You Need To Do This: Pre-Vacation Checklist

You Need To Do This: Pre-Vacation Checklist

You are currently viewing You Need To Do This: Pre-Vacation Checklist

Use this pre-vacation checklist to make the days leading up to your trip easier.

Let’s face it: Leading up to a trip can be overwhelming and stressful.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It shouldn’t be this way!

Here’s the deal:

It is important to come up with a pre-vacation checklist so that you can be organized before leaving on vacation.

My goal is to help you reduce those stresses so that you can enjoy your travel adventures to the fullest!

Want to know more?

I have compiled a pre-vacation checklist with detailed explanations and instructions.

With this checklist, you will be ready to leave your worries behind you!

pre-vacation checklist

Your Pre-Vacation Checklist

Stop Mail

Be discrete that you are out of town.

Having a mailbox that is overflowing alerts bystanders that your home is currently unoccupied.

There is good news:

Submitting a mail hold request can easily be done online at USPS.com

Step 1:

Click ‘Request Hold Mail’ button

mail hold instructions

Step 2:

Sign in or Sign up

sign up screen on usps website

Step 3:

After entering your information, click ‘check availability’ to make sure mail hold is available for your address.

mail hold steps on usps website (screen shot)

Step 4:

Schedule your mail hold!!!

choosing dates for mail hold service

Stop Paper

Many people don’t receive the paper anymore, but if you still do… this is your friendly reminder!

Clean Out Fridge

Don’t come home to roaches and other critters.

Now is a good time to clean out your refrigerator.

While you’re at it, take the time and just toss those food items that expired a year ago.

Empty All Trash

Dump all the trash in the house.

If you can, take your garbage can to the road for trash day. See if a neighbor can bring it back to the house if you will be gone awhile!

You don’t want to leave signs that you are away on vacation.

Cash From ATM

It’s always a good idea to have some cash available, especially in the case of emergencies.

I would much rather be prepared and NOT need the cash than vice versa.

For international trips where you will be gone longer and need to withdraw more money, it’s a good idea to keep cash in multiple places for safety purposes.

Notify Credit Card Company

Don’t risk having your credit card declined!

Credit card companies have many security features in place and when they notice a change in spending patterns or location, you risk them marking the transaction as fraud.

This is avoidable.

Nowadays, you have options for setting up travel notifications. Depending on the credit card carrier, you can set up travel notifications through phone, online, or the mobile app.

For detailed instructions on the most common carriers, check out How To Set A Credit Card Travel Notification.

Notify Sheriff’s Department

There are some Sheriff departments that will ride by your house if requested. They will notify you of any suspicious vehicles and so forth.

Check with your local Sheriff department to see if this service is offered.

Set Thermostat To Vacation

Do not turn your AC off when traveling, but rather adjust the temperature so it can be more energy efficient.

Traveling in the summer? Turn your thermostat to 80 degrees. This will prevent excess humidity that might occur if you were to turn off your unit completely.

Traveling in the winter? Turn your thermostat to 55 degrees. This will prevent the furnace from operating unnecessarily, but also to a point where the pipes will not freeze and burst.

Turn Water Off

Don’t come home to a water disaster!

It is better to be safe than sorry! Plus it only takes a couple minutes to turn the water off to the entire house.

Not sure where your water shut off valve is located or how to turn it off?

Don’t worry.

We had difficulty with this when we first bought our home. Thankfully, there are many resources on the internet and youtube. To get started, check out this article.

Do Laundry

You don’t want stinky clothes piling up, enough said.

Pay Bills

If you don’t already do auto pay, look into that right now. It makes life so much easier.

Check to make sure there is no outstanding balance that needs paid prior to vacation so you can enjoy your trip stress free.

Arrange Pet Sitter For Animals

golden retriever side lying on floor with tennis ball

You’re probably so busy planning for your trip that arranging care for your furry loved ones might have slipped your mind! I’m sure your pets would love to go on vacation with you. Unfortunately, sometimes this just isn’t feasible.

There are so many options for choosing pet care!

First, decide what kind of care you need for your pet. For example, our dog is very social and high energy. He needs to be in an environment where he can let out some of his pent up energy so our house isn’t destroyed. My preference are dog sitters in the sitter’s personal home. I love the intimate and personal care that Woody receives.

When going on vacation, decide what is best for your pet and then do some research. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find something in your budget if you plan enough time in advance!

