Use a Travel Checklist to Save Time & Money
I have been thinking a lot about traveling lately, possibly because I haven’t done much of it this year. One of my favorite lifestyle bloggers recently had her luggage lost halfway through a trip and she had to buy a few emergency replacement items in a tourist destination. It had to be expensive to do and she admitted she’d broken her cardinal rule of having a carry-on with essentials in it. Considering that example and the fact that summer is travel season for many of us, I have come up with a checklist that should save time and money for you.
Details for Home
- Let family and/or friends know of your itinerary.
- Arrange to have your plants watered, the lawn mowed, trash cans brought in and out, newspapers/door hang tags removed.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you’re gone so it looks lived in.
- Have your mail held if you don’t have a neighbor who can get it for you.
- Make a kennel reservation or set up a pet sitter.
- Set up lighting timers, use the kind that has multiple settings to randomize when they go on and off.
Planning Your Travel
- Notify credit card companies so your cards don’t get flagged for fraud outside of normal patterns.
- If you are traveling internationally, check into cell phone usage fees.
- Make sure you have appropriate ID for your travel and that it isn’t expired.
- Make a budget and decide what to splurge on in advance.
- Use a packing checklist (this one is fully customizable), don’t be afraid to be detailed. Use themed ones if that helps, i.e. clothing, toiletries, carry-ons, tools (for car travel), and a master list of all the bags if you are traveling with family. These will help when you are packing to come home, especially for small items like chargers.
- To minimize your load, look into one of the best carry-ons for travel, and learn how to pack efficiently.
- If you are driving, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip! Here is a post with maintenance tips to help you.
- For longer trips with multiple destinations, limit the number of lodging changes. It takes time to pack/unpack in each one and to check in/out. This equates to lost time for fun.
- Be aware of cancellation policies and other fees for your lodging. Some places charge daily for Wi-Fi, recreation amenities, extra people, and parking.
- Read reviews of the specific location you are considering. It’s expensive to change hotels at the last minute with cancellation fees.
- Some hotels will have packages with discounted admission to something local, or other perks to entice you, especially during the off season.
- If there is a must eat place on your list, make a reservation. Be flexible on days and times. Lunch is often cheaper with the same food in smaller portions.
- Don’t forget snacks, carrying your own during the day is faster and cheaper. Buy them in a local store to save space in your luggage.
Sights & Itinerary
- If there are things you really want to do, check into access. Some places are so popular you need a reservation.
- Use the calendar in your smartphone to keep track of preplanned items. Add reservation information so it’s all in one place.
- Some attractions have reciprocal agreements with others. For instance, if you are a member at your local zoo you might get early entrance, or free/discounted admission. It’s worth asking.
- Museums often have free or discounted admission on a weekday.
- Ask if there is a senior discount or a kid’s rate. Also, if you are in a large group, check into group rates, sometimes it only takes 5 or 6 to get a group rate.
- Build in hangout time. Don’t be so busy that you don’t relax on your vacation!
Leave the Savings to Us
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