Travel Tips – Part 2 of 3: Pre-Departure Check List

Rod Cunich preferred (2)Are you planning a trip – a holiday? Locally or overseas?

When heading off on a holiday (or any trip) have you ever worried that you have forgotten to turn on the alarm at home – to clean out the fridge – stop the mail …. just as the wheels of your flight leave the tarmac?    Do you have to drive around the block a few times to mull over your ‘To Do List’?

I find it helpful to have a checklist of the things to attend to before departing  –  a tick list – so that I don’t overlook anything.

I’d like to share it with you….and give you a few tips.  Better to learn from my mistakes than make your own.

You may be asking yourself why I’d bother with detailed travel plans – I’m a lawyer after all.

When not practicing law I help run a family conference business.  We providing high quality continuing education for professionals in some of the world’s most fascinating destinations….see the link to ‘Unconventional Conventions’ at the end of this blog.

Having a list can help avoid unnecessary worry ….avoid you overlooking something on your mental ‘To Do List’.

I forgot my shaving gear. Rwanda Mountains.  Really, he's my first cousin.

I forgot my shaving gear. Rwanda Mountains.                              I joke, he’s my first cousin.

Below is a list adapted from one originally composed by Doug Dyment.  You can find reference to his website in Part 1 of my Travel Tips Blog series – see the link to ‘Travel Tips – Part 1’ at the end of this blog

OK – lets draft a Pre-Departure Checklist

Make sure that someone knows your travel plans – has a copy of your itinerary and contact details. They can deal with emergencies in your absence. Consider giving them a key and the alarm code.
Suspend your mail delivery, or have it forwarded appropriately. Perhaps to a rented P.O. Box or friend if traveling for an extended time.
If you use an alarm service, notify them of your plans, and let them know who to contact for emergencies.
Suspend or cancel your newspaper delivery and other services like magazines and gym membership.
Inform your bank and credit card providers (s) of your travel dates & locations. If you don’t they may suspend your account(s) when unusual charges appear.  Banks etc now track your spending habits and will suspend credit cards without notice if their systems detect unusual purchases – especially  in foreign country.  This can be a hassle and it happens often – believe me – it can be embarrassing and take time to rectify.
Ensure your passport, ATM & credit cards, international driver’s license, visa(s) won’t expire while you’re away. Most countries require that your passport have at least 6 months left before expiry – otherwise – they won’t let you in.
Make arrangements for the care of your pets. I discovered a cat can place itself in a stage of hibernation to survive forgetfulness – mine, not the cat’s.  I wouldn’t recommend trying it though.
Adjust your air-conditioning thermostat settings & check its batteries as appropriate.
Clean your toilets, and anything else prone to “growing” stuff when you’re not around.
Check your refrigerator & other storage locations for food that could spoil.
Dispose of your garbage – don’t leave perishable rubbish in your outside bins.  They can generate a whole colony of nasties while you’re away.
Clear out waste lurking in your disposal unit.
Schedule the payment of any bills that might come due during your trip – I switched to on-line payment of bills.  Some are automated and those that aren’t can be attended to by a quick visit to the internet from any place on the planet.  I’ve even paid a bill from Antarctica.
If using a mobile phone with a prepaid plan, ensure that it has sufficient remaining time.
Confirm all accommodation reservations before you depart.  There is nothing more frustrating than to find a hotel gave away your reservation minutes before you arrived because you didn’t confirm.  Confirm each flight before you depart for the airport – this can save many hours of sitting around in airport lounges.
Inspect all your doors and windows to ensure that they are secure. Physically ‘lock’ your garage doors by inserting a bolt through one of the tracks in which the door rides – there are usually holes for this (if not, drill one).
Leave your house with a ‘occupied’ look – leave a couple of lights connected to timers to switch on and off while you’re away.   Use energy-saving bulbs, ideally on a timer.  Perhaps add a radio or an old TV to a timer.
Unplug electrical stuff – don’t just turn them off.  Your gadgets will be safer and you’ll save power.  You’d be surprised how much power is consumed when electrical gagets are in ‘stand by’ or ‘off’ mode. Their little hearts keep beating and the cash continues to flow out just as it does from a hole in your pocket.
Water your plants or arrange for them to be regularly watered.
Clean out your wallet – refer to the Checklist in my earlier blog: ‘Travel Tips – Part 1’
Clean your gutters (if you have them) – an undetected overflow while you are away can create a nasty welcome home surprise.
Arrange transport to the airport.  Check how long you must arrive before departure. It varies from airport to airport and between airlines.  An assumption about this timing can cause stress and occasionally – missed flights.

Modify this list to accommodate your needs/ circumstances – or create one of your own from scratch.  Its your checklist.

Tick of each item in the weeks leading up to departure (preferable – as you do them) …. and leave for the airport without that niggling doubt: ‘I know there is something I haven’t done…’.

Helpful Travel Tips

Before racing off to the airport – check the Travel Tips in my first blog in the Travel Tips series at:  Travel Tips – Part 1

In my next Travel Tips blog in this series I will provide tips on preparing  a Packing Checklist and tips for light and efficient packing.


If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘reply’ button below or use the  ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my cousin’s photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow”  link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

Share this blog with friends and family that you think may find it of interest.


1          Visit my travel business website:  Unconventional Conventions

2          Visit my first blog in this series at: Travel Tips – Part 1

3          Keep an eye open for Travel Tips Part 3 – coming soon.

2 Comments on “Travel Tips – Part 2 of 3: Pre-Departure Check List”

  1. […] Travel Tips – Part 2 of 3: Pre-Departure Check List How many New Years do you have left? […]

  2. […] 3          click this link to the Packing Checklist listed in my third blog in the Travel Tips series:  Travel Tips Part 2 of 3 – Pre-Departure Checklist […]

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