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If you’re one of those people that always forget something important before they leave on a trip, you’re probably used to having sudden and painful realizations when it’s already too late, and you’re thousands of miles away from home, on your way to some distant land.

It’s human nature to be forgetful at times, but some people push nature to the extreme by always overlooking significant details. Sometimes, people even forget their passport, only to get to the airport and proceed to enter a state of total confusion.

That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to point out some of the most common things that you should do before leaving for a trip that people often fail to remember. These may sound straight forward, but it’s the most common sense tips we often need reminders for.

Things to Remember Before Leaving – A Guide for Forgetful Travelers

Documentation

Needless to say, it’s very important to have all your documentation with you when you arrive at the airport.  Make sure that you have your passport on you, but also some other form of identification, just to be safe.

It’s not necessary to take all pieces of paper with your name and picture on them, but being safe never hurt anyone. Also, for those trying to travel to the US, don’t forget to print your ESTA.

Many might be confused, believing that since it’s an online authorization, you don’t need to print it out, but you should have a physical copy on you.

This post has some fabulous insight on how you can save in 2017, making sure you’re always getting the best airfare!

Pets and Plants

Owning pets and plants is great because you can have other living things around you at home. However, if you would like them to remain under the category of living things, you should try to remember to talk to someone about watching over them while you’re away.

Your pets won’t last for very long without food and water, so you need to either hire a house sitter or ask a relative or friend to do it. It wouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes of their time each day to feed the animals or water the plants.

Mail and Subscriptions

Before leaving you should call any subscriptions you have and let them know that you’re not going to be out of town. The reason for this is because otherwise, you will have a lot of mail piling up in front of your door, as well as packages that remain unclaimed.

Not only is it a direct invitation for strangers to just come and take your boxes since they’re lying on the front porch, but it also signals a red flag to thieves that no one’s home and the place is good for robbing.

Alternatively, you could ask that friend or neighbor also to pick up your mail since they’re heading over to feed your cat anyways.

Hold Your Memberships

Hold your gym, carpool, zumba or any club memberships that you make monthly payments to. This is to avoid accumulating monthly payments when you come back from your long term travel.

Imagine racking up 3 or 6 months of monthly payments for your club memberships that you didn’t use.  Ouch!

It’s the worst feeling in the world when you remember that you forgot something important, so take the time to handle these things way before you prepare to leave.

That way you can dedicate your full attention without being pressed for time, and you can make sure that everything is set.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Letters by Charles Williams.

    14 Comments

  1. What I really hate is paying for internet, cable tv and a few others while I’m on long term travel…

    • Agree with you there – the best way to avoid that is to research accommodation etc before leaving, and confirm that internet, cable, etc is free 🙂

  2. Yes, it is so easy to forget these things! I take about 6 to 10 flights per year and no matter how hard I try, I often forget something. This serves as a good checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten!
    P.S: I have been sharing your posts via Triberr for some time- I decided it was about time I commented on a post!

    • Hi Bryan, thanks for jumping onto our blog, and glad to have been connected on Triberr – love the community there 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the post – they’re pretty straightforward tips, but even though I travel a lot, I find this makes you feel a false sense of security, and when you think you’re a pro you too often fall into a trap of forgetting the basic things!

      Happy travels!

  3. It is so very important not to be swept away with the euphoria of travel and stay grounded. There are so many mundane things that need to be taken care of. You have done a nice job of calling them out clearly. Of course, the prime importance we give is to documentation, as that can put all your plans in jeopardy if not managed properly. Also taking care of the house during our absence is something we want to focus more on.

    • Absolutely Sandy & Vyjay – I find that even as we grow more experienced in travel, we fall into a false sense of comfort sometimes, and thinking we can get prepped for a trip in our sleep, means we start missing and forgetting things.

      Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  4. I can totally associate myself with this post as I am a very forgetful person. I always tend to forget something or the other. Infact nowadays I am almost used to those sudden panic attacks of remembering what I forgot. Taking proper printouts is something which I really tend to forget. Although I would love to have pets at home, the only reason I don’t let myself have a pet is because I just can’t be at peace knowing that my pet is under someone else’s protection. I am such a paranoid person.

    • Hi Tania, I think printing out lists might really help you, what to pack, what you need to do before hand etc. And that way, knowing that you’ve crossed everything off might help with the anxiety and panic attacks once you’re at the airport 🙂

      Totally agree with you on the pets – that’s why we don’t have pets either.

  5. I always have trouble finding someone to watch my plants, so I have limited my plants to succulents 🙂 I also love the top of pausing your membership. I’m going to start doing that for my gym membership.

    • My plants always died, so I stopped keeping them! And I totally didn’t think of the membership tip until I got home from my first trip, to a bunch of automatic payment receipts, and realized what a waste of money it was lol!

  6. These are all great tips. I sometimes forget that these things have to be done; I’ve been living away from my home country for nearly four years and don’t have to do most of these at this point in time. Definitely agree with the subscriptions, though as it would suck to pay for something if you’re not even using it.

    • Thanks Laura! I find that even as we grow more experienced in travel, we fall into a false sense of comfort sometimes, and thinking we can get prepped for a trip in our sleep, means we start missing and forgetting things.

      I totally didn’t think of the membership tip until I got home from my first trip, to a bunch of automatic payment receipts, and realized what a waste of money it was lol!

  7. I use to forget things prior to my trip and end up messing everything. I agreed to the point to pause any subscription before leaving for trip otherwise amount will haunt you like anything.

    • Happens to the best of us! Sounds like you’re all over your checklist now though 🙂 Happy travels!

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