June 7, 2021

My Pre-Travel Checklist

pre travel checklist

Yes, I’m that girl – the one who meticulously plans every aspect of a trip, even what I need to do in the week or two before heading to the airport.  Now that I’m traveling so much for The Curated Shopper, I’ve come up with a very useful pre-travel checklist that I thought I’d share with you.

Mail Hold

I put my mail on hold whenever I’m away for more than 3 days. If you aren’t aware of this handy service, you can go to usps.com, create an account, and request your mail to be held for up to 30 days.  Mail will then either be delivered to you upon your return, or you can request it to be held at the post office for you to pick up. If you want to read more about this, click here.

Alert bank/credit union

In my case, I belong to a credit union.  I need to alert them when I bring my debit cards out of my area to ensure they function properly while traveling.  Your bank or credit union may have different rules, so it’s good to check out. The last thing you want happening is your debit card not working as you try to get cash from an ATM in Stockholm! And a helpful note — most foreign ATM’s require a four-digit pin number, so make sure that’s what you have.

Yes, I’m that girl – the one who meticulously plans every aspect of a trip, even what I need to do in the week or two before heading to the airport.

Alert credit cards

Each credit card company has different policies with this, so check with your cards to know what you need to do.  For example, I need to set a travel alert with my Citi card, but my Capital One card doesn’t require any notifications. In addition, I highly recommend finding out if your cards have a foreign transaction fee. Those can add up quickly!

Get cash

When I’m traveling domestically, I like to bring a stash of fives and tens to use for tips. When I go abroad, I like to always bring a couple hundred dollars in the foreign currency “just in case.” I generally just use my credit cards when traveling, but for little purchases such as a croissant or newspaper, I prefer to use cash. I’m sure the vendors appreciate that as well.

Confirm reservations

I always double check all my flight, hotel, and transportation reservations a couple weeks ahead of time. I like to create a file in my e-mail where I have all the confirmations for a specific trip in one place in case I need to access them.  I also share my itinerary with a family member so they are aware of where I am.


Notify neighbors

I always let my neighbors know when I’ll be away so they can keep an eye on my house and pick up any packages or fliers that unexpectedly show up on my doorstep.  It’s always good to have extra eyes on my place in addition to my cameras and alarm system.

Secure valuables

As you can tell by now, I’m very vigilant with security. I make sure all my valuables are locked either in a safe or safety deposit box.  This includes jewelry, external hard drive, checkbooks, etc.


Water plants  

I’ve pretty much got my plant situation perfect now. (I killed numerous ferns while learning…)   If I give them all a hearty watering the day before departing, they can all last three weeks. If I’m going to be gone longer, then I arrange to have someone come in to water them.

Charge electronics

The night before leaving, I make sure everything is fully charged – my phone, laptop, camera batteries, and external charger.


I make it a priority to get a manicure the day before leaving. I have found that polishes with a touch of glitter can last 7-10 days, whereas my sheer pink polishes tend to chip after a couple days.  For extended trips, I always pack my nail polish so I can get a manicure while on the road.

By now you may be thinking of specific tasks that would make it on your personal pre-travel checklist. I encourage you to type up your list. Then you can just print it out before each trip and check them off before you go.  By the time you’re relaxing in the lounge with a cocktail, you can rest assured that you didn’t forget to take care of anything.

Happy travels!



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