I am the queen of procrastination, so whenever I have a trip coming up, I usually wait until the last couple days before the trip to get anything and everything I need for it, unless it’s clothes. But if you’re the frantic, last-minute traveler/packer, then you probably don’t even think about what needs to be done to prepare for your trip because “you have so much time before you travel”.  After several business trips, I finally made a list of 12 things you should do (at least a week) before you travel.

TRAVEL PREP

1. DO RESEARCH
If you haven’t already done so, research your destination. Find out about the local customs and holidays that might be observed during your trip. Research the best means of transportation and all the do’s and don’ts of your destination country.

2. CHECK THE WEATHER
You might need to pack an umbrella or some extra layers for those chilly days.

3. BILLS
Pre-pay any bills that will be due while you are away or schedule payments to be made while you’re away.

4. MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Make copies of important travel docs like Visas or your passport. Also, make copies or take pictures of your credit cards just in case those are stolen. I have a picture locker on my phone, so I have pictures of the front and back of all my credit cards stored. Bring a copy of your medical insurance card.

5. HEALTH
Make yourself aware of any travel warnings or alerts for your destination country, especially if you need to take any health precautions. One word: ZIKA.

Also, make sure you have enough prescription meds for the duration of your trip.

6. INSURANCE
Call health insurer to clarify coverage while traveling, especially overseas.

7. STEP
Sign up for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows U.S. citizens to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or Consulate and receive information about safety conditions.

8. TRAVEL INSURANCE
If you’re traveling out of the country or planning an adventure (sporting, water, etc.) during your vacation, travelers insurance would be good to get. You can find out more information here.

9. WORK
Notify co-workers or employees. Re-assign work and assign a point of contact in your absence.

FOR YOUR HOME

10. ARRANGE PET CARE
Make plans for someone to come over and feed or walk your pets. Or if you’re using a kennel, make sure the kennel has availability for your travel dates.

11. HOUSE SITTER
Arrange for a friend to stay at your house or at least come by while you’re gone to check on things. If a friend isn’t available, let one of your neighbors know of your travel plans and give them your contact information so they can reach you if necessary.

12. MAIL
No one likes an overstuffed mailbox, so if you’re going away for more than a week or have a really small mailbox like I do, put in a hold request with your local post office or have a friend check your mail every couple of days for you.

And now that I have plants that are actually growing and thriving, I recently had to bring a few plants over to a friend’s house so that she could take care of them while I’m away. #adultlife

So what type of traveler are you? The super prepared one or the last minute traveler? What things do you have on your to-do list before you travel?   

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