There is a period of time, before visiting a place or taking a vacation, where the only thing left to do to is to take the mode of transportation that will take you to your destination (you got nothing on me Lin-Manuel, nothing!). For me, that time frame is between 48 to 72 hours before departure. Most of the planning has ended, but it is still quite early to finish packing. So, what can you do in the meantime? Here are ten things to do before your vacations for a trip with less stress, and a smooth return.
Pay your monthly bills.
The last thing you want is to be lying on the beach, sipping on a Mojito, when you remember you didn’t pay a bill. To avoid that, make sure that every bill that is due while you are on vacation is paid before you leave. Depending on where you are going, internet access can be limited or non-existent. Pay your bills in advance, and have something less to worry about.
Clean your house.
“What is that smell?” That question, the majority of the time, will not have a good answer. It doesn’t have to be spring cleaning, but at least make sure the trash cans are empty, and there is not old food in the refrigerator. Also, coming back to a clean house will help with the vacation blues.
Call your bank and credit cards to let them know you are traveling.
Recently, most credit cards have been upgraded to “chip technology.” If that is the case with your card, you might not need to let the issuer know you are traveling. However, it is still recommended to verify if you need to let them know of your travels (this is something you can do on their website most of the time). Your bank and its fraud investigators will also appreciate a heads up on why there’s someone retiring money from your account 10,000 miles away from your home address. Banks live by the philosophy of “Better safe than sorry,” and there are numerous horror stories about bank accounts being “frozen” while people are on vacation. Do it; it’ll be quick.
Make a copy of your passport and other identification documents.
Life is unpredictable. Because of that, you should make a copy of your passport, driver’s license, and other relevant travel documents. Keep a set in your home, and one in the safe of your hotel room. I’m not telling this to you only, but I’m also saying this to myself because I’m guilty of not doing this sometimes (meaning I need to start doing it).
Give your pet a bath.
If your pet is not going on vacation with you, it will have to stay somewhere. Let it give a great impression, by taking it smelling like oatmeal (yes, I’m using my dog as an example) to its temporary home.
These last hours before departure are perfect for a manicure and pedicure. Additionally, don’t forget to prepare your skin. Drink lots of water and moisturize your skin because airplanes are no joke. Airplanes might seem nice, but they hate all type of skins alike.
Check for outlet compatibility.
Hooray! You remembered to pack all your gadgets and chargers! “Wait…this doesn’t look right.” Is at that moment, just after arriving at your room, that you realize you overlooked one small detail. If you’re lucky, you can buy an adapter without any problem, but it’s better and safer to bring one from home. More important, you can get a universal travel adapter online by a fraction of what it will cost you at the airport or in a touristic area.
Do the Laundry.
I know it’s not fun, but you will be glad you did it. If you are like me, you are aware that the words laundry and vacation don’t go together, at all. This means you’ll return home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. To reduce the time spent doing laundry after your vacation, wash all the clothes you can before you leave.
Check if your phone will work where you are going.
Not all phones work at the same frequency ranges. A phone designed for the U.S. Market, might not support the same frequency bands than a phone designed for Europe. Get in contact with your cell phone provider and confirm your phone will work where you are going. If it does, ask about any roaming charges. Keep in mind that calls made over Wi-Fi can also be charged roaming fees. If the phone won’t work or the roaming charges are too high, get a cheap phone that works in the case of any emergency. Remember, you will probably need to buy a SIM card at your destination too.
Check-in for your flight.
Some airlines will automatically check you in for your flight “x” hours before it’s departure. Others will let you take care of it. If you check-in at home it might save you time at the airport (especially if you are only taking a carry-on).
Now, let us know. What other tips do you have for the pre-vacation hours?
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