Whether you’re a frequent traveler or it’s your first trip, getting ready for a trip can be stressful. There are things you can do the day before your trip that can make a big difference in minimizing any last minute panic or chaos, and help you start your trip on the right note. Here’s what you should do the day before your trip with Gate 1 to prepare.
If you haven’t already packed your bags, you should do so now rather than waiting until the morning of. You don’t want to pack in a rush and forget essential items. This also gives you time to pick up anything you may have forgotten or refill prescriptions for essential medicines. You should also lay out anything that you need on the day of travel (such as the clothes you plan to wear, IDs, plane tickets, etc.) and leave a note next to your bags to remind you of any final things to grab or do in the morning. Check to make sure your luggage dimensions and weight fit with your airline or other transport restrictions.
Call your bank and credit card company
If you’re traveling internationally, call your bank and credit card providers to let them know about your travel plans. Otherwise, you risk having your debit and credit cards declined and flagged for fraud when you try to use them, leaving you unable to access to your funds until you can resolve the issue with your bank or credit card provider (which can be more of a hassle when you are abroad). Also make sure you have enough credit on the cards you plan to use, and that you have some cash on hand for initial travel costs.
You may be spending a lot of time at the airport, on the plane, or otherwise in transit. Make the most of that time by making sure your electronic devices, including phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, and cameras, are fully charged. Charge up any spare batteries and portable battery packs for charging on the go. Many airports have charging stations these days, but you don’t want to have to rely on being able to find one when you need it. Don’t forget to pack the chargers before you leave, and make sure you bring an appropriate adapter if you are traveling internationally.
Download and backup content
Download any books, movies, shows, and music to keep you entertained on your plane ride, in transit, for the beach, or otherwise during your trip. Also download any apps that you might want on your trip, such as apps for navigation, transportation, and translation. It’s also a good idea to download any maps you might need onto your phone, in case you don’t have convenient or affordable access to the internet or you don’t have a signal while on the road. This is also a good time to back up your phone and any other devices with important content such as photos.
Double check your itinerary and reconfirm everything
Run through your itinerary to make sure everything is in order, and that you’ve booked everything you need (such as flight, accommodations, transportation, tours, attractions, restaurants, etc.) for the right dates. Reconfirm everything you can, so there are no unexpected last minute surprises, like an overbooked hotel or cancelled tour. It’s also a good idea to print out all of your travel information, itinerary, a copy of your passport, and confirmations if you can, or at least write down any confirmation numbers and contact information somewhere easily accessible. Also leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member.
Check in online
Most airlines allow you to check in within 24 hours of your flight. Do so as soon as you can. For some airlines, this is the first chance to select your seat so the earlier you can check in, the better the options. Even if you preselected seats, double check that they haven’t changed on you, especially if you are traveling as a group, or see about seat upgrades. Make sure your name is spelled correctly on your boarding pass. If you’re expecting to use the TSA Pre-check lane, make sure it shows up on your boarding pass. Print a copy of your boarding pass or download it to your phone.
Check the weather
You may have already checked the weather while planning your trip. Check the weather again just before you leave to see if there have been any changes that might cause any flight delays or affect any planned activities or what you should pack and bring with you. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a sudden storm, like a blizzard or a hurricane. Also check the weather forecast at home for your return, in case you need to pack anything extra for when you get back.
Prep your home
Prepare your home for your departure. What you need to do depends on how long you are away, but typical items including cleaning out your fridge, running the dishwasher, taking out the trash, doing the laundry, adjusting your heating or air conditioning, closing windows and blinds, and unplugging appliances. If you have a home security system, let them know that you will be away. Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail or have the post office hold your mail. Pay or schedule payments for any bills that are due while you are away, and reconfirm any arrangements you’ve made for your pets or plants.