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Vacation planning checklist

It’s never too soon to start planning for vacation! You’ll discover a ton of things you need to do to make sure your trip both goes smoothly and is as fun as it can be. Here’s a checklist to help make sure you cover all your bases.

children packing suitcases


Before your vacation starts, you’ve got to get where you’re going. Here are some things you need to do to make sure you end up at your destination on time.

  • Book your tickets if you’re flying
  • Print out boarding tickets 24 hours ahead of time and review all information
  • Plan your route if you’re driving
  • Get your car serviced if you’re driving

Tips for super smooth air travel >>

Vacation planning checklist

Vacation planning checklist |

Download our vacation planing checklist >>


The place you stay has the power to make or break your trip. Book as early as you can to guarantee a room.

  • Book your hotel, condo or rental as early as possible
  • Read reviews online to make sure you’re staying in a quality place
  • Call ahead to find out what you do and don’t need to pack
  • Confirm your reservations

Before you go

Your mind may already be on vacation, but here are some things you need to take care of at home before you can get out of town.

  • Clear the time off with your boss
  • Arrange for a house sitter
  • Arrange for pet care
  • Stop your mail and newspaper delivery
  • Request a house watch from your local police department
  • Check with your cell phone provider for coverage and roaming restrictions


You probably have a lot of gear to get where you’re going. Here’s how to make sure it all arrives safely.

  • Practice packing everything a week before to make sure it all fits
  • Mark your luggage clearly with your name and address
  • Give your bags an identifying feature so you can spot them at the baggage claim
  • Check with the airline for size and weight restrictions

Smart packing tips for busy airline travel seasons >>

What to pack

  • Two pieces of identification
  • Climate appropriate clothing
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Chargers for other electronics
  • Camera
  • Video camera
  • Extra memory cards
  • Extra batteries
  • Medication
  • Pleasure reading
  • Snacks
  • Earplugs
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Daybag/tote
  • Stain remover
  • Small first aid kit
  • Small sewing kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Alarm clock
  • Sunscreen

Travel kits for kids: 15 ideas >>

Quick Tip

If you’re planning on taking tours or visiting parks at your destination, check ahead for booking requirements and hours.

More travel tips from SheKnows

5 Beauty essentials for air travel
Top 5 reasons you should travel

How to travel out of the country with your pet

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