reus, while also making sure I have packed enough. I feed him raw and have to leave instructions on when to thaw different batches on long international trips. I have an entire blog post dedicated on what to ask kennels prior to boarding since I’m passionate about making sure my family member is taken care of while I’m gone.

Place a Mail Hold

Ideally do this a day or two before departure so USPS has time to accommodate the request starting the day of the trip. You always have the option to pick up at the post office after your trip or have the mail brought in one big batch after your return. Another way to protect your home is to make sure mail isn’t overflowing in your mailbox for several days/weeks straight.

Turn on Security Cameras

Particularly if you have interior cameras, now is a good time to turn them on as you walk out the door. It might just be the neighbor cats wandering out by your door when you’re out of town, however it is nice to get notifications on any weird movements inside.

Download Netflix Shows

Flights or road trips, having episodes or movies downloaded to your device ahead of time is a great way to get jazzed up to make a big trek and make sure you’re entertained along the way. I like to start new seasons of reality TV (don’t judge) and tear through it on the airplane. I prefer bringing my own device for entertainment because I can put on subtitles and keep earplugs in on the airplane. Many airplane inflight entertainment options don’t have subtitles and to understand what is going on you have to blast the sound. It gives me a bit of the heebie geebies to think about my hearing in 60 years, so subtitles is the way I go.

Notify neighbors or friend (and make sure someone has a key!)

On a 9 hour drive from Dallas to Big Bend National Park we left our door unlocked. Such a face palm, but it wasn’t until 4 hours in that we realized it. Thankfully my mom lives 1 mile away from our home with a key and was able to lock up. Don’t be a doofus like me and also make sure someone knows you’re gone and can do drive-bys or walk-bys of your home while you’re gone.

Anything else you do in preparation for a big trip? I’m always enhancing the list to come back in as good a mood as departure day.

Posted by:Allie

One thought on “The Ultimate Pre-Trip Checklist

  1. This is such a fantastic pre-trip checklist, especially about notifying your neighbors and leaving an extra key with them just in case something happens. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year to you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s