Skip to main content

Your travel prep checklist: 8 things to do before your next trip

What we'll cover

  • The benefits a pre-vacation to-do list

  • What to do before you take off

  • Packing and travel tips

Is there anything better than the final countdown to your next vacation? Leading up to your trip is when you should finalize the details — packing, travel docs, budget — all the little things that will ensure your adventure goes off without a hitch. To help, use this travel prep checklist for your next trip.

1. Confirm your travel documents are up to date

Now is a good time to make sure you have all of your important travel documents ready to go. Check your license, passport, plane tickets and any travel insurance to confirm they're up to date and valid. And put these documents in a safe place you can easily access when it's time to pack your bags.

Keep your vacation spending in check by creating a solid travel budget.

2. Make sure autopay is set up

The last thing you want to do while you're trying to unwind is stress about paying bills. Automate your finances before your trip to put your mind at ease. Set up autopay for bills and recurring transfers for anything else needed so your finances take care of themselves while you're away.

3. Double-check your travel budget

Keep your vacation spending in check by setting your travel budget beforehand. Don't forget to account for hidden fees like baggage fees and parking. Remember, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a fabulous getaway. Planning in advance, having flexibility and capitalizing on rewards points can all minimize the cost of your trip.

4. Compile all confirmation numbers into one doc

Vacation planning comes with a lot to keep track of. Help yourself (and your travel companions) out by putting all of your confirmation numbers, like hotels, airfare, excursions and rental cars, in one document. That way you can easily reference it whenever needed.

5. Set up care for your home and more

You may want to ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house, collect your mail or water your plants while you're away. If you're a pet parent, make plans for their care during your trip (or take your furry friend along for the ride).

6. Plan ahead for your return

You probably don't want to think about the end of your trip before it even starts. But some basic prep can ease your transition back to the real world. Clean your home, dispose of perishables and consider having a frozen meal ready when you get back so you don't have to cook. Your post-vacation self will thank you for your foresight.

7. Make an itinerary

Once you have the basics planned and booked, it's time to dive into the details. Make an itinerary for your trip to make sure you do and see everything you're interested in as well as help guide your budget. Don't forget to include meals and transportation in your plan!

8. Pack your bags

If you tend to overstuff your bags, consider some strategic packing tips . Plan multiple outfits that leverage a few single statement pieces of clothing rather than just packing random clothing items that might not go together. You can also wear one of your bulkier items on the plane to save precious space in your luggage. And when you're done debating your wardrobe choices, don't forget the essentials like your phone charger and emergency cash.

Planning ahead = maximum vacation enjoyment

Travel is all about savoring the moment. With a little prep work on the front end, you can ensure your trip is smooth sailing. Use these travel preparation tips to have your best vacation yet.

Explore more

Save Budget Spend

Read next

Money solutions and strategies sent straight to your inbox.

Tips and tools to help you build your best financial future.

Let's Connect