Stave Off Anxiety with a Checklist Before You Travel 8

Do you ever have that sinking feeling as you walk out the door for your family holiday that you have forgotten to do something?

If only you had ticked off a checklist before you travel instead of wondering:

  • Is the oven left on?
  • Are the taps turned off?
  • You pat your pockets to check you have your tickets, passport and ponder what was it that you forgot?

Hopefully, you will find this pre-travel checklist helpful so you can walk out the door with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Use my pre-travel checklist before you travel

Please PIN this for later.
Just hover over the picture and use the red P button

Please use my checklist before you travel

About 2 weeks before you embark on your holiday is the time to start ticking off those last-minute things to do before you travel.


If you are wanting any special assistance you need to pre-arrange this before you travel – it is too late once you get to the airport.  Also confirm:

  • Flights
  • Special meals – I book a child’s meal for my son
  • Transfers – including taxi from your home to the airport
  • Accommodation requests – eg rollaway beds or adjoining rooms

Make Copies

Create copies of all these items.

  • Passport
  • Tickets
  • Itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Credit card
  • Drivers license

Before you travel email a set to yourself, give/send a set to a trusted family member and place one set in the top of your luggage – I explain all the benefits of this in my 4 tips for preventing lost luggage.


If you are going to travel overseas you will need to organise how to access your money prior to travelling.  Decide how you are going to access money whilst away:

  • Take cash
  • Debit card
    • These can be purchased from the Post Office or Money Exchange office.
  • Credit card
    • Tell your bank where and when you will be travelling.  Most banks these days will have an online form for you to complete.  By notifying the bank they will be aware of why there are sudden overseas transactions occurring, therefore will not place a stop on your account.  In addition the bank will also know when you return, so if any suspicious activity occurs after your return they will then contact you and place a stop on your credit card.

You may like to read more about money and travelling overseas HERE.


In this day and age we all like to keep in contact with family and friends even whilst we are on a holiday.  However nobody likes big mobile phone bills when they return home and no longer can the excuse of I didn’t know work with the phone companies.

Options for being contactable by phone include:

  • International roaming
    • You will need to organise this with your phone company prior to travel
  • Buying a local sim card on arrival
  • Using free WiFi to access Viber, Whats App or Skype.

You final last minute thing to do before you travel is switch off the data access.

Create Packing Lists

If you don’t know where to start with making a packing list or just don’t want to do it, check out my family travel packing lists to get you started.

When creating your packing lists take into account:

  • The weather
  • Planned activities
  • Length of travel
  • Luggage allowance – both on flights and any tours/cruises you are joining.

Buy Essentials

Once you have created your packing lists you will know what essentials you need to purchase prior to travelling.

  • Extras for the kids:
    • snacks
    • activities
  • Toiletry must haves:
    • shampoo
    • conditioner
    • sunscreen
    • insect repellent
    • deodorant
    • toothpaste
  • Medical essentials:
    • paracetamol
    • band aids
    • antiseptic
  • Reading material – whether you want the old-fashioned paper version or e-versions:
    • magazine
    • books

The House

Keeping your house safe whilst you are on holiday means ensuring that there are no visible tell-tale signs that you are away.  So these items are a must on your before holiday to do list:

  • Put mail on hold
  • Place newspaper on hold
  • Advise a trusted neighbour of the dates you are travelling and give them contact details for whilst you are away.


  • Use up the last of the fresh fruit, vegetables and milk – you don’t want to come to rotten food in the bottom of the fridge, ugh.

Pets and House sitters

Finally don’t forget the most beloved member of the family who is not going to travel with you – your furry friend.

For the pets

  • Ensure you have booked a pet boarding stay well before you travel.
  • Or find a good place for your pet to visit eg the rellies.
  • Provide your pets caretaker with more than sufficient food for the duration of your holiday.
  • Supply a list of do’s and don’ts for your pet.
  • Give the pet caretaker contact details of your vet.

Or perhaps you have a house sitter looking after the pet and/or the house.

  • Inform your house sitter of which room they will be sleeping in and have fresh sheets on the bed.
  • Lay out fresh towels
  • Offer the WiFi password
  • Leave a list of:
    • do’s and don’ts
    • rubbish days
    • watering days
  • Add a list of how to use:
    • washing machine
    • dishwasher
    • TV and DVD Player

Now that you have ticked off your pre-travel checklist you are ready to enjoy your family holiday without worrying that you have forgotten things to do before you travel.

Use my pre-travel checklist before you travel.

Please share this on Facebook.
Just hover over the picture and use the blue F button

What’s on you before travel checklist?

Welcome to #TheWeeklyPostcard

Join in and share your travel experiences

Toddlers On Tour

About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen − 7 =

8 thoughts on “Stave Off Anxiety with a Checklist Before You Travel

  • Kreete

    I love lists! I am always making lists for almost everything: things to blog about, what to buy from the grocery store and always before a trip. I have one coming up in a week so it’s great timing with this post. Love the pictogram in the beginning too! I have been planning on doing these, but it has always been too much of a hassle ha! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject

    Great checklist Sally! I never travel anywhere without a list, as I like to have everything I need for the trip packed and ready to go. I don’t like to waste time trying to source a particular item at my destination when I could be relaxing or exploring 🙂

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    I’ve had a Packing Checklist ever since I was a kid going on sleepovers at my friend’s house. I had not updated it until long after I was married, and my husband teased me that “Money” and “Clothes” were in the Optional section. As my kids have grown, it’s been nice to permanently delete Diapers, Stroller, Crib and Carseat from the list. I do need to make a home prep checklist. It’s nice that my thermostat is connected to the internet so that I can at least turn off my air-conditioning with my phone app if I forget to do it before I depart.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      I had a chuckle at the money and clothes being optional – of course as a teen going for a sleepover I can understand why they started there.
      It shows how you have to continually tweek your packing lists to meet your changing needs eg. removing the prams, nappies and car seats (things I enjoy not having to pack now as well) of course that does mean that new things are now on the list lick more games and electronic toys.