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There’s nothing more exciting than planning a getaway, though sometimes it seems there are a thousand and one things to remember to do before you leave. This vacation planning checklist will help you make sure you get to every one of them—we even divided it into four sections for the maximum organization:

What to do in advance

Create a travel itinerary, either on your own or with a SkyMed Travel Advisor

  • Gather information about where you’re going
  • Maps (online or off)
  • Especially for post-pandemic travel, check the US State Department Travel Advisories
  • Use social media outlets to get opinions and recommendations
  • Research, research, research
  • Reserve and purchase—one caveat: if you buy from a big box OTA (online travel agency), you might not have any recourse in case of a travel emergency. In case you missed the headlines, that was a huge lesson learned in 2020.

Purchase emergency medical evacuation coverage and travel insurance

Renting a car?

  • Visit CarRentalPro, a SkyMed Company, or again, book through your SkyMed Travel Advisor
  • Call your auto insurance to check coverage (that or your credit card coverage may be sufficient)

Gather your travel documents

Visit your physician and get whatever shots you may need for your visit, including COVID-19 vaccinations (this varies by country, so please check the destination’s tourism page or ask your Travel Advisor).

Arrange for boarding or care for your pet

  • Take your pet to the vet for shots, if needed
  • If traveling with your pet, click here for travel tips

Ensure you have enough prescription medication/contact lenses to last the trip

  • Order if needed

Talk with a neighbor about your trip

  • As him/her to keep an eye on things
  • Pick up any leaflets, deliveries, etc.

Have any lawn care taken care of

Stock up on any extras you might need, depending on your destination

  • Chargers/converters
  • Passport bag/money belt
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel backpacks for the kid
What to do when it’s almost time to leave
  • Stop the mail
  • Some credit cards have dropped travel alerts, but check with your bank app just in case
  • Pay upcoming bills
  • Update email at work with vacation replies
  • Clean out your wallet of non-essential items
  • Create a list of numbers on your phone notes for reporting stolen credit cards, the embassy, car rental office (with address), hotel information, and travel agent contact number
  • Email or text a list of emergency numbers to leave with the pet boarding facilities, your neighbors, and/or a relative or friend
Right before you leave, don’t forget
  • Reservation confirmation numbers (on your mobile AND have a printed copy in case of battery failure or—gasp!—you lose your phone)
  • Early online check-in, print boarding passes (again, sometimes paper is GOOD)
  • Passport
  • Prescription medication
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses, lens case, extra solution
  • Chargers and portable chargers
  • Plastic bag for dirty clothes
Before you lock the door behind you
  •  Unplug small kitchen appliances
  •  Turn off all the water to external faucets
  •  Turn off water to the washing machine
  •  Set your thermostat
  •  Close and lock all windows


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