Travel Preparation Checklist: Things to Do Before Your Next Vacation

Vacations are fun, but the preparation and packing can be stressful. However, if you know how to organize appropriately before your travels, you can make your life a lot easier and your traveling experience more relaxed.

So, before your next vacation, create the ultimate packing checklist. To do this, you need to do some research. 

First of all, look up the weather according to your location and duration of stay, ensure you have plans for your pets, arrange school absences, and check your passport. 

Also, research your flight before you arrive at the airport. Then, make sure you know the checked luggage rules, purchase travel insurance if needed, and have the necessary travel documents on hand. 

Thus, you can see there are many things to keep track of when planning an entire trip for domestic or international travel, so here is a travel checklist of things to do before you arrive at your next destination.

Organize Your Carry-On Bag

Before going on a flight, you should pack your carry-on strategically. 

First of all, you want to read the flight limits on how much your bag can weigh. Then, pack the essentials that will keep you comfortable on your flight. 

For example, do you have anxiety or get motion sickness? Make sure to pack medication for this in your bag or inside your personal item travel pack. 

Also, bring a reusable water bottle to fill up once you get to the airport, so you have water on the flight. 

You should also pack a phone charger and download entertainment on your device before leaving the house.

Having comforting supplies in your bag before arriving at the airport will make you feel relaxed if travel plans go wrong before you get to your destination. 

Thus, here is a potential packing list for your carry-on:

  • E-reader, book, or magazine
  • iPad, phone, and charger
  • Medication
  • Wallet, driver’s license, passport, and other important documents
  • Layers for cold climates
  • Headphones
  • Snack and drink
  • Sunglasses
  • Neck-pillow

Contact Credit Card Companies

Before traveling abroad, you will want to contact your credit card companies to let them know you will be out of the country. That way, they will not shut your bank account down when they see an international purchase. 

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance depends on your provider and annual plan, but it can be beneficial in case a problem occurs. 

Typical uses for travel insurance include emergency medical treatment, personal liabilities, and a loss of personal items, like baggage. 

Arrange Pet Care, Plant Care, or House Care

Before going away, make arrangements to have someone care for your household and ensure you mark them down as your emergency contacts. 

A housesitter, even if they only come once every day or two, can care for living plants and take the mail in so your house doesn’t look empty in case of intruders.

Additionally, be sure to set your security system for when you are on vacation and triple-check to make sure you have it activated. If you have someone coming to do work at your place, be sure to let them know the alarm code beforehand. 

Also, have a neighbor or a friend stop by occasionally to water the plants or feed your fish. Pet boarding or other care is essential when going on a trip, so don’t forget to make a reservation at the kennel or have a friend, family member, or hired professional take care of your pet.

You also should make sure that your housesitter or dogsitter knows your return date. 

Pro-tip: before leaving the house, make sure you unplug appliances to keep your electric bill down. For example, you do not need a coffee maker hooked up when no one is home. 

Think about Rental Cars

Think about where you are going on your trip to determine whether you need to rent a car. And, remember that some countries are easier to travel through than others so you may be able to use public transport instead. 

However, if you do decide you need to rent a car, be sure that you take care of those arrangements before you leave. 

Packing Tips 

The ultimate packing list has everything from clothes to personal items and toiletries. So, here are a few quick tips to keep your checked bags from missing anything. 

For starters, before packing for your destination, make sure you have the right luggage at hand. Look up how much your checked bag should weigh before deciding which bag to use.

Also, before you put anything in your luggage, research the weather for your trip and pick out clothes based on the climate. Then, set the clothes aside for right now because, next, you need to pack in a way that keeps your suitcase organized.

Therefore, do not throw all your t-shirts and other clothes in at once. Fold the items strategically for easy access later. 

For example, if you bring dress shoes, keep them in a separate pocket away from clean clothes.

If you are planning for an extended vacation, especially one with multiple destinations, incorporate packing cubes into your bags to keep everything organized and packed tight. 

Additionally, pack toiletries and any other personal items in a small bag, separate from your clothes, so they’re easy to take in and out.

What To Pack For A Road Trip

If you are going off the grid or on a road trip, your travel packing will look slightly different since you may need to bring items like toilet paper and a water heater. 

Taking a highway journey is a great way to travel because you can hit many destinations. However, your pre-travel checklist will require getting the proper vehicle if you are camping, and your packing list will have more items in it that are for survival and sleeping outdoors.

Road trip necessities include: 

  • Water
  • Extra food
  • Tent
  • First aid kit
  • GPS device
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight
  • Knife

A Few More Tips

To create the ultimate packing list, here are some more helpful tips to keep in mind when traveling. 

  • Download travel apps – You should download any app you may need, such as an airplane app or GPS, before you leave since you will still have guaranteed speedy Wi-Fi. 
  • Bring event tickets – Double check that you have all the tickets you need before you get to the airport. Also, think of any activities you planned in advance. 
  • Print out or download your boarding passes – You should print or download passes before arriving at the airport to skip the line since this area gets crowded. 
  • Pack extra memory cards for unlimited travel content – You don’t want to miss out on a great post.
  • Book a rental car before you arrive at the airport to skip the line – Rentals are in high demand, so it is best to plan ahead. 
  • Wear a money belt to keep your money close by you – Be aware of pick-pocketers when traveling to an unfamiliar location. 
  • Make hotel reservations ahead of time – This is crucial, so you do not have to worry about sleeping somewhere unsafe.


In conclusion, making lists is the easiest way to get on top of your travel packing, travel dates, and preparation. It is important to stay organized with packing lists, so you don’t forget items or over-pack for vacation.

Planning activities before travel will also save you time and research so that you can just enjoy your trip. Thus, always look at your travel checklist before leaving home and during your vacation. 

Also, before your next trip, print out your pre-travel checklist so you can always have it at hand. Or store your travel checklists in your phone to make packing easier.

Overall, planning a vacation is much easier with a checklist at hand. Thus, be prepared before your adventure by scheduling sitters and house-care and checking that you have taken care of other essentials. 

By following the packing and preparation steps listed above, you will be surprised at how smoothly your traveling will go.