Tips and Tricks
Things to Do Before Going on Vacation (Besides Packing)
Contact your cell phone and credit card company
If you’re going on vacation, and especially if you’re traveling abroad, it’s a good idea to let your credit card provider know.
You can also block your card for suspicious transactions. As for your phone, make sure you can use it at your destination. Many cell phone providers offer reasonable day passes or short-term plans for international use. That can fit your vacation, so be sure to activate that plan according to your needs.
Or, especially if you’re going on an extended holiday abroad, a local SIM card might be better. I usually get a local SIM card at the airport I’m flying in because a local SIM card usually offers a cheaper data plan than using your local provider overseas.
If you’re thinking of getting a local SIM card overseas, check if you can suspend your current plan to save some money while you travel.
Make sure you have valid travel insurance
I know, we all assume that nothing bad will happen to us on our trip. But what if it works? I am very careful but in all my years of traveling I have lost my luggage, had my wallet stolen, and worst of all I have been hospitalized in Indonesia with dengue fever. I was happy to get travel insurance! And, travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. I have written a separate article about what to look for in travel insurance.
Check all your reservations
I call myself an experienced traveler but once I found myself booking a hotel in Dubai… which was booked for the wrong month!
- My ex booked a hotel, so I’m to blame, of course 😉
- But that taught me to always double-check things.
- Check the date, time and if any confirmation is required prior to arrival.
- If you have access to a printer, printing proofs is not a bad idea. If not, make sure all authentication is on your phone.
Write down important information for your trip
Your internet connection may not be good all the time. Or worse, have your phone stolen. So I always make sure to put the most important details of my trip on paper. That includes my accommodation, flights, car rental offices, public transportation tickets and so on.
Make sure a friend or family member has your itinerary
No matter what type of vacation you go on, it’s good to have an emergency contact who knows your itinerary. Don’t forget to let them know if your itinerary changes during your visit!
Make a copy of your passport
- If you are going on holiday abroad, make sure you have a copy of your passport.
- It could be a hard copy or just a picture of your passport, but if you do lose your passport, it would help a lot to at least have that copy.
And if you are taking photos, make sure your phone is stored somewhere in case it gets lost or stolen.
Download things you might need offline
I always download Google Maps wherever I go when the internet is bad when I travel. If you like Spotify, some podcasts or watching movies offline, make sure you download all of these.
Make sure you have appropriate luggage
- Only hand luggage? A large suitcase? Or is it the perfect bag for this trip?
- Make sure you have the right luggage ready to pack.
And, if you’re flying or taking public transportation, make sure your ticket has the correct baggage allowance.
Leave everything you don’t need at home
- You might bring your wallet and a bag or purse that you use regularly.
- Examine what is in them.
- Get rid of any loyalty cards, excess credit cards, personal items of sentimental value.
- Don’t bring anything you don’t need. You can’t lose it this way.
Make sure your bills are paid
This is essential if you are going on a long holiday. You don’t want to go back to an overdue bill and all the late fees or penalties that can come with it.
So, for peace of mind, make sure all bills are paid or set up auto-pay for incoming bills. And, if you need a loan for that vacation, CreditNinja.com can teach you everything you need to know about quick cash loans. How they work, what you need and where to buy them.
Clean up before you go
- I don’t want to take a big vacation and come back to a dirty house.
- So this is the perfect time for a deep clean!
- Before you leave, clean your house, wash your bed and make your bed.
- Take a look while it’s in the fridge. Eat, freeze or throw away perishables while on vacation.
- And don’t forget to take out the trash before you leave!
Prepare Your Home
Unplug appliances and make sure all lights are off. However, you can turn on one or two lights on the timer to make it look like you’re home. Turn off the heater, or if it is on, set the thermostat to sleep. Great way to save energy and money on vacation. Turn off the water heater or put it to sleep.
If no one is using your home while you are on vacation, the water supply should be cut off to prevent water intrusion and flooding. It’s a good idea to check all of the entrances to your home before you leave the house. Make sure that windows or doors that are not used frequently or that are left partially open are not opened.
Items outside the home that are easy to steal are best stored indoors. Think of cushions and armchairs and the (emotional) value a thief could take.
Make sure you have the right insurance for your home.
No matter how well you prepare your home before you leave, things can happen. Make sure you have the right renters or landlords insurance before you travel.
The right insurance can cover damage to your property if a thief breaks in. In addition, any damage caused by storms or other unforeseen circumstances is insured to your home and belongings.