It's exciting when you're packing for that long awaited vacation you've been dreaming of for months. But before you embark on your trip, there are some very important steps for you to take. Make sure to cross these items off your to-do list before you head out.
Contact your credit card company.
To make sure your credit card works while you're traveling, your credit card company needs to know your travel plans. Check the credit card company's website and submit the information online, or give them a call. It's also important to make sure you have enough available credit on your credit cards.
Contact your cell phone provider.
If you're traveling internationally, your service provider can help you set up the cheapest plan for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing Internet from your phone. Many cell phone companies, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, offer affordable day plans to U.S. customers for International talk, text, and data plans.
Notify your home security system operator.
If you're leaving two weeks or longer, it's a good idea to tell your local police department you'll be gone. They will often check on your house if you ask.
Confirm all trip reservations.
Double-check all your reservations: your flight, hotel, car rental, restaurants, attractions, and any other services or experiences you've planned. You don't want any surprises at a check-in counter.
It's also a good idea to print out confirmations. If you don't, write down confirmation numbers (and customer service phone numbers) and keep the paper easily accessible in your wallet or carry-on.
Make advance payments on bills that are due during your trip.
To avoid late fees, make sure all credit cards, housing expenses (e.g., rent, utilities), and other monthly bills will be paid on time.
Check the weather in your destination.
This may seem like an obvious one, but many travelers forget to do it. Check the forecast for your destination and your hometown when you'll be returning, and pack appropriately.
Eat, throw out, or give away any perishable food.
The last thing you want is to return home to a smelly refrigerator. Also, run the dishwasher, take out the trash, and clean the sink to be sure there's no food in the drain that could rot or attract bugs while you're away.
Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member.
Your emergency contact should have a copy of your travel plans.
Clean out your purse or wallet.
Remove any items you don't need on your trip. Leave loyalty cards, gift cards, extra credit cards, and any other unnecessary contents at home.
Place a hold on your mail delivery.
This is a smart move if you're going away for more than a couple days. Alternatively, you could arrange for a neighbor to collect your mail until you get home.
Bring in outdoor furniture.
Don't leave any outdoor furniture (patio chairs, cushions, pool equipment) unguarded, especially lightweight items that are easy for thieves to steal.