Are you going on vacation? If so, this list is for you! Here are the top things to do before you leave for vacation.




  1. Pause your mail service with the USPS.
  2. Print a copy of your itinerary and other key documents (e.g. rental car receipts, airport parking reservations, hotel/Airbnb confirmations, etc…)
  3. Email your itinerary and contact information to a family member or friend for emergency contact.
  4. Scan a copy of your ID/passport. Print one copy and email one copy to yourself in the even you lose your identification.
  5. Inform your local police office that you will be out of town. Complete a “dark house” or “vacation house check” request form to provide them with emergency contact information and request they monitor your house while you are away.
  6. Line up coverage to take care of your yard/garden.
  7. Change your bills to auto-pay.
  8. Check into your flight. Most airlines allow you to check in 24 hours prior to your flight. For some airlines, like Southwest, check in as close to the 24 hour mark as possible to select your ideal seat arrangements.
  9. Print a copy of our favorite vacation packing list.

Access your vacation packing list here! This checklist is good for the whole family to ensure you pack everything you need for your next family trip. Download your free printable vacation packing list now! #vacationpackinglist #vacation #packingtips

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  1. Contact your credit card companies to notify them of your trip so they do not disable your card for fraudulent activity.
  2. Download the Mobile Pass app to your phone. This free app will allow you to complete your custom forms on your phone and have you breeze through customs.
  3. Request foreign currency from your local bank.
  4. Download the Google Maps app to your phone, and download the specific map for the location(s) your are traveling to. This will give you GPS capabilities without using any data on your phone.
  5. Register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This information will enable State Department employees to find and help you if a disaster or uprising happens or seems likely to occur.
  6. Save the contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate near your destination in the event of emergency.
  7. Make sure your passport is up to date. Most countries require that your passport be valid for six months after your return date. Some countries also require your passport to have one – two blank pages (without stamps).
  8. Research what (if any) vaccinations are required/recommended for your destination. Where required, print proof of vaccination to bring with you on your trip.
  9. Obtain an international drivers license, if required.
  10. Research your options for international phone use (e.g. contact your cell phone provider to review coverage options and fees, and/or evaluate using SIM card).

Other Helpful Travel Resources


Vacation Packing List | I print this list and use it for every trip we take! This article also covers how we pack (and the best packing cubes ever) that allow us to travel with just two backpacks for the whole family!


How to Score Cheap Flights

Using Airline Dining Programs to earn Miles

How to Get the Best Deal on a Rental Car


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things to do before you leave for vacation


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