Travel Blog


Planning for Trips

Planning for TripsThere are actually quite a large number of things that need to be thought about when it comes to planning for trips and to get ready to leave on a trip. It also depends on whether you are leaving for a weeks vacation in the sun, a trip to a ski resort or are taking off for four months as many of the snow birds do. Each has similar and unique requirements which can make the difference between a successful trip and one that is memorable for all of the wrong reasons.

We have compiled a list of items that we feel that anyone planning for trips should take into account in getting ready for a trip. We cannot promise that everything is listed, but it works for us. Hopefully it will help you as well. If you see something missing, let us know by leaving a comment.

We will be glad to add it so our readers can benefit. I have them listed in a spread sheet and I just tick them off as I complete each item. I also have a counter on the spread sheet so I know how many are left for me to do. Some items are color coded to indicate those that I must do the day we leave, the day before and the week before. It is a good system and works for me.

Planning for Trips

Here we go in no particular order or importance

  • For driving trips, plan your route
  • Update CAA membership and obtain maps as needed
  • Travel insurance top ups for coverage of airfare etc
  • Health insurance top ups for health coverage
  • Arrange for driveway snow clearing
  • Arrange for lawn maintenance in the summer
  • Mail pickup by a friend or neighbor
  • Stop cable tv or satellite TV if you will be away for a month or more
  • Stop Internet access if you are away for a month or more
  • Arrange for basic home telephone
  • Arrange for mobile coverage and roaming if needed
  • Make sure all passports are up to date
  • Arrange for payment of all utilities while you are gone

More Items to Consider

  • Does your Car license need  renewal while you are gone
  • Do you need to do your income taxes while you are away
  • Life insurance is paid up
  • Health insurance coverage is paid up
  • Disability insurance is paid up especially if this travel is work related
  • Do you need a Visa to enter a country
  • Stop any newspapers
  • Car maintenance is up to date – oil changes, tires
  • Prescriptions have been renewed
  • Maps / GPS are ready to go if this is a driving trip
  • All Doctor appointments have been completed
  • Update calendar and provide itinerary to family or friends
  • Car insurance renewal is up to date
  • Scan and email passports, licenses, Credit Cards, etc for emergencies
  • Set up an email emergency contact list
  • Contact credit  card center to let them know you are traveling
  • Tag luggage with your names
  • Take pictures of house for insurance purposes in case there is a claim
  • Obtain travelers checks if needed
  • Leave keys for house with someone you trust
  • If driving take a flashlight, first aid kit and emergency blankets with you in case of breakdown
  • Unplug all electronics while you are gone, TV,  computers etc
  • Turn water off as required by most insurance companies
  • Back up computers in case of loss or damage
  • Take a portable hard disk with you and store in separate location
  • Set Timers for lights in rooms in your home that you use regularly
  • Set Furnace temp to desired temperature while away
  • Turn off Washing m/c & unplug
  • Turn off Dishwasher
  • Shut off ice maker in fridge
  • Turn off humidifier on furnace
  • Remove battery from cars that are not being used while away
  • All air tickets, hotel reservations and entry fees are packed with your carry on

The Basic’s for your Trip

This may seem like a long list of things for Planning for Trips, however some only apply to driving trips of extended length. Pick and chose those items that make sense to you based on your home, your trip and your family.

The basic things are must do’s – passport ready, money ready, tickets ready, home ready, water shut off ready, someone to look after your home while away. Everything else can generally be dealt with or can wait if you are going on a short trip, however longer trips take more care and planning to make sure there are no major problems on your trip as well as back at home.

Always plan for the entire family to make sure that everyone will enjoy their vacation. Usually not everyone will like every thing so you need to plan something for every one to do. You also need to acknowledge that there are going to be things that you do not enjoy and compromise is the only way to deal with these things.

Enjoy your trip and if you have other ideas about items we should add to our checklist, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Our readers will appreciate your thoughts. Planning for Trips makes for a successful vacation.

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2 Responses to “Planning for Trips”

  1. […] comprehensive web site by clicking here to review a full list of do’s and don’ts. Our travel web site as well has a list of steps to consider if you are moving to another country or going on a longer […]

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