Travel Abroad: The pre-departure checklist

As I travel abroad for vacation as much as possible I have formed a checklist over the years so that all loose ends are tied up before I go. I want to limit surprises on the road and reduce my unexpected expenses as much as I can. This is done with a little planning and forethought. A little work now saves a lot of hassle later.

Packing for the trip:

  • Create a packing list and pack the items in it.
  • Repack the bag and with each item ask yourself: Do I REALLY need this for this trip?
  • Put away removed items and weigh your bag. You have to carry this heavy thing around!
  • Check your packed bag for and tears, broken zippers, and other problems.
  • If you have time live solely out of the bag for a couple days. Do you have everything you need?
  • Make sure everything is fully charged up if it has rechargeable batteries. Pack all chargers.
Housekeeping Items:
  • Set up scheduled payments for all bills that come due while you are gone.
  • Day of departure: Unplug everything that does not need to be on while gone
  • Get $100 in emergency cash that can be exchanged locally if needed
  • Clean the house. No one wants to come home to a wrecked house after 20 hours in transit.
  • Use up perishable foods. Stop going grocery shopping a couple weeks before you leave. Eat up what you have first!
  • Give a key to a trusted friend or family member to check up on things while you are out.
  • Take care of any pet boarding (if applicable)
  • Call all associated banks that handle all credit and debit cards you intend to use abroad and inform them of your trip location and dates. Don't get cut off because of "fraud"!
This list can save you lots of hassle both at home and on the road. I found that by following it I can reduce my overall stress before, during, and after my trips.The idea is to enjoy your vacation and not have to worry about stuff back home. That is why we travel in the first place!