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What are your “two weeks before you leave” steps?

I leave in two weeks and have done this enough times to know what I need to do. Just curious what others do.

Posted by
440 posts

Print my master packing list, make seasonal adjustments, gather whatever has been scattered, replace whatever has been lost or broken, test pack the carryon bag and the personal item. Then I leave everything alone for a few days so the review and repack is fresh.

Posted by
128 posts

Reconfirm taxi to airport...stop newspaper delivery...notify credit and debit cards for travel dates...charge
electronics to 100% and make sure cords are packed...re-read my Rick Steve's travel books...reconfirm hotel
reservations...start watching weather etc.

Posted by
9409 posts

Wildly seek things to do to keep me from going nuts. I pack 5 days before departure and get a manicure and a pedicure 3 or 4 days before departure. Also, download entertainment for the flights to my iPad.

Posted by
2089 posts

Yeah, maybe should sort out some things to do...pick out some tops...get my suitcase out of the garage...order some foreign currency at my bank...remind myself when life gets annoying, “in 2 weeks you’ be in____”

Posted by
1421 posts

Check the fall travel weather and make adjustments for layers. Turn credit cards on or off. Get very wistful about home and spend time doing favorite things to stay busy.

This trip, within the last 2 weeks, I found a great book about my destination (Alice's Piano, set in Theresienstadt) and read like a fiend to finish it.

Posted by
5286 posts
  • Review credit card statements and make sure checking account will have sufficient cash for bill autopays (cards + utilities + insurance.)
  • Review non-autopay expenses (property tax, estimated income tax) that must be paid before trip return; prepay as needed.
  • Move money into travel (ATM) account.
  • Refill prescriptions to have enough for trip + 10 days. Set aside in carryon.
  • Try on travel clothes -- dry clean/ launder/ hem as needed. Put in/on suitcase (for reconsideration based on T-1 weather forecasts.)
  • Reconfirm accomodations including special check-in arrangements as needed.
  • Request airport assistance (wheelchair for big airports.)
  • Make sure SIM card still works and reload "bundle." Take SIM back out and store it in money belt to be reinserted on T-1.
  • Start eating up perishable food in refrigerator.
Posted by
3925 posts

Procastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate and then pack the day before.

Posted by
5286 posts

@JC that works, too. I'm usually tweaking my suitcase the night before -- or day-of. Most of the items on my checklist are things I forgot to do on prior trips.

Posted by
9409 posts

Ohhhh, LauraB, yes! Eat up that food! We also make a couple of batches of soup and chili and freeze 4 or 5 meals for consumption the first few days after we get home.

Posted by
2284 posts

Stop mail
Alert credit cards
Purchase international phone plan (either the daily fee one or the limited data one, depending on needs for that trip)
Start trying on clothes to see what goes together, shop if needed
Double check flights again (times because sometimes they change, confirm seat assignment, allergy meals)
Reserve airport parking (mine offers a big discount if you reserve ahead) or decide if I’d rather take a cab.
Check logistical things like plug adapters and camera memory cards. Buy if needed, or just make sure I know where they are

Posted by
5817 posts

Two weeks before I leave? I do nothing, I’ve got two weeks!
I might have thought about buying some new clothes if that is necessary and I sort out travel insurance as soon as I book but that’s about it. Nothing else starts until about a week before.
I know everyone has a different approach and I’m not judging but I don’t really understand the obsession with packing, practise packing etc. It seems like such a lot of time and effort for not enough benefit. Just think what else you could do with that time! :-) But everyone is different and some people seem to get as much pleasure out of the preparation as the trip so good luck to them!

Posted by
3977 posts

Two weeks before travel - absolutely nothing.

A week before, get my prescription pills ordered. Fill up the car with petrol to get us to the airport. Make sure everything is washed that I want to take. This never works, as the day before travel, my husband always finds something that he needs washing! Make sure we have enough sun tan lotion and toiletries.

The day before travel, iron and pack. Charge batteries for laptop, iPads, iPhones and kindles and download some new books. Log on to the DVLA (UK driving authority) and print out licence details for car hire. Set the timer for lights to come on in the house whilst we are away. Move the car that we don’t take to the airport forward so that no one can get into the garage doors whilst we are away.

Posted by
1421 posts

Laurel, great idea to make up some soup or chili before traveling. Wish I'd have thought of that before this trip!

Posted by
2680 posts

Given that I typically start my vacations from the office on a Thursday afternoon, I definitely start my prepping 2 weekends before. As travel is often on my mind I generally have my clothes hanging in a separate closet given they are usually from a season other than 'now'. Starting the 2 weekends before I deal with reconfirming all lodgings, decide what foreign currency I need, start minimizing what cards will be in my wallet and scanning them for reference to the cloud. Charge batteries for electronics, sorting and packing cords, cleaning binocs and camera and gathering relevant supplies for them. Ask neighbour to keep an eye out for property, checking inside every 4-5 days to keep insurance valid. No longer any need to call bank or credit cards, and bills are autopaid. Weekend before is often a mani pedi, test pack for weight and size. Leave packed everything but the final items for the makeup bag and clothes. Email details of travel and contacts to kids. Night before, pack clothes and make up bag, suitcase moved down to door.
I do a big cook on Sundays for several lunches and dinners anyway so I ensure more are in the freezer for when I get home, as I never allow myself a spare day to recouperate or regroup. I am generally back to work day after arrival home.

