I have loved traveling since I was a little girl. I love the anticipation of new sights and adventures, and I even love packing. But prepping a family of four for an international trip requires a whole new level of planning and organization. I believe that travel doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. Follow my “no-stress travel checklist” below to ensure you can relax and enjoy your next adventure.
Get a Jump Start on Packing
I like to be completely packed up (including bags for both of my girls) at least one week before taking a big trip. Start by doing all of your laundry and pulling out all apparel and accessories you want to pack on your trip. You can maximize space by rolling your clothes and using packing cubes and I always use a few ziplock bags for storing lotion, perfume, and sunscreen. You can generally pack everything in advance with the exception of cosmetics, toiletries and electronics. By tackling this major task ahead of time you will feel cool as a cucumber and ready to roll when it’s time to take off.
Make a List of Last-Minute Items
Once you’re done packing, jot down a list of last-minute items you don’t want to forget to pack when you take off. I write these down on a notecard and pin it on my fridge. Your list might include: Snacks and perishables, medications and vitamins, toothbrushes, toiletries and cosmetics, mobile phone, computer and charging cords and a favorite toy or stuffed animal for your little ones.
Order Currency In Advance
While many people prefer the ease of using a credit card abroad, it is always helpful to have some foreign currency available for tipping and smaller purchases. You can order currency at your local bank and it generally arrives within a few business days.
Update Passports + ID
I’ll never forget when my good friend arrived at the airport only to learn that her passport had expired and she could not travel. Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure your passports and photo ID are up to date. You may also need to order or renew passports for your kids. Note: This took a long time and a lot of paperwork so best to map out a day to tackle this one.
Line up Pet + Plant Care
A few weeks before you depart, make sure you have lined up food and care for your furry friends. It’s also helpful to see if a friend or neighbor can stop by to water your plants a few times while you are gone.
Make a Plan for Your Mail
Make sure to pause your mail delivery through the post office or line up a friend or neighbor to bring it in regularly while you are gone.
Confirm Flights and Accommodations
An obvious one, but it always gives me great peace of mind to double confirm my flights, transfers and hotel or AirBnB reservations a week or so before I depart.
One of my favorite things about traveling is snuggling up with a good book and a stack of my favorite magazines. I also like to stock up on gum and some treats and snacks for the plane. Whatever your pleasure, make sure to load up your carry-on a few days before so you are ready to roll!
Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be sharing how I packed for 10-Days in Europe in this tiny carry-on!