We may earn money or products from the companies or links mentioned in this post.
This post is sponsored by Allianz Travel. All opinions are 100% my own. While this post is sponsored by Allianz Travel, I am also a paying customer of Allianz Travel.
Heading on vacation? You most likely remembered to check all of your reservations, pack enough clothes, and even arrange care for your pets. But that is not what we are talking about today. Today we are covering items that should be on your pre-vacation checklist that most people forget. I will admit, I even forget to do some of these things from time to time, which is why I thought it would be helpful to create a list for not only those who have found this article, but for myself as well.
These Pre-Vacation Checklist Items Are Often Missed
I don’t know many people that forget to grab their passport, or get care for their dog. But I know plenty of people that have admitted they never thought of doing these things when we have had conversations about them.
1. Before Going On Vacation: Stop These Services
Now days, so much stuff is done in line that it is easy to forget that we still get door delivery on some services. Before you head on vacation be sure to hold your mail (if you are in the United States it is super easy to place a mail hold on the USPS website).
Be sure to stop the mail the day you take off on your adventure, in case the mail doesn’t get there before you arrive. I also like to hold it through until the day after I return to give us time to unpack and get back to reality.
Mail isn’t the only service you may need to place a hold on. If you happen to get the newspaper, deliveries from a medical supply store, or if you are blessed to still have a milk man… stop those services.
I also suggest signing up for the advance notice from FedEx and UPS so if you get a package sent to you, you have time to change the delivery or ask those services to hold the items for you.
2. Don’t Forget Your Email Replies
If you do not plan on accessing email (specifically for business) when you are out of town, or even if you plan on checking it, turn on an Out Of Office reply. Even if you are planning to check email, if you are traveling, you may not be as quick to respond as you would like. Setting up an Out Of Office reply will alert your partners, clients, and any other important person that you are not ignoring them and plan to reply when you can or upon your return.
3. Making Sure You Are Prepared For The What-Ifs
I travel a lot, and because of that I have had my fair share of travel delays, adventures and disasters. That is why before I travel I always make sure that I am prepared for the what-ifs.
I get my car checked out for road trips, I make sure I have all my insurance papers in order, and I make sure that I am covered with Allianz Travel insurance. I travel often, so I usually have the annual travel plan (a great value if you plan on taking several trips over the year) but even on years when we travel less, I am sure to purchase individual trip insurance before each vacation.
Trip insurance can help in case of travel delays, needing to cancel after your “free cancellation” period (or if you prepaid your hotel), and even help with medical needs while traveling. It is super simple to sign up and the cost is very affordable. They even have multiple levels of coverage to help you choose a plan that is right for you.
4. Call Your Debit and Credit Card Companies
I think now days we forget to do this one. We feel like our banks are so quick at catching fraudulent charges, and we also think it will be a super quick phone call to fix.
Believe it or not, travel does still throw up red flags to fraud departments, and sometimes it can take 48-72 hours to get it resolved. While it can be pretty quick, I have had a recent fraud alert that took over 36 hours to get removed after I called. It is definitely easier to simply call your bank or credit card ahead of time. Some may even have a way to notify them online.
5. Road Trip – Print Out Directions
With GPS readily available on our phones, we often forget to print out directions or have a map to help us get to our destination. We learned one year that GPS can fail (It just suddenly lost signal never to get it back), phones can even lose GPS service, and that nothing quite beats having printed instructions or a map.
We were in the middle of the desert, and thankfully, I had printed directions because all the GPS devices (phones and stand alone) stopped working. We had to change highways a few times, which may had confused us except we came prepared.
Technology is great, but it doesn’t always work, so be prepared just in case. Better to have it and need it, then need it and not have it.
6. Make Some Ice
Years ago I read about freezing a cup of water and putting a quarter on top of it and putting it in your freezer before you went on vacation. We actually use a M&M or something similar instead of a quarter.
The point of this simple task is to know if your power goes out long enough for your food to thaw and go bad. Seems silly, but after working in food service for many years, I feel this is a pretty important task.
7. Open Your Washer
This is one that people were pretty excited about in a recent Facebook Live (I do travel chats weekly on my Facebook Page). Before we head on vacation I always open up my washer. I do this for a few reasons.
First, it gives the washer a chance to air out. Don’t want that moisture trapped in there for a week or so.
But the main reason I do this… to make sure I don’t accidentally leave a load of wet clothes in the washer. Gosh that would stink when I come back from a 10 day trip.
Can you think of anything else that should be added to this list? If so leave it in the comments below and I may add it in the future.