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Before trip planning checklist


The idea and the goal should be to maximize fun times while on vacation and not worry about bills, chores etc back home. So, be best equipped with good planning for maximum enjoyment and relaxation.

My before trip planning checklist/to-do list looks like this.

First thing to do: Make sure you pay off all your bills and rent before leaving for your trip.

Call your bank and inform them about your travel or they may block your card. This happened to me in Brazil and it was a bit of a hassle. Carry sufficient cash and exchange it for the destination country’s currency at the last connection you can do this. For Fernando De Noronha, it was Recife airport, not the former.

Carry multiple cards with varying limits. All cards have varying levels of security procedures and paranoia around it. One may just text you after every transaction. The other one may block. It’s better to know what to expect and be prepared.

If you have plants or pets, book pet/house sitters, give them house keys, give them your fob and walk them through their routine in advance.

Inform your leasing agents that you have permitted your sitters visiting.

Book local tours and cruises before you leave. Remember, your time there is expensive. Don’t spend it on research after going there. Do your homework before leaving for the trip.

If you are going to a place where you don’t speak their language,  download an offline app that translates English to that language. This helped me in Brazil. Preferably, learn their language!

Download apps of the cities you are visiting on your phone.

Buy phone packages if you are traveling abroad. Roaming is expensive.

Clear your email inbox, drive storage, file storage on your phone. You don’t want important emails bouncing off or running out of space when you take pictures on your trip.

Hold your mail.

Email your itinerary to close friends and family.

Get a world charger if Globetrotting is growing on you. Carry multiple phone and car chargers and USB cables.

Carry medicines, clothes and shoes for the weather, formal wear, extras and for any outdoor sports you plan to do. Ransack your hiking/camping backpack and steal equipment you might find useful.

Download music/movies now. Carry books you may read on your flight.

Plan for flight delays and baggage getting stolen/lost/delayed. Carry an extra pair of clothing in your carry on/personal items and don’t put anything expensive or valuable in your check-in bags. In fact, avoid check-in bags if you can 🙂

Carry solid perfume if you have to in your carry-on. If you are a Green card holder, get the TSA pre-check approval. Saves time you will never get back.

Carry some business cards and a pen. I love making out of town connections!


Author: Nazneen Malik


Nazneen is a software engineer based in the Greater Seattle area since 2010. She is originally from Mumbai. She did her B.E. in Computer Engineering and then worked as a Software Developer in Mumbai for 2 years.  After that she moved to Utah to do her Masters in Computer Science in 2008. She is  passionate about her career and serving the community. For fun she likes to read, hike, salsa dance and travel!


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