Things to do before going on a long journey

You can forget so many little things, especially if you are excited about your upcoming trip! Here is a checklist to make sure the next time you set up on a great adventure, everything will be taken care of!


Take care of your house and valuables

This is important both for the safety of your home and for your peace of mind. Set your burglar alarm and timer for your lights to keep them on in the evenings. If your home is low-tech, consider a house-sitter – a friend or a trusted neighbor who will keep an eye on your house for you, water plants, make sure the pipes don’t leak and such.

Also, if your journey is going to be long, you can ask them to turn the lights on in the evening, mow your lawn, rake the fallen leaves from under the trees, pick up the newspapers and generally create a presence so that it’s not obvious you are away – that will ward off the burglars.

You may want to put your valuable possessions into a safety deposit box. Jewelry, important papers (marriage, birth certificates, diplomas, etc.), expensive electronics, cash – everything you are not traveling with.

Clean your kitchen

Eat, give away or throw out all the perishable food that will not be okay to eat when you return. You can cut bread, cheese, fruit, and vegetables and put them into containers to make healthy snack for the journey. Also, you can freeze fruit and veggies to make them last until your return and use them for cooking.

Clear off all the kitchen counters, wash the dishes, clean out the sink and unclog it, so there is no crumbs and pieces of food anywhere. Otherwise, organic remnants can attract bugs and you will be less than happy to find such guests upon your return. Absolutely mandatory: take out garbage from every room.


Inform you bank

If you are traveling internationally, contact your bank or credit card company and inform them about the dates and countries you plan to visit. This can be done online or via the phone. If you won’t do that, transactions from unusual location can be treated as suspicious and your card might be deemed stolen. Banks have their own security procedures – they have to react.

Even if unblocking your credit card takes one phone call, this can still ruin a perfect evening in the restaurant. Sometimes procedures are more complicated – you don’t want to be marooned without any means in a foreign country.

Do the necessary grooming

Schedule your haircut, manicure, epilation or skincare treatment you do regularly spaced in a week before the trip. Do only something you would do routinely (dyeing the roots, trimming the ends, straightening, perming, etc.). Skip the experiments like hair and nail extensions, unorthodox peeling techniques, artificial tanning, etc.

As much as you want to look your best in Instagram, it is important to feel comfortable. Some of those beauty treatments need time to get accustomed to (extensions), require special aftercare you aren’t familiar with (crazy hair colors) or prevent you from staying in the sun (tanning, waxing, chemical peeling) – not something you want to experience during the holiday. Just make sure everything is in order so some pesky overgrown fringe won’t annoy and distract you from enjoying the trip.


Trim your nails! Even if you don’t care much for cosmetic procedures. Even if you don’t plan rock-climbing – just trim the darn nails. Somehow, nails always suffer during the trip. Fingernails break when you handle the luggage, toenails appear to grow faster than usual and get painful in the shoes.

If you plan a short trip (under two weeks) then you might skip taking your grooming kit with you. If you only have a carry-on bad you probably won’t be allowed to take in on board anyway. All the more important to prepare your nails for this self-sustained existence. You don’t want to run around your hotel searching for nail clippers.

Plan buffer period

The desire to maximize your vacations and spend as much time as possible at the destination is understandable. We all did it – going off a plane in wee hours of the morning tired and disheveled, picking up or luggage, and catching taxi directly to work foregoing the shower. Not exactly a walk of shame, but approximating it.

There comes a day when this kind of stuff stops being fun and becomes tiresome. It is advisable to plan your return at least a day before you due to resume your work or return to school. This way you will have the time to unpack, relax after the journey, do the laundry, go grocery shopping and manage all the necessary catching up. If you are a student, you probably always leave your big projects until after the holidays. I know I never do my homework beforehand. In this case, a buffer day can be a life-savior.

Moreover, you will have some wiggle room in case of flight rescheduling, train delays, car breaking in the middle of the road and other unexpected mishaps.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Tripatini to add comments!

Join Tripatini