The Essential Last Minute Travel Checklist For Families

Are you ready for your trip? Don’t leave anything to chance. Dive into our comprehensive travel checklist, ensuring every detail is checked off for a worry-free and unforgettable adventure. Let the preparation for your next escapade begin!

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ELECTRONICS

laptop, cell phone, camera

Download apps – Have the apps for services that you plan to use such as airline, accommodations, directions, audio tours, destinations, and sites to visit.

Download maps – Have maps downloaded to your device. This is helpful if you plan to be in a remote area. It’s also helpful in case you run into connectivity issues.

Download media – Perfect for the airport, books, movies, music, etc.

Charge electronic devices – It seems impossible to travel without them, so make sure they’re ready. Don’t rely on the airport or airplane to charge them.

Confirm that devices are rated for voltage in the country you’re visiting – Most devices now are dual rated for the higher voltage, but check before you leave in case you need a replacement.

Research/decide on purchasing a local sim card/international plan – Find out what international plans are available through your local carrier or if purchasing a sim card once you arrive at your destination would be better (see section local sim card/international plan)

AIRLINE AND RESERVATIONS

airport corridor

Check in online for airlines – For families flying economy this is crucial. If you haven’t purchased seats, this can help ensure that your family is seated together. It also makes the airport experience a bit easier.

Verify reservations – Check, check, and double-check flight times, terminal numbers, and dates. Make certain that you have the correct information for accommodations and that any deposits or payments have been made and cleared. Also verify times, dates, and locations for tours or excursions.

PACKING AND LUGGAGE

packing for travel

Count your bags – This is especially helpful for families. Going through the security and check-in process, as well as boarding and deboarding a plane can get hectic real quick with kids in tow. Know how many bags you have ahead of time so that you can do a quick count when needed.

Check luggage size requirements – Check with all of the airlines that you’ll be using to verify that your checked luggage, carry-on luggage, and personal items (if you get one) meet the size and weight requirements.

Go over clothing to verify that you have what you needYou usually don’t need as much as you think, but verify you have what you need. Also be prepared for any special occasions, excursions, etc.

DOCUMENTATION

Proper consent/documentation if both parents are not traveling – If both parents aren’t on the trip research ahead of time the type of documentation and consent forms that you’ll need to travel with your child.

Verify all travel docs – Make sure that your passports are up to date (see the section on Passports). Research all travel requirements regarding any other documents such as visas or vaccinations that are needed. If you are renting a car, be sure that your driver’s license is up to date, and bring it. 

passport for travel

Make copies of all travel docs – It’s good to have two copies of your travel docs, a paper copy and a digital copy. The digital copy can be stored somewhere that you can access from anywhere, such as Google Drive.

HOME

Attend to utilities – Depending on where you live what time you’re traveling and how long you’ll be gone, you may want to shut off the water and/or turn down your thermostat

Have someone check on your property – Also depending on how long you’ll be gone. Arrange for someone to stop by a few times to check that everything is in order.

Arrange lawn care – If you’re going to be away for more than a week, this is very helpful. Keep your lawn in order and prevent any citations.

Stop your mail delivery – This can be done easily online to prevent mail from accumulating. You can have it delivered when you get back or schedule to pick it up.

Arrange pet care – You may have someone pet sit or take them to a facility.

FINANCIAL

Determine how much currency is needed – Don’t take it for granted that you’ll be able to use your card everywhere. In some places (major cities included), you’ll be surprised at how many vendors are cash-only. 

euros needed for travel to europe

Have a plan to get local currency – Most banks will let you purchase foreign currency at your local branch, but that may not be cost-effective. If not, plan to use an ATM and confirm that you will have access to the location that you’ll be in.

Contact banks – Familiarize yourself with any fees for ATM usage or making purchases with a debit card. Also, alert your financial institution that you will be in a foreign country. Confirm that your fraud alert info is up to date so that you can quickly verify any transactions.

PLANNING

Have a plan to get from the airport to accommodation – Being tired and jetlagged is not a good time to try to figure out how to get to your accommodation.

If there is a language barrier, have the address handy on your phone to show your driver. Check out Google Maps to familiarize yourself with the metro or bus that you’ll need to take.

taking the tube in London when traveling

Check the weather – I love Accuweather’s website. You can check past year’s temperatures and the average temperature for when you plan to visit.

YOU’RE READY TO TRAVEL!

aerial view of Lisbon, Portugal

No matter how much you prepare for a trip, there is always a feeling that you’re forgetting something. This checklist helps make sure that you have everything covered so that you can enjoy your vacation. Now it’s time to make sure that you have all of your travel essentials. Check out this article to find out the must-haves for a fantastic trip!

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Essential Last Minute Travel Checklist For Families
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