At one point in time, I always thought that people were paranoid by having to comprehensively plan their trips detail after detail until experience proved to me otherwise. 

Planning a trip is essential to ensure seamless booking of flights, accommodation, budgeting, planning out your itinerary, issues to do with your phone, internet, and many other important things to guarantee an exciting journey. 

Avoid turning your trip into a nightmare by adding extra days that will cost you a lot of extra money; have a proper prior preparation.

preparing for a road trip, Vehicle and automotive travel road trip in the holiday lifestyle on summer vacation concept

If Driving:

  • Contact your credit card issuers. The last thing you would want is for your account to be frozen when traveling.
  • Have a copy of your driving license just in case of emergencies.
  • Check the Tire -Tire Air Pressure and/ Tread Depth in cases of long trips.
  • Check the Oil Level.
  • Check Levels of Transmission Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Coolant Fluid, and Washer Fluid.
  • Get cash in case of hitches with your credit or debit cards.
  • Ensure the insurance is updated and acquire relevant permission in cases where it is necessary.
  • Find directions to your destination and confirm the address.
  • Go shopping for snacks and drinks to use during the journey.
  • Reserve a hotel room and confirm arrival time.

If Flying:

  • Get additional passport photos. If you are getting a visa on arrival, you might be asked to provide a passport photo.
  • Make a copy of your relevant travel documents, including the passport and leave them with a trusted family member or friend, this will help you in case of an emergency. 
  • Set up hold of your mail to reduce any risk of mail theft, as well as make it less obvious that you are gone.
  • Book flight.
  • Take note of your flight departure time to determine when you will leave the house.
  • Reserve a hotel room and confirm the time you arrive.
  • Coordinate reception upon landing and subsequent transportation.
  • Confirm the address to your departure airport and the direction to your ultimate destination point from your landing airport.
  • Check luggage restrictions for the airline and extra charges if applicable.

Packing

If Driving

  • Consider the capacity of the car and available room when determining the amount of luggage to carry.
  • The number of people on board also determines the luggage space available.

If Flying

  • Abide by TSA rules on maximum luggage sizes and weights. Different airlines may have different allowances.
  • Exploit the benefit of pockets to carry some personal things that would otherwise add to the weight of your luggage.
  • Use eco-friendly packing bags. Some countries are very stern, especially on the entry of plastic packaging in their borders.
preparing for a trip, preparation travel suitcase at home image concept

A Week to Your Trip 

  • Clean the clothes that you will use for the journey.
  • Begin reducing the number of perishable groceries you buy.
  • In case of medical complications, acquire adequate medication to last you through the whole trip.
  • Decide on what exactly you are going to carry. Avoid carrying things with duplicate roles.
  • Clear in advance any current or upcoming bills that may need to be sorted at the time of the trip.

Two Days to Your Trip

  • Inform local security entities that you will not be around for the given time, as a safety precaution.
  • Do your aesthetics in time to avoid the last-minute rush.
  • Confirm with the airline if any items are not allowed onboard or any adjustments in security protocols.
  • Organize with your neighbor to have your mails collected for you when you are away.
  • Get your valuables hidden in secure hidden places. Write and preserve the hiding locations lest you forget. 
  • Confirm the weather forecast for the traveling days. This will inform your choice of clothes to carry.

Morning/Evening to Your Trip

  • Turn off alarm clocks and unplug small appliances.
  • Set up light timers to automatically switch your lights on and off when you are gone.
  • Prop open doors if your pets are staying back, so they can’t lock themselves into rooms.
  • Take out the trash to avoid the menace of a stinking home or even bug infestations when you return.
  • Leave a bit earlier to avoid running late in case of unforeseen emergencies or traffic snarl-up.
  • Confirm the departure time and flight status and ensure you have all the required documents.
  • Double-check to ensure you have packed all you need for the journey.

Packing List

NOTE: Your packing should be shaped by the weather forecast and the planned activities during the trip.

travel packing list, List of things to pack for vacation

Essentials

  • Appropriate clothing based on weather forecasts. 
  • Slip-ons that are easy to remove in case of flight swelling.
  • Earplugs. 
  • Eye masks.

Documents 

  • Monetary cards – debit or credit.
  • National ID.
  • Original and copies of passport.
  • Extra passport photos.
  • Loose Cash.
  • Boarding pass.

Entertainment 

Toiletries 

Airlines are gradually shifting away from providing to travelers. In cases where you have specific preferences, be cautious to regard TSA rules and rules of the destination country concerning the packaging.

For liquids, 3-11 is applied internationally, and all the fluids should be able to fit in a quart-sized Ziploc bag. Medications and baby formula are exempted from this rule

Some basic toiletries include:

  • Facial wipes/Face wash.
  • Tissues handy.
  • Body lotion.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Deodorant (Non-aerosol).
  • Shower cap.
  • Floss, toothpaste, and toothbrush.
  • Lip Balm.
  • Hand sanitizer spray.
  • Stain remover.
  • Tampons/Pantyliners.
  • Hair Clips/Hair ties.

Read on: Traveling With Your pet

Miscellaneous 

These are personal items. When flying, put them close, such as beneath the front seat for easier access at any time.

Some Common Miscellaneous Are:

  • Medications.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Water bottles (Carry empty and refill after security clearance).
  • Phones/Laptops for playing games or watching movies and their chargers.
  • Earphones/Headphones.
  • Wallet/Money bag.
  • Foldable bags.
  • Heavy clothes for freezing flights.
  • A small first aid kit.
  • Books, pens, stamps, thank you cards/gifts for the host.
  • Petty clothes such as underwear, vests, handkerchiefs.
  • Calendar and Emergency contacts.
  • Snacks. Should be ready to eat and safe at normal temperatures. Consider packing them in eco-friendly reusable bags.

With all these, you are more than ready for that trip. Bon Voyage!

Related post: Top 10 Travel Apps That Will Make Your Trip Easier

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