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20 Things You Need to do to Prepare for Stress-Free Travel

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Prepare for Vacation and Have the Time of Your Life!

You can’t wait to get away, but before you do there are a few things that need your attention. You can certainly enjoy stress-free travel with these tasks out of the way and you’ll have nothing on your mind while exploring new places.

It might seem like an obvious thing to prepare for vacation by washing and packing clothes or planning itineraries; however, many people forget some crucial items such as medication prescriptions which may not be available in other countries!

Another important task is making sure everyone at home knows what they should do when you’re gone so no one gets left behind without your personal information in case of emergency. Stress-free travel involves more than just making sure no one gets left behind. Follow our 20 easy, yet important tips for stress-free travel and have the time of your life!


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Here our top 20 things to do to prepare for stress-free travel:

1. Stop your mail and newspaper delivery

If you still receive a paper copy of your newspaper, call to have your delivery paused while you are away and notify the post office of your vacation.

There’s nothing that screams “this family is on vacation” like mail overflowing from the mailbox or newspapers and deliveries piled up on the porch.

2. Put email on “out of the office” mode

Make sure that your email is “out of office” mode and wait to answer emails until you get back. If you’re a remote employee, make sure people know that you can’t check emails during your vacation.

3. Leave out instructions for your pets (if applicable) –

If you have pets, take care of their needs before you go on vacation.

  • Make sure they’re up to date on their shots and have been groomed recently.
  • Ensure their identification tag with emergency information is secured to your pet’s collar in case they get lost.
  • Include instructions for your pet sitter for feeding, medications, and any other special requests (like making sure the cat is getting enough attention).

4. Don’t be a slave to your phone

It’s ok to check email once a day or so while away, but a vacation should be just that. In this electronic age, it is harder to “unplug”, but letting your co-workers and boss know the dates you will be away and that you will not be available will help you set boundaries and allow you to have a stress-free travel time.

5.  Make a packing list –

One way to make sure you don’t forget any important items is to follow a packing list. Be sure to consider the activities you will be doing on your vacation and pack accordingly. I’ve forgotten to pack a bathing suit for a beach vacation. Don’t be like me!

6. Ask a family member or neighbor to check on your house –

They can also water your plants, unless you have a fancy automatic plant-waterer.

Provide this person (people) with your itinerary and contact info as well as your Emergency Contact List in case something goes wrong.

7. Arrange for a “neighborhood watch” –

It’s also a good idea to talk personally with someone who lives close by and ask them to keep an eye on your house and report any unusual changes or activity. It can be scary at first trusting someone to do that, but it’s worth it!

8. Locate the phone numbers for local hospitals and police stations ahead of time –

You may want to do this before you go on vacation for an added sense of security. It’s not that you won’t be able to call them if something happens, but it will help to have the phone numbers in your pocket and ready…just in case!

9. Check all of your valuables –

Be sure to lock them up if you are not bringing them with you. You’ll also want to locate and review insurance policy information, homeowner, renter or condo association documents.

10. Set your alarm system –

Set your alarm system and leave a couple of lights on in your home with timers and a car in your driveway to make it appear as if someone is home. Don’t forget to give the house/pet sitter the code to turn on and off the alarm!

11. Make copies of your car keys

Leave them with a locked, hidden place or someone you trust. If your home is broken into while on vacation, you don’t want to risk losing the only set of keys that you have. You can also ask this person to check in on your house if they see something suspicious as well.

12. Mow the lawn –

If you will be away for an extended period of time, arrange to have your yard mowed. Nothing says “no one is home and this house is ripe for a break in” than an unkempt yard.

13. Pay any bills that will come due while you are away

It is best to take care of it before departure.

This can be done by logging into your account and paying the bill, calling customer service to make sure your payment was processed or setting up bank transfer to pay a particular bill ahead of time. You don’t want to come home to late fees, or, worse, yet a utility shut off!

14. Clean out your refrigerator

Toss out leftovers and anything that will expire before you return.

15. Look for coupons or deals for the area you are visiting

Try Groupon, the local chamber of commerce for the area, travel sites, etc. for deals on hotels, restaurants, attractions and more.  Why not let your money go further?

16. Contact your bank and credit card companies

Let them know when you will be traveling and where you will be going. There are few things more frustrating than having your bank card shut off after hours while traveling as a fraud prevention measure and you are stuck without funds for dinner!

17. Set your thermostat

Be sure to set your thermostat so that your air conditioner or heater won’t be wasting energy while you are away. Unplug unnecessary appliances to save energy, as well.

You can also set your thermostat to adjust as time goes on. For example, if you are leaving for vacation and will be gone overnight, lower the temperature a few degrees (between 2-4 is usually enough) and then while you are away, you can set it to heat or cool the home when it’s empty.

20 Things You Need to do to Prepare for Stress-Free Travel: You can't wait to get away, but before you do there are a few things that need your attention. You can certainly enjoy stress-free travel with these tasks out of the way and… Click To Tweet

18. Turn off water valves to the home –

If a pipe freezes, bursts or leaks while you are away, you won’t come home to flood in your home causing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of damage (this has happened to me and it was awful!)

19. Make sure your smoke/firm detectors are working properly –

You’ll also want to be sure they have fresh batteries.

20. Take out the trash in every room

Ewww! You don’t want to come home to something “festering” in your garbage and smelling up your home!

21. Don’t forget to pack your medications –

This also includes some extra in the event your trip is extended for some reason. You’ll also want to pack medications that you may not use everyday, but only take sometimes. Not all medications are available in all countries and you don’t want to be caught without something you really need.

22. Pack a laundry bag –

This will ensure that you don’t mix your dirty clothes with your clean clothes and that any odor from the dirty clothes won’t permeate your clean clothes.

23. Pack a power adapter –

If you want to use electronic devices in a different country, you’ll probably need a travel plug adapter.  Research the type of outlets in your destination then purchase a universal travel adapter. If you plan on returning to the same country more than once, it makes sense to purchase one specifically for that country.

Doing all of the above to prepare for vacation will take some time (maybe up to an hour or two), but completing the list will give you peace of mind and help you to enjoy stress-free travel while you are off getting some R & R.

It can be hard to feel like you’re getting any rest or relaxation when the stress of travel and preparing for your time away is weighing on you. Follow these simple tips for a stress-free travel, and enjoy a refreshing vacation without all the worry!

What are some ways that you prep ahead for a relaxing trip? Share with us in the comments section below 🙂

How do you prepare for vacation? Post in the comments below.

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