Whether you've booked your dream vacation or you're just looking to get away for a long weekend, it's important to prepare before you head out. Knowing things are in order back home will allow you to focus on relaxing while you're away – and that's what vacation is about after all! While it'll be hard to think of anything besides your destination be sure to take into account these travel tips before you go:
- Don't Share It
While it's nice to use social media to share pictures of your vacation instantly, be sure your privacy settings on your social media networks are set so only your friends can see your updates. If your privacy settings are set as public it's like telling the world that your home will be unattended for an extended period of time. This could potentially put your home at risk for a break-in or vandalism. Many people choose to post their vacation photos after they return home, just to be extra cautious.
- Notify Your Bank
Planning to buy souvenirs while you're traveling? Chances are you're bringing more than just cash. It's important to notify your bank and credit card companies that you'll be traveling so they don't put a freeze on your cards. Banks monitor your typical card activity, and when something out of the ordinary charges, it can flag your card as possibly stolen. If that happens, you won't be able to use it until contacting the issuing bank or credit card company.
- Share Your Itinerary
Of course you need to know what you'll be doing each day, but it's a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home, too. If something should happen back home that you need to be contacted for, family and friends will have an easier time reaching you if they know where you're planning to be.
- Bring Medications
If you have an important medication that you need you're probably not going to forget to bring it. But it's also important to bring along enough to get you through a couple extra days. You never know when you might be delayed somewhere because of something unexpected and you don't want to miss any scheduled doses. If you do run out of medication while you're traveling, Travel Guard's 'round the clock assistance services can help you locate a doctor who will be able to help you get the medicine you need.
- Check Your Documents
Does your destination require a passport for entry? What about a visa? Make sure you check into which documents you'll need to travel as soon as you decide on your vacation. You never know how long it'll take to get documentation and it's better to start early. Also, be sure to check that your passport hasn't expired!
- Notify the Post Office
If you're going to be gone for more than a few days you can notify the Post Office and they will hold your mail until you return. This way you can avoid having the mail build up in your mailbox and you won't have to have someone stop over to get it for you. When you get back from vacation, you'll get the mail you received while you were gone in one lump delivery. You don't even have to visit your local post office to submit a "hold mail" request. You can easily do it through the USPS web site.
- Hire a Home Sitter
Whether it's your sibling, friend, or trusted neighbor, having someone check in on your home if you're gone longer than the weekend is a good idea. They can be there if the furnace or air conditioner shuts off, a water tank bursts, or a storm hits the area. You'll feel better on vacation knowing your house is being looked after.