International Travel Checklist – Tasks and Tips

Let's go on Adventures - Travel Checklist

There are many tasks that you will need to preform before your travel departure date. Home owners, renters and parents traveling with kids can all understand the need for a travel checklist. We refer to a checklist before setting off on any trip, whether its a packing list or a to-do task list before departure.

Listed below is a broad version of our personal international travel checklist. These lists will cover the needs of round-trip travelers like homeowners or renters. Of course, if you travel full-time, solo or without kids, you will want to amend the list to suit your needs.

Travel Checklist

Checklist for International and Domestic Travel

2-4 months before departure

  • Get a Bank card that doesn’t charge ATM fees. Start this one early as it can be time consuming.
  • If traveling internationally, find a carrier that covers international roaming
  • Check which of your credit cards charge No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Set up electronic bill pay
  • Find a pet sitter

I also recommend taking a look at the 15 Essential Things to Do before Traveling Abroad List by the Savvy Globetrotter.

1-3 Weeks before departure

  • Hide jewelry, computers, cash and/or other valuable items
  • Arrange for a friend to move your car if your city fines for street sweeping or lack of vehicle movement.
  • If packing a laptop, move files to the desktop for access without WiFi like movies, docs, or spreadsheets
  • Arrange for a neighbor to pick-up your mail and keep an eye out for suspicious activity
  • Arrange for someone to water plants
  • Provide dates of travel to credit card companies.
  • For bills that are not paid electronically, make sure to send advance payment
  • Get enough destination currency to get you to your accommodations or a decent ATM

24-hours pre-travel checklist

  • E-Check In and/or seat upgrade
  • Bottle and freeze extra meat, fruits, and vegetables for soups, green drinks or smoothies for use upon return.
  • Bottle and freeze milk, yogurt, juice for use upon return
  • Make sandwiches and healthy snacks for travel
  • Download YouTube videos
  • Take out the recycling, compost and landfill trash
  • Move your car if your city fines for street sweeping or lack of vehicle movement.
  • If your carrier does not cover International roaming, turn off roaming
  • Test security cameras and point towards access points
  • Lock sheds, washrooms, back houses, etc.
  • Water plants
  • Lock windows

Day of Departure

  • Lock refrigerator ice/water panels
  • Turn off ice cube maker
  • Consider lowering the water heater temperature
  • Set alarms
  • Unplug certain electronics like computers and external hard drives
  • Turn off heat or air conditioning
  • Close curtains or blinds and all doors in the house

Upon Arrival

  • Get a local SIM card
  • Get local currency

Upon Return Home

  • Thaw the milk. I LOVE that I don’t have to go grocery shopping straight after returning home from vacation. If you like milk for breakfast or in coffee, it will be ready with 24-hours and wonderfully cold.

International Travel Checklist

Carry-on Necessities Travel Checklist

We tend to travel fully carry-on or at least mostly carry-on when we travel. If we remember to pack the following items on the ‘General’ list, our travel will go well, at least for the parts we can control.

Carry-on – General

  • Computer or handheld device with downloaded Videos, movies or books
  • Books or eReader
  • Refillable water bottle multiplied by number of travelers
  • Thermos – optional for bringing coffee on the plane and keep water cold in travel
  • Sandwiches and snacks
  • Headphones
  • Hard drives
  • Socks for cold feet or TSA shoe removal requests
  • Cover up, jacket and/or blanket or shawl
  • Travel pillow
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Straws, fork, spoon and cup to avoid plastic onboard.
  • Chemical-free soap and other toiletries for use during air travel
  • Reusable Bags and/or extra folding folding zip-up bag if I need to shift weight at the gates.

Carry-on Bag if traveling with a Toddler / Baby

  • Change of outfits for parents and children
  • Pacifiers (if used), lollipops or such for landing / take-off
  • A dozen small toys tied with ribbon, books, stuffed animals
  • Snacks
  • Books, games or reader
  • Bottle (if used)

Carry-on Bag if traveling with older Kids

  • Change of outfits for parents and children
  • Lollipops, xylitol gum or such for landing / take-off
  • iPad and/or computer with downloaded YouTube Videos, movies or books
  • Books, puzzle books, or eReader
  • Cards
  • Refillable water bottle multiplied by number of travelers
  • Sandwiches and snacks
  • Headphones
  • Media hard drive
  • 2-way or 3-way spliters to allow kids to watch movies at the same time
  • Socks for cold feet or TSA shoe removal requests

Items I Often Forget

  • Corkscrew or beer bottle opener
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suits
  • Hats
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Lipgloss
  • Moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant

Now, I did not include things like phones, cameras or glasses on any of the travel checklists because obviously you wouldn’t forget those items! I probably did leave out something important beyond my usual bottle opener or toothbrush though, so if you see something missing, please let me know in the comments.

Have a wonderful journey! – xo Bar

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