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international travel checklist

Going on vacation is something we all look forward to and impatiently await. However, a bit of planning ahead is necessary to provide the ultimate peace of mind during a trip. If you check off the 10 items on this list before your trip, you’ll truly be able to relax with a mojito in hand under swaying palm trees.

1.  Make copies of documents.

There is always the chance of misplacing or losing important travel documents like your license, passport, visa, or travel itinerary. But, having a copy and an electronic version of these documents can really help you out in a pinch. Though it might feel like the end of the world if you lose the originals, having a copy (especially one that is notarized) can really expedite the process of getting new travel documents.

2.  Ensure someone knows where you’ll be.

Whether you are taking the solo trip of a lifetime, a girls’ getaway, a romantic trip, or a family vacation, you should make sure that someone back home knows your basic travel plans. At the same time, it isn’t wise to post the exact dates of your vacation widely on social media since that can make your home vulnerable to theft.

3.  Talk to your bank.

If you plan on using your debit or credit cards while in a different city or country, be sure that your bank knows of your travel plans ahead of time. This will prevent you from being stuck without money while trying to pay for a hotel or a purchase since some banks might consider these fraudulent charges without prior information.


Related: 10 Tips For Staying Healthy While You Travel


4.  Make sure your pets and plants are taken care of.

If you have a pet at home or tons of plants, don’t forget to set up a way for these living creatures to be cared for. Whether you ask a reliable friend to feed your cat every day, have a relative stay in your home to walk your dog and water your flowers, board your pet, or bring your plants to the office for a colleague with a green thumb to care for, these are all things that should be planned far in advance. Ensuring your pet’s safety is a top priority while you are away and will give you peace of mind.

5.  Remind colleagues that you’re going on vacation.

About a week or a few days before your trip, remind colleagues, co-workers, HR, and employers of your upcoming vacation and whether or not they can expect to reach you during your trip. This is also especially pertinent for self-employed or small business owners since no one will pick up the slack while you are gone.

6.  Set up an email auto responder.

Along the same lines, before completely signing out of work for the duration of your trip, don’t forget to set up an email auto responder. This is especially important if you work for yourself and won’t be able to respond to emails promptly.

7.  Turn everything off.

Before leaving your office and home, you can help save electricity (and save on the bills) by unplugging lamps, your computer, and other outlets, except for perhaps your refrigerator! You can also save by turning off or down the air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter — just keep in mind that if it freezes where you are, you should keep the heating on high enough to prevent your pipes from freezing.


Related: How To Pack Bras and Save Space In Your Suitcase


8.  Take out the trash.

Yuck — coming home to a smelly trash can is gross! One of the last things you should do in your home is take out the trash so nothing spends a week or more rotting in your home.

10.  Lock up your home.

As you step out of the door before making your way to the airport, train station, or into your car for a road trip, don’t forget to lock your door!

11.  Ask someone to check on your home.

If you plan to be traveling long term, it is worth it to ask a trustworthy friend or nearby family member to check your home a few times while you are away. This can help to protect your home from break ins and damage due to unforeseen circumstances (pipes breaking, leaks, storms, and etc.). If traveling for 3 months or more, it might even be worth it to consider finding a subletter if that is allowed in your lease. It can really provide peace of mind to know that someone is taking care of your home while you are away.

Featured image via Stocksnap
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