Kelsey Tharp | Aug 14, 2019
Soon you’ll be relaxing on your favorite beach or maybe skiing down a new and exciting mountain. Delightful.Before living your best vacation life, you’ll need to tie up all the loose ends of your regular life.
Coming home to a clean house after a long trip is the best feeling ever. So, change your sheets, clean the bathrooms, pick up clutter — your future self will thank you.
If you can’t commit to a full-house scrub-down, at least clean your fridge and take out the trash. Ignoring these chores means you may come back to a house filled with an unpleasant mystery smell.
If you order groceries, schedule their delivery for the day you’ll be back, so you can quickly restock your pantry and not be tempted to order take out.
If you meet the requirements, you can renew your passport online. It can take up to eight weeks to renew through the mail, so give yourself plenty of time before your trip start date before doing this.
An important announcement: If your passport expires in six months or less, you may not be able to enter your destination country.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to apply for a visa. If you’re a U.S. resident, check out this handy list of country visa requirements.
Snapping pictures of your IDs, passport, hotel reservations, and any other important documents is always a good idea. These pictures should be stored both in your phone and a cloud-based location (in case your phone is stolen). If these documents are lost or stolen, having these pictures can make getting replacements much easier.
You can also make copies to carry with you. A copy can sometimes be accepted in lieu of the original, but this isn’t always the case.
If you aren’t checking or won’t have access to your phone or email, don’t forget to do this for both your work and home accounts. In case of a major emergency, you may want to leave the number of where you’re staying with a trusted friend.
Let your bank know when you’re going on an extended vacation, so they don’t think your credit card was stolen. You don’t want to be in the middle of a big European vacation and have your card frozen.
If you haven’t taken your phone to another country, call your phone provider to learn what options are available. You may be able to purchase an international plan or a mobile hotspot.Another option is using an app like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to message anyone important back home. These free options will work whenever Wi-Fi is available.
If your mail starts to pile up, this could alert potential thieves that you aren’t home. Call the post office and ask them to hold your mail while you’re on vacation. Or if someone is house-sitting, make sure they’re picking it up for you, daily.
Before you leave, don't order anything from Amazon or another online retailer that will arrive while you’re gone. A package sitting on your doorstep for a few days is a major indicator you aren’t home.
Test each of your doors and windows to ensure everything is locked. This simple check can bring you peace of mind during your vacation.
The longer your lights remain off, the easier it is for anyone watching your house to realize you aren’t home. Turn on a light or two before leaving, so that it looks like someone is home at night.
If you’re going to an area of high elevation — 8,000 feet or higher — you may experience altitude sickness. Stave off this condition by slowly acclimatizing to the height, staying hydrated, and using pain relievers to help offset any headaches or nausea.
If you’re particularly susceptible, speak to your doctor about taking a preventative medicine before leaving on your trip.
There’s nothing like waiting for a flight and realizing you’re hungry and don’t have anything to read. If you wait until you get to the airport to buy snacks and reading material, you’ll be bound to whatever bagged snacks and best-selling novels you can find in the limited airport store, so stock up beforehand.
If you’re a big reader, invest in a Kindle. With this, you can load up as many books as your heart desires and not have to worry about filling your suitcase with heavy novels.
Before you leave, charge your phone, e-reader, Nintendo Switch, and any other super important electronic devices. Make sure to bring all your chargers, too!
If you’re embarking on a road trip, invest in a car charger, in case you need more juice during your long drive. Buying an external charger is also a good idea, especially if you’re traveling by plane or another mode of transportation where you don’t have regular access to charging ports.
If you’re a chronic over-carrier, this is a must. When you’re out and about in another location, you won't want to carry a ton of heavy items for an extended period of time. This can hurt your back and shoulders.
Before leaving, go through your purse or wallet to ensure you’re only bringing what’s necessary. Also, if you carry something like a pocketknife or pepper spray, that isn’t allowed on your mode of transportation, remove that as well.
If you’re a music or podcast nut, download what you need before your trip starts. In case the TV in your plane malfunctions, load your laptop or phone with movies and TV shows. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime will let you download these to watch.
Downloading offline maps for your destination is also a great idea. Even though you may be able to find Wi-Fi in your destination city, having maps saved is a 100 percent reliable way to have the directions you need, without draining your battery or data. One of the easiest ways to get maps is through Google Maps.
This is one of the most important ways to prepare for your vacation. Travel insurance is a
protection against the wild and unpredictable things that can occur on a trip: animal attacks, illnesses, natural disasters, and everything else.
Purchasing a travel insurance plan is one of the best ways to keep the trip of a lifetime from turning into a nightmare.
*Trip insurance is included as part of a travel protection plan, which consists of insurance coverages underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company as well as non-insurance assistance services provided by Seven Corners, Inc. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions in the plan, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions.