Let’s Go! 10 Things to Do Before You Travel
Spring is here, the sun is out, it’s time to go somewhere! Whether you’re retired or working, the stress of day to day tasks will eventually start to drain your energy. Vacations are a great way for your mind and body to rest and recover. Not only do you revive while on vacation, but the excitement of planning and looking forward to a vacation can increase your energy months before you go.
With the reward of rest, recovery and renewed energy comes a little work, getting ready for vacation isn’t all fun. Here are a few things to help you get through the work so you can enjoy the reward!
10 Things to Do Before You Go:
1. Credit Cards & Bank Accounts
Call your bank to let them know where and when you’ll be travelling. Many banks look for regular patterns; if they see a drastic change they may put a hold on your card until they confirm it with you. It’s also a good idea to check on ATM fees and foreign transaction charges so you know what it will cost to use your cards in a new location.
2. Passport & Driver’s License Expirations
You don’t want to discover they have expired as you’re checking in at the airport. Double check the expirations on your identification ahead of time; the turnaround time can be a 1-2 months for Passports or 2-4 weeks for Enhanced Driver’s Licenses.
3. Cell Phone Coverage
This is especially important if you are travelling outside of the country or even close to the Canadian or Mexican border. Voice and data roaming charges can add up fast, it may be less expensive to update your plan to cover the dates you’re away.
4. Prescriptions & Medical
Make sure your prescriptions are filled and bring along your physician’s contact information in case you need to call them while you’re away. It’s also recommended that you check your insurance company’s out of town coverage and policies ahead of time. You’ll want to know what they need in order to cover any medical claims you incur out of town.
5. Important Documents
Keep copies of your Passports, Driver’s Licenses, medical cards, banking & credit card phone numbers, and travel tickets & your itinerary. If you can, take a photo with your phone or scan them to your email and give a copy to a loved one at home as a back-up. In the event you need a back-up of any of this information, you’ll appreciate being able to get to it easily.
6. Services to Keep & Services to Hold
Review all the regular services you use: mail, newspaper, milk delivery, housekeeper, landscaper, etc. Some you’ll continue while you’re away and others you’ll want to put on hold. For services you put on hold, set a reminder to call them when you return. For services you continue, make sure to make payment arrangements while you’re gone.
7. Secure Your Home
Check your windows and doors to ensure everything is latched and secure. Garage doors may be able to be secured with a bolt in the door track, as well. Consider using timers for lights in different rooms on different schedules. If you use an alarm service, notify them of your travel dates and give them an emergency contact.
Vacations are the perfect time for us to unplug and relax, but before you go, make sure to unplug at home, too! Appliances are safer left unplugged and won’t continue to use electricity while you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to adjust your thermostat, there’s no need to heat or cool an empty house.
9. Keeping Plants Watered
Don’t forget your potted plants and water hungry flowers when you go. Try using a watering globe for the potted plant inside and out. They can keep your plants watered up to 2 weeks. For larger areas outside, try a soaker hose with a timer.
10. But Not Your House
Now that you have your plants watered, let’s make sure you don’t have your hardwoods watered. Minimize your potential damage by turning the water off at your main line. Even a small leak will end up being thousands of gallons of water if you’re gone long enough. Rather than have your hot-water heater continually spray water for days, only the 50 gallons or so in it will leak out. You may still have some damage, but it will be minimized.
With this out of the way, you can relax and enjoy your time away. Once you return, your energy is charged up and you’re ready to face the day to day again… or maybe plan another vacation!