Lifestyle,  Travel

The Ultimate Checklist of Things to Do Before Going on a Long Trip

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The Ultimate Checklist of Things to Do Before Going on a Long Trip

The stress of planning for a trip can already throw you overboard, before you even start, when it is added to the everyday stressors. So, what can you do, before your trip, to help you be less anxious when walking out the door to your dream vacation?

In this post I will be sharing with you:

  • Who to notify
  • What/where to clean
  • What to pack

When going for a long trip or even a small one where you will be gone for days, weeks, and or months it is imperative that you get some things taken care of first and also important to have things organized before you go.

Starting with…

As soon as you find out the dates that you will be gone you will want to notify your post office so that they can hold your mail for you. If you are having a house/pet sitter come and stay and or occasionally drop by you can have them get the mail, but if not, you’ll definitely need to let the post office know.


You will want to notify your family as well of course.

If you are planning on having a house/pet sitter you will want to make plans with them for the days in which you plan to be gone. Get them on board and then begin to write up a list of the things that they will need to take care of and or do while you are away. Also set pricing with them and confirm.

Here is a recommended/example list of things for the sitter to take care and things to inform them of while away that you might need to write down on a list for them.

  • Feed dog (food 2x) a day at (10am) and (5pm)
  • Feed Cat(food2x) a day at (10am) and (5pm)
  • Water house plants (once) a day or (3 times) a week
  • Water outside plants (twice) a day or (4 times) a week
  • Please lock all doors before you leave
  • Turn off all electronics
  • Here is the house key
  • Garage passcode is _____
  • Special instructions for pet(s) (meds, feeding, bathroom issues, etc.)
  • Mowing (paying extra)
  • Any additional things that your unique home would need done put on this list

Setting the dates with a house/pet sitter and informing your post office are things you want to get done well in advance of your trip. This way if your sitter ends up changing their mind and or something comes up you will have enough time to schedule a new one. Informing the post office ( if you need to) sets in motion on their end and helps them be prepared as well.


A week to a couple days in advance

When it gets to roughly a week before you trip you will want to start getting the house ready. It might not seem as important to getting things “packed” for your trip, but trust me it is VERY important to have your home cleaned and organized for when you get back and before you leave. Do this before you start packing.

I suggest a couple days in advance get all the rooms in the house organized and cleaned; vacuum, mop, dust, etc. if you were thinking of organizing and getting rid of things you didn’t need before this, now would be a good time to do that. As you go through each room to get them tidied up, take the time to get rid of some of the things you don’t need from each room, and then make sure to deliver those things to the trash and or donation pile to get them out of your house.

Why I suggest any of this is because when you get home, as I can personally attest to, you are most likely not going to want to be cleaning things up and finding mice droppings. You’ll want to return to a clean and organized house. Doing these things also gives you the peace of mind you want to have so you can have fun on your trip, knowing your home is organized and cleaned and there is nothing to worry about back home.


What to clean

  • Clean out fridge from all perishables
  • Empty trashes before you leave
  • Vacuum carpets
  • Mop floors
  • Dust windows/railings
  • Unplug electrical utilities that are not needed
  • Buy less food for the fridge as the days are closer to you leaving


Other things

Along with cleaning and organizing your home, you’ll want to get your car cleaned and things organized for your car as well. I would suggest getting all the floors vacuumed out and or washed in the car. Clear out the glove box of unneeded stuff and get a mini-trash can to have in the front, especially if you are going to be driving a long way. I would also suggest getting a trunk organizer so you can keep all your stuff tidy and possibly fit more in, if needed.

Now the time has come to truly focus on packing all that you need, now that you can sigh a sigh of relief that you’ve gotten the house in order and won’t have to worry about it being taken care of while you’re gone.


What to pack

Depending on where you are going and for how long, will depend on what is on your list of things to pack, but here are a few things you’ll most definitely need to pack.

  • Clothes (underwear, shirts, etc.)
  • Toiletry items (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, etc.)
  • Outside gear (if needed) (sleeping bags, sunscreen, flashlight)
  • Road trip snacks (candy, chips, nuts, etc.)
  • Water
  • Toys (if you are taking the kids)
  • Kids Clothes (diapers, shirts, pants, etc.)
  • Electronics (laptop, phone chargers, tablet, cameras, etc.)
  • Extra shoes
  • Notebook
  • Pillows & blankets
  • Books (read in the car or for leisure on the trip)
  • Trash bags (for dirty clothes)

In conclusion there are many things to get done before a trip/vacation and getting things organized in a timely fashion can save you from lots of unneeded stress. You want to enjoy your vacation so put your mind at ease by getting the things done you need to get done well before its time.


Written by Rachel from
Where she talks about organizational tips for your home & life and gives tips for those new to blogging!

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