The countdown to the airport can make or break your trip. Here’s our complete Pre-Trip Planning Checklist to Help You Get More Out of Your Trip – Right from the Moment You’ve Booked!
Even seasoned travelers can suffer when a normal routine goes a little different. Annual holiday trips with family tend to be far from routine. Here you can find some travel tips.
This is the quickest easiest list we could come up with to make planning your next Royal Holiday simple and easy. You’ll eliminate some of the tips below right from the start – but we’re willing to bet there are quite a few things in our list that you’ll be better off thinking of upfront. Here goes…
1) Upon booking, you should make sure your passport is valid and check the validity of the passports of anyone else traveling with you. In a jam, your local consulate will you usually work with you – if you have a valid plane ticket – but in most cases you won’t need more than about a week to renew an expired passport.
2) If you’ve just renewed carry a couple of those extra passport photos with you. Tuck them in your suitcase. They’ll come in handy if your passport is lost or stolen.
3) Depending on the passport you’re planning to carry, check if you need a visa for any of the countries you’ll visit or travel through. This can actually stop you from boarding planes so it’s important that you secure any necessary visas before departing.
4) If you booked by telephone, your reservation confirmation will be emailed to you. Keep it. You’ll need to present it at the front desk later.
5) If you booked online, your reservation confirmation will be available in the “My Account” section whenever you log into Royal-Holiday.com.
Weeks Before You Go
6) Again, depending on where you plan to go, keep an eye on the news regarding the places you’ll visit. In general, Royal Holiday members travel to the safest and most politically stable places on Earth, but circumstances will change and sometimes they’ll change quickly. The foreign affairs or State Department in your home country will provide the most reliable information with regard to travel safety in the area you’ll be visiting. Memberships services can advise you of any official warnings too.
7) Think about freezing your Credit History temporarily. If you’re very active online, especially, you may consider taking additional steps to prevent impostors and thieves from opening new credit lines or accounts in your name.
8) Pack copies of your passports, visas, credit cards and insurance policies, and leave a second copy with a loved one who will not travel. This can be done early, and copies can be placed in those flat suitcase pockets that are otherwise not good for much.
9) For Travel Insurance, Royal Holiday travelers go with ASSIST Card, offered at annual reduced cost for members. Click here for more on ASSIST CARD.
10) Speak with your health care provider or physician about vaccinations if you are traveling to Asia, Africa or the Middle East.
11) Make sure that you will have enough of any medication and (Important) check that it’s in fact legal to import and carry your supply of that medication in the country or countries you plan to visit.
12) Keep the original labeled containers for medicines you’ll need. If there is any chance you’ll be questioned about it, bring a signed prescription and translations of the names and uses. A letter from your doctor could also be useful.
13) Review your cell phone policy regarding international calling and rates for texting. Most travelers will still disable data roaming but prepaid service and SIM cards are increasingly available to let you stay connected and still keep a handle on costs.
In the Week Before You Go
14) Do NOT announce where you’ll be going on Facebook, Twitter or any online site. There will be time enough when you get back to share photos but for now it is really best not to let the world know.
15) Do let your neighborhood watch, neighbors or nearby family members know you’ll be traveling.
16) Clean out your wallet and pare down what you’ll be bringing. Basically you need a driver’s license and two credit cards. One should be left in the safety deposit box in your hotel.
17) Arrange to have your mail & newspaper subscriptions put on hold. The last thing you need is that sort of stuff piling up on your porch or outside your door. Most postal services have made this a very easy process.
18) Make sure your current utilities – telephone, electricity, etc – accounts are paid up before you leave to avoid any interruptions to service while you’re away
19) Contact your credit card service number. They’ll be interested in where you’ll be and for what dates and it will help to prevent fraudulent charges or the unpleasant freezing of your account for “unusual activity.”
3 Days Before You Go
20) Print your reservation confirmation – either from the My Account section on Royal-Holiday.com or from the Email you received from Membership Services. Keep it with your other printed documents.
21) Make sure your pet-sitters are ready and able to take care of your pets. Make any last minute arrangements now.
22) For special dietary requirements, and depending on the length of your flight, now is the time to alert the airline if you really will need a special meal or similar consideration.
23) Share your travel itinerary and contact information of the hotel with your at-home family member. Usually, this will be the same person who keeps a copy of your passport and credit card information.
NOW LET’S START PACKING
24) First, DON’T pack any unnecessary valuables, liquids or precious family items. They’re better off left at home.
25) Your wallet should be cleaned out by now, and ladies’ handbags too! Take just the essentials.
26) Get your name and contact info inside of there and in a few places – and outside, too.
27) Choose clothes that you’ll be comfortable wearing at least three times without a wash. It might not be everything, but you’ll have some micro fibers, and some cottons that can be air dried. Air drying should keep cottons a little cleaner a little longer than tumble-drying.
28) Pack clothes to dress-down, while still looking formal and presentable. (You don’t want to stand out!) This can be especially important in Muslim, Mediterranean and Latin American countries where you should aim to blend-in everywhere but at the beach.
29) T-shirts are not generally acceptable attire anywhere off of the beach, or away from the swimming pool area.
30) Coordinate colors ahead of time. This should be the fun part of packing and it’s why we’re giving your three whole days! Base colors for pants and shorts and skirts should go with your polos and t-shirts and blouses.
31) For hot locations, it’s really time to get men into looser linen and cotton trousers and ladies into more comfortable and longer dresses. Be creative with your scarves and inexpensive jewelry. In other words – accessorize.
32) Check your supplies and head out for anything you’re missing…
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Insect repellent
- You get the idea. (Fun)
33) Do you need to run out for those giant zip lock freezer and food storage bags, too? Anything that could leak goes in one. Anything that needs to stay dry goes in another. And pack the rest of them, too. Remember that flat pocket with the passport photocopies?
34) Digital cameras and similar gadgets need to be erased and packed with extra memory and batteries in a separate plastic bag.
35) Lastly, layout all of the gadgets and chargers and electrical adapters. Make sure you’re only taking what you need.
36) Now lay everything else out too.
When You’re Actually Packing
37) This part is easy, but too often neglected. REVIEW EVERYTHING and eliminate excess. It’s heavy, it’ll be in the way, and one way or another it’s going to drag you down.
38) Remember. You’ll do some shopping and lots of Royal Holiday locations have FUN, FUN, FUN bargains. You’ll want space to bring new treasures home with you. Your goal right now is two-thirds full at a max.
39) A good iron will help you to crease and fold everything so that it’s nearly ready when you pull it back out. Pay special attention to placing clothing items into the corners of your suitcase.
40) Pack items to be worn first last – and vice versa! Just in case you’ll be pulling things out of your suit case, you shouldn’t be pulling from the bottom.
41) Put socks and t-shirts inside of shoes.
42) Pack everything as tightly as possible – but remember, you should still only be two-thirds full! You want to prevent clothing from moving and wrinkling in transit! Now it’s getting challenging, right?
43) Review and repack your documents, medications and everything for your carry-on bags.
The Night Before & The Morning of Departure
44) The night before get your travel documents, credit cards and valuables into your carry-on.
44) Be prepared to shut off any recurring alarm clocks at the same time you switch off and unplug major appliances.
45) Check and recheck the windows and doors in your home. You’ll feel much better on your trip with a trusted neighbor, family member or friend looking out for you, so make sure you give them a call.
If you follow the above list, we can promise you much more piece of mind no matter where you’re traveling to. Did we miss something in the above? Just let us know in the comment section below.