The Top 7 Things People Forget to Do Before they Travel

Travel is back and booming in 2022! According to a survey by American Express travel rewards, about two-thirds of consumers say they plan to travel more in 2022 than in 2021—even with increased airline issues. That means more crowds at airports, more tourists boosting the global economy, and…more travelers making avoidable mistakes. 

Clicking the buy button on your coveted airline ticket might be the highlight of your year, but it never takes long before the stress creeps into the elation. What do we pack? What if the weather is awful? What if we miss our flight? What if there are snakes on the plane?! 

It’s a lot to think about, but fear not. Below are our top seven things people forget to do before they travel. Check these off your list and you’ll be ready to sail into the sunset, stress-free.  

  1. Check the weather

It’s one thing to fly off to sunny Los Angeles or the snow-covered alps, but you should always check that the temperature’s planning on cooperating. Scan your weather apps and 10-day forecasts before you leave and pack accordingly. Even one day without the proper clothing can make or break a long-awaited trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy your adventure come rain or come shine. 

  1. Automate email responses

Unfortunately, most of us can’t completely separate our work from our phones any more. However, you can prevent your work email from pinging all throughout your trip. Take a moment at the airport to set up an automated “Out of Office” email response that lets everyone know you’re on vacation, but you’ll get back to them when you return. 

Pro tip: Turn off notifications for your work email and any messaging apps your workplace uses, like Slack.

  1. Inspect all suitcases

Suitcases are a part of traveling most of us take for granted…until we get to the airport and a wheel breaks! While the status of your suitcase might be the last thing on your mind, it’s always worth it to give it a once-over before your big travel day. 

First, check those zippers! Nothing can ruin your day like your suitcase flying open as it’s thrown in the cargo hold. If using a lock, ensure it’s TSA compliant. Next, make sure your suitcase wheels are intact, the lining is solid, and that its measurements and weight fit airline requirements. 

  1. Put back-up essentials in a carry-on

If you’re going away for a lengthy trip, you’ll probably end up checking a large suitcase (or two) and bringing a small backpack on board with you. Ideally, your checked bag will arrive at your destination right alongside you—but that isn’t always the case. In the event of a lost or delayed checked bag, make sure you can survive with what you have on you. 

Pro tip: Wrap up a small bag of toiletries, all essential medication, and one day’s worth of clothes in your carry-on bag. Better safe than sorry!

  1. Look up the electric situation 

Chargers are a frequently forgotten item amongst travelers, but for international voyagers, your most important piece of cargo isn’t actually a charger—it’s an adapter. Outlets and charging ports drastically differ all over the world. Even if you remember all of your chargers, you need a place to plug them in. A quick Google search will tell you what adapters work best for your destination and where to grab an affordable one. 

Pro tip: Universal adaptors cost a bit more, but they work for multiple countries’ electrical plug styles. Traveling across Europe? Carrying a single universal adaptor is far less of a hassle than packing a bunch of individual plug adapters.

  1. Triple check documents

“What’s the worst thing that could break down at an airport?” is a bit of a million dollar question, but it’s certainly worth examining—especially when the answer is something in your control. Delays, cancellations, crowds, and overpriced food are par for the course, but nothing feels worse than making a document error. As soon as you book your trip: 

  • Triple check the dates of your flights
  • Make sure those dates match with any hotel reservations 
  • Make sure your ID passes TSA requirements

That last one is essential. It’s one thing to arrive a day late because you booked the wrong flight. It’s quite another thing to miss your trip entirely because your passport expired. 

Pro tip: Many countries actually require that your passport be valid for 6 months beyond the date of your trip, and some airlines won’t let you travel if your passport expires within that period. Renew early! Renewal can take up to 11 weeks

  1. Sign up for a mail forwarding service or virtual mailbox

Your mailbox might be great for day-to-day mail, but it’s just not big enough to take on weeks of letters, ads, and small packages that shouldn’t be stuffed in there to begin with. Plus, what if you receive an important financial document? Or a valuable package? With an overflowing mailbox, there’s no guarantee your items are safe.

We know you don’t want to spend your vacation worrying about your mail—no one wants their mind on tax forms when they’re scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef! 

Pro tip: Try out the services of Traveling Mailbox. We provide a secure, reliable vacation home for your mail through our mail forwarding service. 

With Traveling Mailbox’s virtual mailbox, your mail is forwarded from your address to one of our physical locations. Every time you receive new mail, we’ll scan the outside of the envelope, send you pictures, and wait for your instructions. Junk mail? We’ll shred it. Standard mail? We’ll forward it. Important letters? Our trusted team can open them and scan the contents for your ASAP. We can even deposit checks on your behalf or forward your mail straight to you—even internationally. 

Heading out on the trip of your dreams? Give Traveling Mailbox a try. We’re happy to lovingly babysit your mail in our virtual mailbox while you enjoy time with your friends and family.