Travel Checklist: Essential Things to Do Before Your Trip

Global EAT - Travel Checklist: Essential Things to Do Before Your Trip
Having a check list of items helps you prepare for a trip more efficiently. (Nikao Media)

Updated:   May 12, 2018

Never underestimate the importance on having a travel checklist before you go away on any trip. It makes your vacation go smoother and worry- free.


What are some of the essential things to include in your “To Do List”?


Valid Travel Documents

Before travelling, make sure you, your companion or children’s passports or any other international passports are valid for a minimum of 6 months past travel return date.

A visa maybe required for certain countries. For the latest travel requirements and advisories, check with your country’s foreign missions.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance purchase is highly recommended. Read and Understand the Fine Prints to determine the type of medical expenses, hospital care, trip interruption and cancellation the insurance will cover.

This is important particularly when you are travelling to countries with expensive medical care services.

A select number of credit cards have built-in travel insurance as part of cardholders’ benefits.

For car rental, check with your local car insurance provider. They may offer special packages for car rental insurance.

Read and understand the fine prints in your insurance papers

Medical Conditions

If you suffer from pet or nut allergies, it is critical that you notify the air carrier at the time of ticket booking.

Air Canada requires passengers with allergies to provide them with at least 48 to 72 hours’ advance notice depending on destination of travel, and to obtain medical approval before travel.

Other medical conditions included in their list are severe anaemia, cognitive or medical impairment, infectious or contagious disease, disabled by obesity, unstable medical condition( either physical or psychological) and more.

Policies change from time to time. For up-to-date information, check with your air carrier.

Travel Health Advisories

Check the latest health warnings, and obtain the necessary vaccinations required prior to leaving for your trip.

Travelling with Pet

Planning to carry your pet dog or cat on board. Find out the air carrier requirements prior to making reservation. Not all flights permit pet animals in the cabins.

Day Before the Trip

  1. Clean out your fridge of leftover food.
  2. Set the thermostat to a lower temperature, but not so low your pipes will freeze if temperature drops.
  3. Set timers for the lights, radio and television.
  4. Ensure washing machine has no wet laundry, toilets are flushed and garbage is taken out.
  5. Turn on your smart home devices if you have them, e.g. Wi-Fi control light switches, IP cameras so you can view your home remotely, motion sensor light with a built-in camera.

Day of the Trip

  1. Water plants
  2. Turn off water.
  3. Put water heater on vacation mode to reduce energy usage – sufficient to prevent pipes from freezing cold weather.
  4. Close, secure and lock windows and doors.  For extra security, put a dowel in the slots of windows or doors.
  5. Ensure stove is off, lower shades, turn on alarm and lock all doors.

Reconfirm all travel arrangements

Basic Checklist of Things to Do Before the Trip

  1. Reconfirm all your travel arrangements (air, hotel, car rental, etc.) a week before departure.
  2. Travel itinerary — leave a detailed copy (with tel. contacts of hotels, tour companies) for a friend or relative so he or she knows where to reach you in case of an emergency. Bring a copy with you on your trip.
  3. Will and Power of Attorney – ensure it is UPDATED and someone knows the documents whereabout.
  4. Make 2 sets of photocopies of credit cards (you bring on your trip), driving license and passport. Leave one set at home, and the other — carry it with you, separate from your wallet or purse while on your travel.
  5. Clear your credit card debts to have room for your expenses. Carrying a big limit: you might want to request the credit card company to temporarily lower your limit (e.g. to the amount you require for your trip) to prevent thieves and others who make unauthorized charges to rack up your card.
  6. Concern about security and overspending. Arrange with your bank for a prepaid credit card.
  7. Credit card companies charge foreign transaction fee for every transaction.  Here are some companies that Do Not Charge Transaction Fees: Click Canada or USA.
  8. Organize your first aid kit, and get all the daily medical prescriptions, health supplements you need while away.  Check  to ensure you are permitted to bring them to your vacation destination.  How to make sure you travel with medication legally.
  9. Get some petty cash in local currency from your bank so you don’t arrive with zero cash.
  10. Prepay bills that will be due while you are away.
  11. Create a list of important telephone contacts, e.g. next of kin, relative or friend, your bank, consulate, credit card companies and doctor/specialist offices. Pack the list in your purse or wallet.
  12. Leave a spare house key with someone or hide it somewhere accessible. In case of an emergency, the locksmith does not have to pick your lock.
  13. If you are leaving your pet at home, arrange to have someone feed it daily.
  14. Check to make sure your smart home security devices are working properly.