We’re just about two weeks away from our trip to Europe (not that I’m counting or anything…) and I’m in the final stages of prepping to leave. This time around I decided to write down a pre-trip checklist to make sure I’ve covered all the bases and don’t end up scrambling around the day before our flight!
I still recommend a separate packing list to check over the week before you leave (clearly I love lists), but these are some other ideas to start thinking about at least two to three weeks before your departure date.
Arrange transportation to/from the airport – Hopefully this is a given, but now’s the time to firm up plans with anyone who’s dropping you off and picking you up. If you’re parking at the airport, try making a reservation at your parking company of choice – you just might get a discount!
I also recommend checking Groupon or LivingSocial for any deals (just watch out for blackout dates!) We snagged 14 days of parking at a Newark lot for only $56. The nine days we’ll be gone would have cost at least $100 elsewhere.
Mentally pack your suitcase – Either run through what you’ll need in your head or start making a list. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a new destination. I realized I needed supportive walking shoes, a slim crossbody bag, and a raincoat. Luckily, I had plenty of time to go shopping and wasn’t scrambling to make a last minute purchase.
Break in Shoes – If you did just buy new shoes for the trip, use these last few weeks to break them in.
Purchase miscellaneous tickets – Whether its entertainment, attractions or transportation, there are lots of options for purchasing tickets online before your trip. Not only does this save time waiting in line at your destination, it can also save money. As a bonus, check local discount sites a week or two prior to your departure date for any deals!
Add your destination to your credit card account – This is an easy five minute exercise online or over the phone. It helps prevent your credit card from being declined due to fraud protection.
Take care of household / pet responsibilities – If you choose to hire or ask someone to look after your house or your pet, finalize the plans and give them instructions now. If not, you can at least put a hold on your mail using the USPS website so it won’t clutter your mailbox while you’re gone.
Print or take pictures of important documents – I typically take a picture of my photo ID and passport to keep on my phone just in case either document is lost. I also print out my airline and hotel reservations as a backup. Having the hotel address handy is particularly helpful in foreign countries where you don’t speak the language. You can show the address to a taxi driver or have someone point you in the right direction if you get lost.
What other ideas would you add to a pre-trip checklist?