Earlier this spring I decided to post a series of travel checklists. If you missed it, be sure to check it out to learn a little more and view my to-do list for 8 weeks prior to travel.
More than anything, I am simply sharing my own trip prep in an effort to help others and hold myself accountable. Admittedly, there was one thing on this list I hadn’t completed until I started writing this post. Stop mail. It takes two seconds and is so easy- I don’t know why I procrastinate so much completing that task!
4 weeks before a vacation is when I start to get really excited. I honestly love the planning almost as much as I do the actual trip. At 4 weeks out, the trip is starting to seem within reach. It usually appears on my kitchen calendar and the kids start counting down. With about a month until the trip, there are lots of things that can be checked off the list to help you get more organized.
Travel Checklist: Things To Do 4 Weeks Before Your Trip:
- Complete Prior Checklist: Is there anything on the 8-week list that you haven’t completed yet? If so, stop reading this post and do it!
- Car Appointments: Did you make an appointment to get your oil changed, your tires rotated or any other maintenance done on your car? Now is the time to follow through on those appointments! Don’t wait until the last minute because you never know if they will uncover unexpected work. For example, a few years ago I was told I needed new tires for my car about 2 days before a trip. Unfortunately, we ended up paying more for tires that were in stock verses taking the time to order the ones we really wanted.
- Packing List: This is a great time to start a rough draft of your packing list. You will first want to outline the number of days you’ll be traveling. I usually start by planning our clothes for each day based on what we’ll be doing and then add in all of the extras (underwear, pj’s, socks, etc.) It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the weather and any special needs you might have during the trip. For example: will you need church clothes? Is there going to be a hotel pool or anywhere to swim? What kind of shoes will the family need for various activities? And I ALWAYS plan for the possibility of rain- just in case!
- Evaluate Suitcases: A month before your trip is also a great time to locate and check your suitcases. Unfortunately travel can be hard on suitcases. Check your luggage to make sure it’s still in good enough condition for your upcoming trip. I also like to use this opportunity to talk over our suitcase plan with my husband. Over the years we’ve done a few trips well, and a few trips pretty poorly when it comes to luggage. And often my expectations for packing are different than Brent’s. 4 weeks ahead of time gives you plenty of time to figure it out and make purchases, if necessary.
- Order Tickets: You will want to check with all the different places you plan to visit. Often when you purchase tickets ahead of time online, you can receive a discount. You may also want to check Groupon for any discounted activities or restaurants in the area where you’ll be traveling. We’ve found that by doing our homework ahead of time, we can save a little bit of money. One of our go-to options is CityPass. We typically save up to 50% off combined prices for admission to must-see attractions! Additionally, you will likely be able to avoid lines and save yourself some time.
- Print Everything: I like to make a list of all the places and addresses where we plan to stop. This might include everything from hotels to attractions. Of course, it’s something you can do from the road, but I find it to be so much easier when I have it consolidated in one place. Not to mention, we occasionally run into areas with no service. It’s nice to have a go-to cheat sheet for all of your trip information. This would also be a good time to print out any medical information you might need to travel with.