After a year of quarantine, people have had to cancel countless events and outings. Weddings, birthdays, BBQs, holidays, and vacations are among a few of the many events missed in the last year. 2021 has become the year to catch up on memory-making excursions. And you can start by taking that trip you had to put on hold last year.
As the world starts to open up, you may find that the societal norms that were ingrained before are fuzzy. Among the many routines that have been filed away, pre-vacation preparation has also become clouded. As exciting as it is to finally leave home and take that holiday, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. Here are five things you should do before you take your next voyage from home.
1. Think About Money
When you’re on vacation and exploring new sites, it’s easy to lose track of time and spending. Before you even begin booking hotels and transportation, think about your budget and the maximum amount you want to spend.
Once you’ve determined this, you can start planning your activities, lodging, and other expenses. As you do this, don’t forget to consider all of the little details. Do you need to hire a pet sitter while you’re away? Or perhaps you need to rent a car for your trip? These little expenses that you might not have initially considered can throw off your budget if you don’t plan carefully.
Before you leave, call your debit card issuer so they know that you’ll be traveling. This will help prevent your transactions from being flagged as fraudulent and your account being put on hold. Money is the last thing you should be worried about while you’re on vacation. So, before you leave, make sure all of your finances are in order.
2. Pay Your Bills Before You Leave
After you return home from your getaway, you don’t want to come back to notice letters and late fees. Before you book it to your destination, make sure you’ve paid your bills that have payments due while you’re away.
There are several ways you can make sure your bills are taken care of before you leave. Start by making a spreadsheet of all of your bills, including credit cards, utilities, and loans, and their due dates. Once you’ve established this, you can review which bills will be due while you’re gone and make an action plan. You can even continue to use this tool when you get back!
When you’re enjoying your free time on vacation, scheduling payments might slip your mind. To ensure you won’t come home to any problems, set up auto payments for your bills. This will allow you to link your bank account and choose a withdrawal date for each of your bills. If you don’t want to utilize autopayments, check with your service providers to see if you can make prepayments.
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3. Confirm Your Reservations
Nothing can ruin your trip quicker than a lost reservation. Whether it’s your flight, car, or hotel, even though you know you made the reservations, data can get lost.
Around two weeks before your vacation, call and confirm any reservations. Double-check that your plane tickets were booked and that you can still stay at your chosen accommodations. Doing so only takes a few minutes and can save you from a major headache while traveling. If there’s a problem with your reservations, companies will have plenty of time to resolve the issues before you leave.
Many smartphones allow you to keep reservation information stored on them through wallet apps. But if you don’t have access to these apps, write down the confirmation numbers of each reservation.
4. Deep Clean Your Home
There’s nothing better than coming back to a squeaky clean home after being away. Before your trip, you should deep clean your home. Make sure all of your laundries are washed, folded, and put in their proper place. Scrub your bathroom from floor to ceiling.
As you’re deep cleaning, don’t forget to tackle the kitchen. Throw out anything in your refrigerator that’s going to spoil, like milk and produce. Put all of your dishes away, and don’t forget to take out the trash. When coming after traveling, being greeted by the stench of rotten food can be stressful and uninviting.
Do yourself a favor and spend an evening or two on cleaning. Your future self will thank you when you return home.
5. Share Your Itinerary
Life is always throwing curveballs, and those don’t stop just because you’re relaxing on the beach. Flights get delayed, reservations change, and communication, while you’re away from home, can falter. Once you have all of the details of your vacation planned, share your itinerary with someone you trust.
Ensuring someone has a general idea of your whereabouts during your trip is always a good idea. If you’re traveling alone, this should be one of your priorities before you leave. This way, if an incident occurs, big or small, someone will know where you should’ve been and when.
Even if it is just a delayed flight, it’s best to have someone from home know your schedule. There are several apps you can download on your phone; before you leave, consider installing one to make itinerary sharing easier.
While traveling, try to check in with your contact at least once a day. This will help keep them up-to-date with your plans, and, if you quit communicating, they can be on alert. While it may seem minor now, don’t ignore your safety while you’re on vacation, especially if you are alone. Sharing your itinerary and updates can give yourself and your loved one’s peace of mind while you’re away.
Once you’ve done all of these steps, you’re ready to pack your suitcase and go make some memories. Don’t forget to check the weather at your destination so you can pack accordingly. But most of all, enjoy yourself and your time away from home. After a year of isolation, a vacation is just what you need to unwind from your hectic life.