Traveling is so exciting. To fully enjoy travel, you want to make sure you can unpack the stress and leave it at home. There are things to do before leaving on a trip that will ensure that your trip is stress-free.
If you follow certain guidelines for these things to do before leaving on a trip, you can enjoy your trip and worry less about what is going on at home. There are seven things you should make sure you address before you leave on a long trip.
Top of The List: Get Your Finances Organized
One of the most important things to do before leaving on a trip is to get your finances in order. Months before you leave on your trip, you want to make sure that you have your credit in order, just in case, you find that you need to tap into your credit.
If your credit is less than stellar, working with credit repair agencies a few months out can get your credit in top condition. Some of the most important things to do before leaving on a trip is to make sure that:
- You can afford the trip.
- You do not fall behind on your core bills while you are on the trip.
- You come home to with some cash.
Extended travel can get expensive. Clearing out your entire savings to go on a long trip is a bad idea. Before you leave for your trip, you want to make sure that you can easily finance your trip. Finding the money for travel can be easier than you think if you know where to look.
Second On the List: Financing Your Travel
How will you pay for your travels and pay for your household bills at the same time? Taking out a small personal loan can help, but it is not your only option. You do not have to run up every credit card bill to get the money you need to take that long trip.
Here are some tips for generating extra cash to use for your trip:
- Sell off the things you do not use. Cash for gold can be paid for broken jewelry you no longer wear. Sell items around the house that you are no longer using. You can even sell your clothing online. Selling off the things you are not using anyway is a great way to finance your trip.
- Pick up a side gig. You can generate a nice amount of cash by using your skill set to perform “gig” work. If you are great with computers, start a little computer repair side gig. If you have a passion for writing, consider taking on some ghostwriting projects. There are a lot of options out there.
- Take on a second part-time job. Delivering pizza, DoorDashing, working with one of the rideshare companies, can all generate a couple of hundred dollars a week.
Paying for your travels does not have to mean running up your credit card. It can mean working a little harder for a few months before you depart. The beauty of earning money instead of borrowing money is that your travel will feel like a real reward and will not cause any financial worries.
Make a special note of contacting your bank and credit card issuer to make them aware that you will be traveling and your destinations. Ask them to make a note in your account. Many travelers have had their cards shut down because their banks marked activity as suspicious to help protect the account when a card is used overseas.
Third on the List: Get Things in Order
One of the most important things you can do to keep stress at bay while you travel is to make sure that everything back home is in order. For example, making sure that you have contacted a fence company to repair your broken fence before you leave not only ensures security at home but will also help reduce feelings of guilt for spending money on your trip that should have gone to fixing the fence.
Clearing the way to have an enjoyable trip starts with addressing any problems at home that may cause you stress, guilt, and anxiety on your trip. Consider getting any roof repairs done before you embark on your trip. You do not want to come home to damage caused by a leak from a faulty roof.
If you are leaving your pets behind, consider taking them for a check-up to your local animal care clinic. A clean bill of health for your furry friends will help to ease worries about your pets while you travel.
There are a lot of things to do before leaving on a trip around the house that will save you headaches on your trip. Get that broken window fixed with professional glass repair services, if you really want to make sure you come back to a nice clean home, consider professional carpet cleaning right before you leave.
Fourth on the List: Make Check Lists
Make a checklist of all the things you need to take care of at home to promote a worry-free trip. Things to do before leaving on a trip can include:
- Home maintenance and repairs. A little maintenance before you leave will ensure that you do not come back to mess. Be sure your pool covers are in good condition, cut your lawn, address any other issues that can get out of control while you are gone.
- Make detailed lists of what needs to be done while you are gone. For example, if you have a house sitter coming to stay, be sure that you include detailed information about the systems in your house. If you have an in-home water treatment system, including it on the list is important. If you have pool pumps, include them, include every system and how to operate them.
