Things you must do before making any trip

Have you ever gone on a trip and realized you didn’t prepare enough for it? The excitement of going on a trip can make you rush your preparations and miss out on important things. In other cases, you think you are ready, until you get to your vacation destination and find out you should have done better.

Image of a yellow mini-bus traveling on a lonely tarred road with mountains surrounding it

Whether you are planning a sightseeing experience along the Icelandic ring road or a holiday in the Caribbean, you don’t want to be caught ill-prepared. This article will explain some of the key things you need to do before making a trip.

1. Know your destination

You may have found a social media post about a holiday destination and immediately fallen in love with the location because you love the scenery or simply because you love travelling. You may also have watched an event on your TV screen and couldn’t help but add the event’s location to your bucket list.

Those are good starts, but before you buy that ticket or fill your tank to hit the road, you need to know more about the destination.

Take your time to read about the destination. Here are a few things that you need to know:

Know about the weather

What’s the weather like where you want to visit? The weather reports will help you decide what items to carry along with you and plan your activities during your stay. 

Imagine planning more outdoor activities at the peak of the rainy season or visiting another country during the winter without thick clothing and winter jackets. That’s one way to frustrate your experience.

Know the laws

No one wants to be caught on the wrong side of the law, even as a visitor. You don’t need to know the law like you’re out to defend a client in court. Just know the basic ‘Dos and Don’ts.’ They’ll keep you away from trouble with the authorities and sometimes with the locals.

Know the culture of the people

Some locals will do anything to protect and preserve their culture. You don’t need to like the culture, but you have to respect it while you’re there. Remember, you weren’t invited to holiday with them - you planned the trip.

2. Get the necessary documents

Licenses and documentation are very important when planning a trip. Ensure all your travel documents are complete and valid.

Before making the trip, get permission for any supply that requires paperwork. Immigration laws differ across countries and continents. Don’t make the news for the wrong reason.

3. Make early reservations

Unless you have free accommodation waiting for you at your vacation destination, you need to book your accommodation early. This applies when your trip coincides with a holiday or vacation peak period. 

Festive periods and the summers are usually peak travel periods, and the prices for hotel bookings and Airbnb go up during these periods. The earlier you book your accommodation, the cheaper you will pay for it. 

Another reason to make early reservations is so that you can find accommodation close to the airport or the specific place that you are visiting.  

4. Make a packing list

Now that you have decided to visit that dream holiday destination, you need to make a packing list. Your list should include all the supplies you will need during the trip. 

The destination and season will determine the items that will make your packing list. However, every packing list must contain the following:


While packing your clothing, don’t forget to pay attention to the culture and how the people like to enforce certain dress codes. Pick your clothing according to the duration of your stay, the weather, and the culture of the people.


Your favorite toiletry may not be available in the place you are visiting, which is why you should pack your toilet supplies. Don’t forget that you may also have a unique toiletry need. Make a checklist of your toiletries and tick them off one by one as you pack them.

Medical supplies

Carrying a first aid kit may sound a tad bit nuanced, but you don’t know when you may need it. Your personal medical supply should be at the top of your must-have list, no matter how short you intend to stay. 

Some factors in your vacation destination might trigger your health condition (if you have received a diagnosis for any), and you don’t want to be caught off-guard when that happens. If you have any prescription medication that needs documentation, ensure you have the necessary documents for it.

An extra health safety tip is to write down your health condition and put it in your wallet. This list should include allergies. Also, have a list of your medications in addition to your health conditions. 

Alternatively, you can wear a medical alert bracelet, which is a bracelet designed to provide important information about your health in emergency situations. Examples of medical conditions that may require wearing a medical alert bracelet include asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, allergy conditions, and autism.

Your work and national ID should also be part of your packing list. Write down your blood group, genotype, and a number to contact in an emergency on a piece of paper. Ensure you protect that piece of paper from moisture.

Your devices

Although you may not need to pack your devices before the day of the trip, it is important that you have them ready.

Items like your camera, laptop, and headset should all be ready for the trip. Keep them fully charged the day before your trip so you can focus on having a great experience during your trip. 

5. Plan your To-Do activities before you arrive at your destination

Unless you plan to stay for a long time, you may not have the time to enjoy every corner of your holiday destination. To this effect, you have to plan the important places and things you want to do.

Make a checklist of places to visit in the location and things you want to do when you get there. Rank them in order of importance. Doing this will help you organize and maximize your stay. The checklist will serve as your guide.

Tick them off one by one as you accomplish them. The feeling when you tick off the last place and activity on your list is exhilarating. One important thing about having a checklist like this is to keep you within your budget by focusing on only the important things.

6. Clean up your home before you move

You want to empty the fridge, take out the trash, and ensure you have nothing that will attract bugs and insects left in the open. Do your laundry before you make any trip. You might be too tired or may not have the time for that when you return.

Remember to unplug your appliances before leaving the house. You don’t want to cut your trip short with an emergency call or return to an empty home.

Wrap up

There you have it—some key things you need to do before making a trip. It won’t matter what type of trip you want to make, most of these points will always come in handy.

Triple-check your supplies and documents before stepping out of your house. Leave a not-available message behind and inform at least a loved one about your trip.