15 Travel Preparation Steps

Going on vacation is fun, but preparing for your trip can become overwhelming.  So many things to accomplish and so little time to get them all completed.

This Travel Preparation Checklist will provide you with a quick overview of the main tasks to complete prior to going on vacation.  Once these are completed. you can take your vacation knowing you have nothing to worry about on your return.

1)  Notify your employer 6 months prior to your vacation – Believe it or not, many people are not able to take a vacation during a specific period of time (family reunion, the holidays, concert or sporting events) because they failed to notify their employer in time.  For many of us who work for smaller companies, there are fewer co-workers that can cover for you while you are on vacation.  In addition, those same co-workers may have already put in their time off request.  Do yourself a favor and put your time off request in as soon as possible.  To be on the safe side, I suggest 6 months prior to your vacation.

2)  Get your Visa and Passport at least 2 months prior to travel – If you need a passport to travel out of the country, you will need a minimum of 45 days to get it processed.  Some Visa’s (depending on the country of travel) can take up to 2 months to process as well.  Don’t take a chance getting these important documents and order them at least 2 months prior to your vacation.  For more information on Visa and Passport requirements, or if you need to expedite a request, please visit www.us.cibt.com.

3)  Contact your Kennel or House Sitter prior to booking your travel – You might be asking yourself, why would I book a Kennel or House Sitter prior to making my travel arrangements?  Well as many of you animal lovers know, finding a good Kennel or House Sitter can be difficult.  Booking that good Kennel or House Sitter during the Holidays can be impossible.  Avoid having to pay change fees to the airlines by scheduling a trip prior to booking your Kennel and complete this task prior to booking your trip.

4)  Book your travel as far out if possible – Although last-minute deals may be available, this is the exception more than the rule.  The majority of the time you will find the cheapest deals on travel, by booking as far out as possible.  This especially holds true for the holidays and the busy summer travel season.  If you can book at least 6 months out, you have the best chance of finding the best deal.  To find the best deal on travel please visit our website www.jetsetz.com.

5)  Purchase Travel Insurance – Purchasing travel insurance is one of the best investments you can make in your vacation.  There are just too many variables involved in travel not to purchase travel insurance.  Whether you are concerned about getting sick, hurt, losing your luggage, experiencing a travel delay or having to cancel your trip entirely, you are covered with Travel Insurance.  One of the Travel Insurance companies that we work with and highly recommend is CSA Travel Insurance.  You can book your Travel Insurance with CSA by going to www.jetsetz.com/travelinsurance.

6)  Put together a travel itinerary – There are now services online that can help you with your itinerary.  Utilize these services to put together an itinerary that you can refer to during your trip.  It is nice to have a map of the hotels where you are staying as well as a day to day break down of the activities you wish to enjoy.

7)  Schedule stop orders on deliveries – Many of us have regular scheduled deliveries (mail, newspapers, cosmetics, etc.) that will be left by our doors or in our mail box.  Remember to place a stop order with the companies that deliver these items to keep those items from being delivered in your absence.  Many companies allow you to place stop orders online.  If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, they can hold onto these items for you until your return.

8)  Parking – For you “urbanites” that have to deal with parking in a congested area, remember to be aware of the no parking days on your street.  There is nothing worse than coming back all rested from your vacation to see a parking ticket on your windshield.

9)  Notify your Credit Card Company – As you will probably be spending more on your credit card during your trip, it is a good idea to contact your credit card company prior to departing on your vacation.  If you let them know that you will be traveling, and that you might be spending more than you usually do, you will not have to worry about having your credit card turned off during your trip.

10)  Purchase an International SIM Card for your cell phone – Although GSM is available for some US phones, the cost to use a US phone abroad is still expensive.  If you want to reduce this cost substantially purchase a SIM card for the country you are traveling to.  A SIM card is basically the little memory card in your phone which can be replaced.  Many US Cellular providers have partnerships with foreign carriers that allow you to swap out your SIM card for another carrier.  In many cases you can go online and purchase a SIM Card to put in your phone when you arrive at your destination.  You can also find out where the local office is and schedule a time to pick a SIM card up when you are in that city.

11)  Program your phone – Here is my final comment about your cell phone.  Don’t forget to make sure that you have all of your important travel information programmed into your phone.  Most importantly program your airlines phone number and the Hotels you are planning on staying at.  You are probably going to have to call them both at some time during your trip so avoid the hassle of trying to find the book or the itinerary and just program those numbers into your cell phone.

12)  Copies of Identification – It is always a good idea to make copies of essential identification information.  You should make a photocopy of your Passport, Visa, Drivers License, Travel Insurance and credit card phone numbers prior to departing on your trip.  Keep this information in a separate bag or location in case your primary bag gets lost or stolen.  This little step can save you days of headache if a problem occurs during your trip.

13)  Pillows & sheets – If you are flying a long distance bring your own pillow on the plane with you.  It will be much more comfortable than those ridiculous pillows the airlines provide and you won’t have to pay extra for it.  You can then pack it back in your suitcase when you arrive.  You can always pack an extra set of King Sheets if you are afraid the hotel you are staying at is not up to your standards.

14)  Check the weather – Many people do not check the weather before the go and are unprepared when unseasonable catch them with their shorts on.  Check the weather before you go and pack accordingly.

15)  Search the web for things to do – Search local newspapers online for events that will be going on while you are at your destination.  You can also search the local convention and visitors bureaus for ideas of things to do.  You found my article here, keep searching and figure out how to make your vacation the best it can be.