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We’re a team of seasoned one-bag travelers here at Below7, and when it comes up packing for an overseas trip, we’ve learned a thing or two about what to pack (and not to pack). The same applies for what to do before you embark on a major overseas experience. We have a checklist of what to pack, and then there’s a checklist of things that you’ve got to take care of before setting off on an adventure abroad because the last thing you want is that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something important before leaving the country!

Here are 7 important things to remember one month before leaving for your travels:

  1. Make sure that someone you trust knows your travel plans, and can help deal with emergencies in your absence. You may want to entrust your set of keys with them while you’re away
  2. Let your credit card issuer know when and where you’re traveling to, so you can avoid having your cards suspended, or receive unexpected charges while you’re away
  3. Make sure that nothing important will be expiring while you’re away, e.g. passport, ATM card, credit cards, etc
  4. Suspend your mail delivery or have it forwarded to a rented P.O box if you’re embarking on a longer trip
  5. Suspend or cancel ongoing services like newspaper, magazines, gym memberships and so on
  6. Do you have a fur baby? Make arrangements for their care whilst you’re gone
  7. Get on the front foot of your finances and schedule payments of any bills that might come up during your trip. Switching to online, automatic payment options can make this easier

Here are 7 important things to remember one week before leaving for your travels:

  1. Confirm your reservations, including accommodations and other bookings. Especially with smaller B&Bs, be diligent in checking that you do have a place to sleep when you land!
  2. Set your house in order: clean your toilets and anything else that’s prone to ‘growing stuff’ when you’re not around. Chuck out your garbage.
  3. Check your fridge and pantry for food that could go off while you’re gone.
  4. Turn off all the taps, on washing machines, sinks and anything that could leak if it’s unattended. You could even consider shutting off the house water supply entirely to foolproof this.
  5. Check all your doors and windows to make sure they’re secure. Garage doors can be locked by using a large bolt through one of the tracks. If you have an alarm system, notify them that you’re traveling and give them the details of a trusted contact in case of emergencies.
  6. Unplug things you don’t need (not just turn them off). This means your gadgets will be safer and more rested – and you also save on electricity while you’re away. With that being said, you could also leave some energy-saving lights on a timer, which gives the impression that your home is ‘occupied’.  Adjust your thermostat settings and check or replace the batteries.
  7. Last but not least, water your plants… and hope for the best! If you’re gone for a longer period, ask a trusted friend or family member to drop in to keep them alive. Remember to leave them instructions.