Last-Minute Travel Checklist
Before You Leave
Make arrangements for your home, if you haven’t already done so.
- Have a friend, family member or trusted neighbor check on your house, take care of pets, water your houseplants, take out the trash, get the mail and newspaper.
WHN TIP – Don’t Advertise Your Absence: Don’t cancel your newspaper or wait to take out the trash until you get home. You want your house to look lived in!
Reconfirm all your reservations.
- Hotel Reconfirmed/Date/Person Spoke With:______________________________
- Car Rental Reconfirmed/Date/Person Spoke With:_________________________
- Train Reservations Reconfirmed/Date/Person Spoke With:___________________
- Other Reservations Reconfirmed/Date/Person Spoke With:__________________
- Make any necessary changes and leave at least one copy with a friend, family member or trusted neighbor.
Check the weather for your destination(s). Take out or add items to your luggage, if necessary. Worried about driving through certain weather hazards?
- Read our articles Driving in the Winter and 26 Tips for Safe Driving in the Rain for quick driving tips.
- You can also check real-time traffic conditions and road closures.
Inside Your Home
- Empty the refrigerator of items that might spoil – dairy, meat, and produce – and adjust the temperature to a lower setting.
- Unplug your toaster, coffeemaker, and any other kitchen appliances.
- Unplug electronic items – TV’s, radios, phones, and your computer to protect them if you have a storm while you’re gone.
- If not unplugging your computer or other electronics, make sure your surge protectors are properly installed.
- Turn the water heater down to the lowest setting.
- Turn your air conditioner up in summer to protect pets, electronics, and other items.
- Turn your heat down or off in spring or fall.
- Set automatic light and radio timers.
- Leave shades or drapes as you normally do. This will make your house look lived-in.
- Put your valuables and jewelry in a safety deposit box or safe.
WHN TIP – Your Valuables: If you don’t have safe or safety deposit box, put your jewelry in a nondescript cardboard box in your closet. Why? Thieves won’t think to look there.
- Empty trash cans
- Lock all doors and windows including basement & garage.
- Bring in any mail or newspapers.
- Pick up any toys, tools, objects, ladders, etc. that might be in your yard.
- Do a quick car maintenance check before heading out on the road – check your oil and gas levels; check headlights, turn signals, brake lights, inside lights; test your brakes, horn, windshield wipers, etc.
- Double-check for driver’s license, auto insurance card, money, medicine and all bags.
- Double-check all locked doors and windows.
Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters