The Ultimate To-Do List Before Leaving on Your Trip

The best way to ensure a relaxing vacation is to be confident that everything is organized for your trip and things at home are taken care of. This is why I love the list below.

This is one of the tools I use to help me organize my to-do list and manage my time before a fast-approaching departure date!

Things to do for any trip – short or long:

1. Have your mail held by visiting

2. Give your full trip itinerary with flight numbers and hotel phone number to a loved one staying home.

3. Call your credit card company to inform them of your travel plans.

4. Pre pay any bills that may come due while you’re away.

5. We suggest getting a PIN for your credit card if you don’t already have one. You’ll need to request this a minimum of 10 business days before your departure date.

6. Remember to pack a Real ID, driver’s license, or passport as a form of photo identification.

7. Look up the forecast for the area where you’ll be traveling. Knowing the weather will help you pack. Also think of possible extras: jacket, boots, umbrella, sneakers, sunblock, swimsuit, etc.

8. Add a luggage tag or strap to your checked bag to make it stand out amongst all the other similar bags and for identification.

9. Always keep your medication in your carry-on.

10. Check-in to your flight 24 hours in advance to make sure the flight is on time and no delays have been posted. We also suggest signing up for notifications via text or email with the airline so you’re up-to-date on all last-minute delays/cancelations.

11. Keep one set of clothes in your carry-on in the event you don’t get your checked bag as planned.

12. Have all of your devices fully charged before going to the airport.

13. Pack a neck pillow and/or small blanket for your flight.

14. If you’re driving to the airport, make sure your car is filled with gas before parking. This way, when you return, when you’re jet-lagged and tired you won’t have to worry about stopping and getting gas immediately after getting your car when all you want to do is get home.

15. Minimum two weeks before departure, Destination Travel will mail you hard copies of your itinerary. At this time, double-check all your flights, layovers, added excursions, etc. If there’s a problem (which there usually isn’t) you can call us and we’ll take care of it. You don’t have to do a thing!

A few extra things to consider if you’re traveling abroad:

1. Locate your passport.

2. Register your trip with the US State Department at

3. Color copy your passport twice – one for your checked bag and one for a loved one staying home. Your actual passport will stay on your person your entire trip.

4. Order your currency exchange online or through a local bank a minimum of two weeks before departure.

5. Roaming rates for regular SMS texting, voice calls, and mobile data can be really expensive if you’re abroad. You can avoid that expense if you have access to Wi-Fi. Use a messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger while connected to Wi-Fi to keep in touch with home.

6. Check with your cell phone company before you travel to find out what kind of coverage you’ll have once in the destination. Most companies do have an international plan if you need service outside of the USA.

7. Keep in mind that Discover Card is not widely accepted outside of the USA. Make sure that you have a credit card that can be used in the destination you are traveling.

8. If you are traveling for an anniversary or honeymoon, take a copy of your marriage license to present at the check in desk. Many hotels will include a small complimentary package if you have verification in Mexico and the Caribbean.

9. Take a pen if you’re traveling outside the USA to fill out your immigration forms.

Start planning your dream vacation now and a real person will be in contact. Contact Destination Travel to get started! You can reach us directly at 217-223-8747 or ext 108 or 877.275.7799.  The best part is it’s free with absolutely no fees and price matching.

📸 Packing photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash
Katie Cernea
I'm addicted to travel, and a long time Destination Travel client. Whether it's a fishing on Lake Michigan or an adventure to South Africa, I'm game for the trip.