You’re always ready for vacation when you book your trip—and even more so after the weeks you spend planning, prepping and packing for your trip. The worst is when you get to your final destination and realize you forgot something important in the chaos of last-minute prep.
Avoid that pit-in-your-stomach feeling by remembering all the most important tasks the week before you leave. You’ll arrive feeling ready to relax without a worry in sight.
1. Print Itinerary
Chances are you booked your vacation well in advance, meaning you might not remember all of the small travel details, like where your layover is, how long until the next flight, or how many checked bags you can take for free.
The week before vacation, print and review your itinerary—and don’t forget to check it twice. Use this time to call the hotel or rental homeowners to confirm the dates of your stay, in case something got confused during booking. Finally, double check the hotel check-in time and the hours of operation for the car rental company if applicable.
Better yet, write all of it down. Create a Google Doc or note in your phone with all the small details, like hotel reservation number, flight confirmation code, and travel insurance details so you can pull it up in a pinch. Use this Traveler’s Checklist from State.Gov to make sure you have all the information you’ll need.
2. Tell Loved Ones and Co-Workers
The whole point of a vacation is to sit back, relax and leave the pressure and stresses of everyday life behind. It’s easy, however, to slip back into old habits of checking your work email or responding to friends or family’s texts.
Before you leave for vacation, remind everyone that you’ll have no or little access to your email and phone. Don’t forget to put an away message on for your email so no one worries when they don’t hear from you for a week.
To be safe, give someone a copy of your itinerary as well; if something happens, they’ll know where you’re supposed to be and when, and can alert authorities if a worst case scenario becomes reality.
3. Prep Your Clothes
It takes an upwards of 100 minutes to do a single load of laundry, according to data from Do It Yourself or Wash and Fold? That’s just for one load—not to mention the three others you have to do because your summer clothes have been sitting in the basement all winter long.
In the middle of vacation prep, the last thing you have time for is laundry, so don’t do it. Spend a little vacation budget on a wash and fold laundry service that will do it all for you. The best part is, many laundry services now offer same-day pick-up, and will text when everything is done, making it convenient and easy, no matter how busy you are.
4. Clean Your Home
There’s nothing worse than coming back from vacation to a dirty house. The last thing you want to do is clean after a relaxing trip away. Below is a list of cleaning must-dos so you don’t come home to a smelly, humid or messy house:
· Clean garbage disposal
· Take out the trash
· Clear the refrigerator of spoiled food
· Adjust the thermostat
· Make all of the beds and open the closets
While cleaning your home is the last thing you want to do, you’ll thank yourself for it later.
5. Remember Bills and Banking
If vacation falls on the week of rent, electric or phone bill payments, take care of it now or ask the person in charge, like your landlord, if you can get an extension. If you don’t already, this is a good time to set up auto-pay, which some companies even give you a discount for.
Don’t forget to notify your bank and credit card company as well. Oftentimes, purchases made out of your local area, especially many in a short period of tie, will trigger the card to freeze—an important way to avoid fraudulent charges. If this happens, however, you’ll need to be on the phone instead of laying by the pool, so take five minutes to make a feel calls before leaving.
To save time, check out this list of online notification options; you won’t even need to call your credit card or financial institution. You can just submit the notification while sipping your morning coffee or standing in line at the grocery store.
Be Prepared to Truly Enjoy Vacation
Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself during vacation. Take care of these details the week before you leave so you can step through the door to a clean home, after a long trip of no work emails or travel hiccups.