- Get all the laundry done, empty the fridge, and shut down systems that will not be used. If no one is going to be in the house while you are gone, turn off your water heater, and lower (or higher in the summer) your thermostat to save energy.
There are a lot of things to do before leaving on a trip but taking the time to get it all done will make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
Fifth On the List: Secure Some Help
It is important that you have some support back at home while you are traveling. Even if you do not want someone staying in your house while you are gone, you should have someone that will check on your house while you are gone.
Ask a trusted friend or family member to come by once a week and pick up your mail (this is also addressed in the next section about security), water your lawn, plants, and garden, and just check to make sure everything is okay.
If you are leaving elderly parents behind, you normally provide support to consider hiring companion home care for them while you are gone. Of course, you also want to make sure that you make long-term arrangements for any pets that you are responsible for.
Having support back at home while you travel is vital to your peace of mind and it is one of the things to do before leaving on a trip. Make sure that your support person has all your flight information, itinerary, phone numbers, and emergency contacts, just in case.
It is far better to be overprepared than underprepared and try to scurry around while you are traveling to find help. Make arrangements with your support system long before you leave on your trip.
Sixth On the List: Security At Home
There are a few things to do before leaving on a trip to ensure that your home and belongings stay safe while you are gone. For example, if you plan on leaving your car in long-term parking, be sure that you visit an auto accessories shop to have an alarm system installed. Break-ins are frequent in long-term parking.
Other things to do before leaving on a trip to keep your home safe include:
- DO NOT post-trip details on social media. Yes, it is nice to share your journey with friends and family. Unfortunately, thieves are paying attention. You do not want to let the world know that you are gone and your home is up for grabs. A recent study found that 60% of burglars use social media to target their victims. Keep your trip to yourself until you get back.
- DO NOT let mail and newspapers pile up. If you do not have someone to pick up your mail, you can call USPS and they will put a hold on delivery for a specified period of time (specified by you). Suspend newspaper subscriptions while you are gone. Thieves look for homes that have newspapers and mail piled up because it indicates no one is there to receive it.
- DO a security audit of your home. Check window and door locks to ensure everything is working. If you need to replace locks, this is a good time to do it.
- DO use timers for your lights. Invest in timers that will turn on lights in your home periodically to make it look like someone is home.
Making sure that your list of things to do before leaving on a trip includes security preparations is critical to your peace of mind and the security of your home. There is nothing worse than getting a call saying your property has been broken into when you are thousands of miles away and unable to do anything about it.
Let trusted neighbors know that you are not going to be home and ask if they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Ask them to promptly call the police if they see anyone other than the person you have designated in or near your home.
Seventh On the List: Plan Security for On Your Trip
One of the things to do before leaving on a trip is to make plans to stay safe on your trip. Far too many people learn the hard way that being a foreigner can also mean being a mark for robbery and worse.
Learn all you can about the region you are traveling to. Look up crime statistics and follow any of the state department recommendations for your destination. Do not travel with large amounts of cash. Talk to your bank before you leave (we mentioned this earlier) and ask if your debit card will work at international locations.
Do not bring valuable jewelry with you. It is best not to have too much bling along to tempt would-be thieves. Always stay aware of your surroundings as you travel. Stay with groups of people if you can, and never accept a ride from a stranger at the airport or in a foreign location. Most people are well-meaning, but there are some nefarious actors out there that cannot be trusted.
Lock valuables in the hotel safe or use your room safe, be sure to change the combination if you can. Become familiar with the rules at your destination. It is not unheard of for travelers to find themselves in very hot water with the law because they were unaware of rules that they were breaking.
Final Suggestions for Things to Do Before Leaving On a Trip
One of the best ways to have a fun-filled adventure is to ensure you pay special attention during the planning stages. For example, calling your cell service provider is one of the things to do before leaving on a trip that is often overlooked, and that can turn into a big issue.
Use lists, check them twice and start your planning early to ensure that you do not overlook any detail. Travel is awesome and made even better when you have everything prepared. Bon Voyage! Enjoy your trip!