Posted by
3980 posts

I'm loving the idea of preparing post-tour meals ahead of time, and freezing them. It seems obvious now that someone has mentioned it.

Last year my dad put a quart jar of homemade stew in the fridge for us to find when we got home. Heaven.

Posted by
2680 posts

As I do go to work the next day, as well as prepping food, I ensure I have adequate laundry done and arranged beforehand so picking work clothes the next morning is a no brainer. I need all the prep I can beforehand to get through those jet lagged days once home.

Posted by
5633 posts

Stop newspapers, mail.
Send itinerary and copies of passports to our family.
Make sure we have enough of our RX meds. Get vacation lift from insurance if too soon to refill. Check on any OTC meds I need to buy.
Check to see if I have enough concentrated laundry soap from REI. If not, buy a small bottle or pour in two 3oz bottles.
Check updated packing list, adjust for possible weather.
Contact the credit card company that wants foreign travel reported to them, done online. (Main travel credit card does not want it reported).
Reserve a few meals abroad for when we first arrive.
Book airport transportation, driver.
Check in on airline reservation!

Posted by
2794 posts

Procastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate and then pack the day before.

Why so far in advance:-) We usually pack the morning of our flight.

As far as 2 weeks before goes, most important things (bank accounts, credit cards, tourist information) have been done well before. I just make sure all such things were actually done.

Posted by
1507 posts

Wildly seek things to do to keep me from going nuts.

LOL Laurel, that's me!

Besides that, I take many of the similar steps that others have mentioned - notify credit cards (mostly done online now), set up international phone plan, start paring down the perishables in the fridge, finalize packing list, put in hold mail request with USPS. I am a list maker, so about two weeks out is when I start the list of things to do on the day of departure so I don't forget - things like: wash dishes, run disposal thoroughly, put out trash, double check windows are locked, set furnace to vacation mode, set up light timers, turn off hot water heater, charge batteries, set up phone for overseas (disable background apps, reset data counter), download e-books and other documents.

Posted by
3355 posts

Ryan, here’s our list.

To Do List before an International Trip

  1. Obtain local currency (Euros) ahead of time from our bank to avoid transactions when we have jet lag.
  2. Notify banks you’re traveling.
  3. Switch wedding bands. Store my ring at the bank safety deposit box. (I have a cheap band I wear when traveling to replace my sentimental ring.)
  4. If traveling separate from my husband, have him not be using the same credit card as me while I’m out-of-country.
  5. Make sure I have plenty of my meds for the time period.
  6. Replace batteries in my small flashlight.
  7. Load an Amazon Fresh order in my on-line queue to trigger a grocery delivery after we land back home at the Seattle airport.
  8. Print Google maps for all locations - train station to hotel; highlighted spots for activities .
  9. Print a copy of all credit card statements to have proof of which hotels are paid ahead. Sometimes, Chase notifies me, but it was just an authorization check - not money removed.
  10. Print an itinerary summary and a train travel summary with Reservation codes. ICloud folders for train tickets, too.
  11. Wash my clothes a few weeks ahead to make sure I’m not allergic to the laundry detergent.

I had to add #11 this year. I returned home from our recent trip to find that I’m allergic to the unadvertised change made to the Tide Original formula. So fortunate this didn’t happen until after we were back home!

Posted by
3925 posts

Why so far in advance:-) We usually pack the morning of our flight.

In order that I can check for any extra and unneccessary items my wife may have sneaked in and remove them in the morning before we leave ; )

Posted by
9409 posts

Load an Amazon Fresh order in my on-line queue to trigger a grocery delivery after we land back home at the Seattle airport.

Wish we had THAT option!

Posted by
440 posts

Ah, all those household prep steps that others have mentioned are unnecessary for me. My dear wife does not travel.

Posted by
3355 posts

Bogiesan, my husbands travels with me for most trips, but I also take solo trips. Everything I listed above except 7. Set up an Amazon Fresh delivery, still applies to my solo trips. In fact, for a solo trip, I have to create a short list of things that he will want as a reminder while I’m gone, plus purchasing a nice card for him that he will find while I’m traveling.

Posted by
70 posts

Trial pack and weigh luggage to accommodate carry on restrictions. Repack, take out a couple of things, weigh luggage. Rinse repeat.

Posted by
13930 posts

I'm leaving 18 days in Greece on Sunday morning. I got the suitcase out a few days ago and threw a bunch of stuff on the guest bed and then I closed the door! Opened it this morning and spent the day alternately doing unrelated "stuff" and packing, almost done. The hard part was deciding what clothes to take - right now it's hot and humid, but in a couple of weeks, it may (I'm hoping) cool off.

I have lists, lots of lists. And a cupboard in the guest room is organized mostly for travel items (bin for day touring/hikes, bin for overnight/hotel room stuff, etc. ) Tomorrow I run errands and buy food for the next 4 days and something to put in the freezer for when I get home at 3.30 am. And I just booked a walking tour in Jerusalem for the day after I return.

Posted by
1524 posts

We leave this Friday for Greece, so today I had my tires changed over from summer tire to winter tires because, thats right you guessed it, we have a high probability of snow by the time we return at the end of October. Ha! I bet I’m the only one here who had to do that!

Posted by
3925 posts

I changed the AC in the car from 16.5c to 17c yesterday but considering today is forecast wall to wall sunshine I may have to drop it back again.