Some out of town options:

  1. Dog walking/ Drop-in visits

For dogs that do not require lots of stimulation, extra attention, or do not excel in a social environment, this could be a good choice. With dog walking, someone usually will come to your house and walk your dog for a select amount of time.

For those with cats or other animals, drop in visits are increasing in popularity. Someone will stop by your home, feed your pet, and play with him/her for a period of time. Downside? They are left at home alone. Many animals, however, enjoy their alone time and won’t be bothered by this set-up.

  1. Dog sitting (in the sitter’s home)

In this setting, your pet will get a lot more personalized attention in the comfort of someone’s home. Our dog, Woody, does not adjust quickly in a new environment, especially when he is surrounded by strange noises, smells, and dogs.

By staying in a sitter’s home, he is around a smaller group of dogs, is provided play time all day long, and gets all the love he needs!

  1. Dog sitting (in your home)

If you want your dog to enjoy the comforts of their known habitat, you can pay extra to have someone stay in your home overnight. Some sitters will even get your mail and water any plants around your home.

  1. Kennels

A more traditional approach for boarding is placing your pet in a kennel. Over the years, kennels have become larger, more comfortable, and some even offer video live streaming.

If your pet is not bothered by loud noises and being crated for extended periods of time, then this could be an easier option.

We boarded Woody at a kennel a few years ago and they would walk the dogs 3x/day. We got an extra charge for him being “challenging.” Now he is forever known as Wild Woody!

How do I find pet care?

Now that you know what options are available, it can be challenging knowing where to find pet care in your area! Some of the most popular websites for finding pet care are: Rover.com and Wagwalking.com. I also like asking my neighbors through nextdoor.com.

If you are looking for a kennel, these can quickly be found via a google search or even asking your vet! Some vets offer boarding services as well!

Arrange For Yard To Be Mowed

If you are traveling during the warmer months, be prepared to come back to high lawns! We like to minimize this to deter people from knowing we are out of town.

How do you do this?

  1. Mow your yard right before leaving to go on vacation

Josh tries to mow the yard right before we leave! If you are gone for 2 weeks or less, you can probably avoid hiring a lawn service. Just be prepared to mow the lawn upon your return!

  1. Arrange for your yard to be mowed

If you don’t have a lawn service that you have used before, reach out to your neighbors via nextdoor.com. They are a great resource!

We have also had great luck using thumbtack.com to find professional services.

If you live in an apartment complex, condo, or townhome – lucky you. No need for you to worry about lawn care!

Share Emergency Contact Information

Share your trip details with family and/or friends.

Pertinent Information could include:

  1. Flight number
  2. Flight times and dates
  3. Hotel name and phone number
  4. General itinerary

We hope that you find this pre-vacation checklist helpful in preparing for your next adventure! Have fun and be safe friends!

Until next time...

xxx Sara & Josh

Pre-Vacation Checklist FAQ’s

Should I turn my water off when I go on vacation?

Don’t come home to a water disaster!

It is better to be safe than sorry! Plus it only takes a couple minutes to turn the water off to the entire house.

How do you prepare a vacation checklist?

  1. Stop mail
  2. Stop paper
  3. Clean out fridge
  4. Empty out all trash
  5. Cash from ATM
  6. Notify credit card company
  7. Notify sherriff’s department
  8. Set thermostat to vacation
  9. Turn water off
  10. Do laundry
  11. Pay bills
  12. Arrange pet sitter for animals
  13. Arrange for yard to be mowed
  14. Share emergency contact information

Do I have to notify my bank when traveling?

Don’t risk having your credit card declined!

Credit card companies have many security features in place and when they notice a change in spending patterns or location, you risk them marking the transaction as fraud.

This is avoidable.

Nowadays, you have options for setting up travel notifications. Depending on the credit card carrier, you can set up travel notifications through phone, online, or the mobile app.

How do I prepare for dog sitting?

  1. Start early and do your research.
  2. Decide what setting works best for your pet.
  3. Set up a meet & greet (if applicable)
  4. Good fit? Schedule your pet sitter!
  5. Gather all vet records and emergency contact info for the pet sitter.

And please do me a little favor and share this article with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their travels!

Sara & Josh

While Sara and Josh may be new to the travel blogging world, that doesn't mean they lack knowledge or experience in booking bougie vacations. With a talent for finding travel deals, Sara and Josh are here to teach YOU some of their tricks to traveling "bougie on a budget." Learn more about their story and please reach out with any questions or comments via e-mail at: [email protected].

Leave a Reply