Thinking of going on summer vacation abroad? It’s a big step. When you plan a trip like this, it will not only be for a week. You will need at least 2 weeks to enjoy the beauty and history of Europe. With this kind of vacation, there is so much to plan. And you want to take everything you own. Am I right?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need too much:
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I’m sure you have made a list or wrote on sticky notes of all the things you need to take for your vacation. Am I right? I know it helps me if I either write things down or follow a checklist, I will feel at ease that I know what I am taking with me. And if you are taking kids, you also have to plan to take their things as well.
Preparing Your Home
When you go on vacation abroad, it will be for a long time. And you want to secure your home the best way you can. You’re lucky if you have family close by to oversee your home. But if you don’t, it’s important to prepare your home before you go on vacation. Do you ever plan for the things you need to do before you leave for vacation, like what do you do with the mail while you are away?
tips on securing your home
- Re-route mail
- Close water to fridge water supply (if you have)
- Turn off the water completely
- Turn off the air conditioning
- Secure valuables in your home safe or at a bank safety deposit box
- Make sure all garbage is put to the curb for collection
- Tell your neighbors to pick up your newspapers or suspend it while you are away
- Tell your neighbors to park in your driveway – make it seem someone is home
- Put your indoor lights on a timer
- Put outdoor lights on a timer
- Ask your neighbors if they can water your lawn once in a while – keep grass from turning yellow
- Remove potted plants into the shade or indoors – you stand a chance of reviving them when you come back
- When leaving, bolt the doors, turn your alarm on and quickly go out through the garage.
We have traveled a lot over the years and these tips are all steps we take when we go away. Whether we are going away for a weekend or we are going to Europe, we follow this list of tips.
countdown before you Travel Abroad
6 Months before you Travel Abroad:
- Check if your passport is still valid. Make sure it is at least 6 months valid from the date you leave before the expiration date
- If going to a foreign country where you do not understand the language perhaps learn a few words or sentences. After all, what do you have to lose? For me: I always love learning new things
3 Months before you Travel Abroad:
- Don’t forget to ask for the time off ahead of time before you book your trip.
- Book your trip. Perhaps even earlier. Wouldn’t hurt. The earlier you book, the cheaper your air fare will be.
1 Month before you Travel Abroad:
- make a list of all the things you need for your trip . . . ex. Travel-size shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc.
- speak to your neighbors to see if they could take care of picking up your newspaper from the driveway, etc.
- make plans to reroute your mail
2 weeks before you Travel Abroad:
- plan out your itinerary if you are going to visit different cities on your vacation
- go out and buy the necessities you need to take, for ex: toiletries
- if you don’t already have it, you need to buy comfortable, weather-permitting clothes. As a heads-up, most of Europe is very hot in the summer. Take it from me, you do not need a lot of clothes. Only take cotton-based summer clothes. Keep it casual and take shorts and light shirts or sleeveless.
- Buy comfortable walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking.
- make sure you know how many bags and the weight you are allowed to take on your flight
- Make sure you have a good suitcase. Do not wait until the last minute as I did and find out the suitcase is too big and too heavy along with your clothes. My suitcase was (not kidding) half empty and it still went over the limit. I panicked and went out to buy a new suitcase the day before flying. All that panic and money spent, it would have been wiser to just go with what I had and pay any overage fee if that was the case. Lesson learned. Please take heed. Funny now but then . . . yikes. Can you say “crazy lady”? That was me. But I got two pretty suitcases from the debacle. LOL!!
1 week before you Travel Abroad:
- Start putting together the clothes you plan on taking somewhere in your bedroom. Pack away clothes (like shorts, a bathing suit, tank tops) into your suitcase. You should follow a checklist like the one I have here
- Pack away toiletries – buy travel-size it will fit better in a suitcase.
1-2 days before you Travel Abroad:
- Double-check you have packed everything you need. Go over your list. Make sure all the items are checked. But do not go overboard. Remember it gets very hot in most of Europe. Learn from my mistakes (lol). Pack more shorts, light capris, tank tops, sleeveless tops, etc. Pack more cotton-based clothes (breathable)
So, there you have it. If you follow these simple and easy quick tips, you will be very organized for this trip of a lifetime. There is no doubt you will have an awesome vacation. You will rest assured that your home is secure and you have everything with you that you will need. You will be ready to go back next year.