Top Five Lists To Make Before A Big Trip

A weekend or a few days away is pretty easy to pack and prepare for, especially if you do it fairly often. If you are going to be away from home for a week or more (lucky you!) then you’ll want to make sure your situation at home is thoroughly set up and taken care of, especially if you are leaving kiddos or pets behind. Here are five major lists to make before you set off:

1. Packing

Write it on a notepad or use an app, but make a list of everything you (and your family) are bringing. Create categories such as clothing, toiletries, swimming stuff, devices, baby stuff, etc. It’s helpful before you go; then when you’re repacking to come home it’s a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything. It also keeps you from bringing multiples of the same thing.

2. Arrangements

From the dog-sitter to the yard company to the U.S. Mail to the Waste Management pick-up, list all the things you need to have done (or not done) while you are away, and confirm the arrangements you make.

3. For those left behind

Whether you are leaving the kiddos at your parents’, or your pet with a sitter or boarding facility, make a list of things the caregiver should know about such as medication, food, bedtime, discipline, etc. This helps those you trust take even better care of those you love!

4. Bills to pay

If you are traveling for more than two weeks, make a list of bills to pay ahead so you don’t incur late fees or a hike on your APR from a missed payment. Most bills can be paid online with a date you select. If it’s something that needs to be mailed, prepay those for convenience and peace of mind.

5. House

List all the things you need to do a week before, three days before, and then right before you leave the house. Check off items as you complete them. This will save you later from worrying about whether you set up the light timers or turned the furnace and water heater to Vacation mode.


Don’t forget to make sure your house will be safe during your absence! Then you can really just relax—whether you’re on a beach, a ship, a beautiful foreign city, or a cabin in the woods. Bon voyage!


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