Vacation Checklist: Getting Ready to Go on Vacation

June 17, 2015

Vacation Checklist: Getting Ready to Go on VacationGoing on vacation is the perfect time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, but getting there and remembering everything you need to do beforehand can be overwhelming. If you’re going on vacation, this handy checklist will help ensure that you are well-prepared and ready to go.

Vacation Packing and Planning Checklist

Travel far and travel wide but before you travel:

  • Don’t post on social media that you’re going away. It’s better not to advertise that your home is going to be vacant.
  • Make sure you have all the required vaccinations prior to leaving.
  • Check your passport expiry date. Depending on where you’re going on holiday, it may need to be valid well beyond your return date. For example, if you’re going to Antigua your passport would need to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned departure date.

    For country-specific recommended vaccinations as well as passport requirement details, refer to the Government of Canada’s country travel advice and advisories.

  • Check the expiry on your credit cards to make sure they’ll still be valid while you’re away. Also, notify your credit card company of your travel plans to ensure that your card isn’t flagged for unusual activity.
  • Research sights and activities ahead of time. This allows you to set money aside in advance, find deals or “jump the line” offers for sites that are particularly popular.
  • Universal Adapter

  • If you’re packing electronics (laptop, camera, cellphone, tablet etc.) remember to pack their respective chargers. Also, remember to pack converters for electrical outlets if you’re travelling to or from places with different types of outlets.
  • Look into phone plans to avoid costly roaming fees.
  • Pack travel insurance. It’s always better to travel safe.
  • Refill any necessary prescription medication. As well, purchase essentials like diarrhea/upset stomach medication; antibiotic ointment; a pain reliever like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen; allergy medication; antacids; and motion sickness medication. If you’re going to a country where you don’t speak the language, it can be difficult to determine what’s what in the pharmacy.
  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and after-sun skin care, especially if you’re going somewhere hot and tropical.
  • Pack appropriate clothes for the destination including versatile footwear. It’s also suggested you pack one off-season outfit. If you’re going somewhere hot, pack one outfit for cooler weather and vice-versa. Remember to pack at least one outfit in your carry-on as well, in the unfortunate event your luggage gets lost or delayed in transit.
  • Stock up on all the necessary toiletries; but to save money avoid buying the travel-sized, pre-filled products. Instead, buy empty travel-sized containers and fill them yourself. You’ll save oodles.
  • Print your tickets, hotel confirmation, or car reservations for easy access (without needing to go online).
  • Whether flying or driving, bring your own snacks (BYOS) for the trip.
  • Make sure family and friends have a copy of your itinerary and a means to get a hold of you. Also, depending on where you’re going you may want to register with Consular Services. The free service, provided by the government, helps you keep connected with Canada if there’s an emergency abroad or at home.
  • Before leaving, know what and how much you’re allowed to bring back into Canada to avoid disappointment.

Give the appearance that someone is home

You should try and make your home look as normal as possible as if you’re still home. Here are some easy ways to protect your home while you’re on vacation.

  • Before you leave mow the lawn, trim the hedges and rake if necessary.
  • Set automatic timers for lighting around the home and make it look natural.
  • Decide whether or not you’re going to keep your curtains open or closed while you’re away.
  • Suspend (or cancel) delivery of your newspaper.
  • Ask your neighbour to collect your mail while you’re away.

Preparing for a vacation may be a lot of work but it definitely pays off in the end. Following a checklist is a great way to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Just leave yourself enough time to get everything done and you’re all set!