pre-travel checklist

Pre-vacation checklist

Even if you travel constantly, it’s always good to make a mental note of important things to do before a trip. These are the things that will make your departure smooth and your return less stressful. So here is a full pre-vacation checklist to get you started.

Do laundry

Before you start loading up your luggage, you need clean clothes. Doing all your laundry right before a trip will save you the headache of looking for your favorite shirt and realizing it’s in the hamper.

Get your toiletries and medications together

If you’re not checking a bag, you need to put your shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and perfumes into little tiny travel bottles. Or conversely, you can just buy travel sized bottles. You should also take prescriptions and small amounts of medication that you might need for minor issues like headaches. It might save you a trip to a foreign pharmacy.

Charge all the things

If you plan to read your Kindle on the plane or take a lot of pictures on your trip, make sure you charge all your electronics and batteries. That goes double for portable battery packs!

Clean your house

Coming back to a mess doesn’t help the stress, exhaustion, and disappointment of your vacation being over. You want to be relieved to come home and be just as excited as you are when you step into a spotless hotel room. So leave the floors clean, the mess put away, and a mint on your pillow.

Leave some food around for your return

The only thing worse than coming back home to a messy place is being greeted by an empty fridge. No one wants to go grocery shopping when they’re jet lagged and exhausted. So do future you a favor and buy some non-perishables to tide you over until you’re ready to go get real food when you come back.

Take screenshots of hotel check-in information

Or print them if you still live in 2007. But in case your internet doesn’t work on your phone, you should have the hotel address and confirmation number somewhere you can easily access without WiFi.

Check in to your flight

The earlier you check in, the best seats you’ll have available. This is particularly important if you have a tight connection and you don’t want to get stuck in the last row. As with hotel information, you should send your boarding pass to your phone for a quick and easy time at the airport.

Look up how to get to your hotel

If there’s one thing you should look up in advance, it’s how to get from the airport to your accommodations. Don’t be that person that gets totally fleeced the second they arrive somewhere because you picked the worst possible cab company. If there’s public transport, write down which line and which direction will take you where you want to go.

Set up a vacation email reply

I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of working is setting an automatic email response to let the people you work with know that they can fuck off because you’re unavailable.


Everyone’s favorite thing to put off before a vacation is packing. But you have to do it eventually. Count your underwear, plan your outfits, and pack ‘em up. Keep it light and practical!

And of course, don’t forget your gnome! Bon voyage!


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