Pre-Travel Essentials, What Do You Do Before Departing?

Literally every person, I have ever met in Canada, outside of Canada, around North America, in South Korea, Australia, Costa Rica and even Ireland. We all have our own pre-flight routine before traveling, anywhere.

This does not matter whether the person is about to drive to seven hours to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, or head down the highway to the coast for an extended weekend, or catch a fifteen hour flight to a foreign destination, every traveller has a routine that they stick to.

Travellers, every single one of us has a pre-trip ritual which allows us to pack our bags, clean-up your house for when you return and prepare ourselves for whichever method of transportation you have  chosen to complete your travels.

A few years back, randomly I was wandering around inside a stationary gift store awaiting the arrival of my wife at a local coffee shop before we went out. Its rare for myself to be “eye-shopping” in a store but that’s what happened on this day, and it must have been kismet because I came across the perfect travel gift for her.

It was a flip pad with a list of 20-essentials of travel. It was the perfect accompaniment to her style of travel. It had a short list of things someone required to pack. And each line item had a tick box once it was completed. Plus there was a small section at the bottom for personal comments. Like ‘don’t forget comb’ or ‘take out the garbage’ or ‘pour out the milk’, there are literally thousands of possible choices for personal comments.

This one little item changed how she packed her essentials for travel and honestly it made travel with her sooooo much more peaceful. It granted her the opportunity to jot down all the items she always thought of last, or would remember once we were in the car on the way to the airport. Since its purchase she’s used it for overseas trips to Ireland, Cuba, and Mexico. As well as for road trips to the Okanagan Valley, Yellowstone National Park and Montreal.

The list gave her peace of mind over the following items;

  • Travel docs: passport, driver’s license, tickets
  • Funds: cash, credit cards, foreign currency 
  • Clothing: pj’s, base layers, mid-layers, top layers, shirts, pants, skirts, socks 
  • Footwear: boots, sandals, high-heels, track shoes 
  • Toiletries: deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shower gel]
  • Other: sunscreen, makeup, lip balm 

There are a million little things that people decide on when they are getting ready for a trip but what are your essentials. I’ve learned from years of traveling overseas to always use the tried and true simple saying to remind myself to pack lighter and lighter:

Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) 

That is correct, all I have to do is think KISS this, or KISS that. Heck sometimes I just SHOUT IT OUT at my luggage:-“hey don’t forget to keep it simple stupid!” At first my wife will roll her eyes and think that I’m hollering at her, like I’m off my meds or something. Then she’ll realize that I’m actually just talking it out with my luggage. Sounds a little crazy for Cocoa-Puffs, if you know what I mean… And its true. I’m actually talking it out loud to myself reminding myself hey man, you got this. Your gone for 10-days in Ireland and you’ll need 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of pants.. no man, no pants, a couple long sleeve shirts… no man base layers.. use layers… yeah that’s it. KISS it! 

Here is a list of 10 tried and true, pre-travel essentials to complete prior to departure from home

  1. Clean your home top to bottom at least 24 to 48 hours before departure.
  2. Take out every trash bag in your home. The one under the sink, in the office, in each bathroom, in the kids rooms, in the laundry room and those pesky cans sitting in your garage to rid your home of anything that could potentially mold or smell awful when you return home.
  3. Leave a couple of candles on the night side tables with a lighter. Something you’ll really enjoy. Fire them up before you take that shower and blow them out just before you pass out.
  4. Clean your bed sheets the day before you depart home. You’ll thank yourself when you arrive home covered in travel fatigue. You’ll take a shower and climb into those fresh scented sheets and nighty night friend.
  5. Be sure you water your indoor plants one more time before you leave. They’ll thank you as will the person whose looking after your home.
  6. Be sure you have made arrangements for your pets, cat, dog, fish, or other which needs to be attended to, whilst you are out galavanting around.
  7. IF, you are having someone look after your home leave them a $25 Gift Card to the local coffee shop. They’ll be extremely happy YOU were thinking of them prior to your departure. And your home will be SPOTLESS when you return.
  8. ALWAYS go to bed at a decent hour prior to traveling. If your an 8-hour kind of sleeper be sure you are tucked into your sheets at the right time. Nothing worse than a cranky traveller.
  9. Wake up early enough, to feed yourself at your own home. Nothing worse than spending your hard earned funds at the airport for a $4.99 hard boiled egg when you have already paid for 12-eggs sitting in your own refrigerator.
  10. You Got This… this last one… this is just for you..
    1. When you arrive at either your transfer destination or your first destination, go to the nearest coffee shop and buy yourself a treat. That’s right. Time to SPOIL YOURSELF as you my friend are traveling and you need your ENERGY NOW!!!