Vacation Planning Checklist

Now that it’s officially spring, I’m getting vacation fever. What about you? With the warmer weather and tax refunds in the mail, now is the perfect time to finalize our plans for a great summer trip!  Well, today, I’ve got a checklist to help you through the process of planning, preparing, and even packing for an awesome summer vacation. By simplifying the process, you can be ready to go relax and make the most of your summer.

Summer Vacation Planning Checklist


This checklist will get you started on your vacation planning and preparations. Use this as a starting point and add other things to the list that fit your individual situation, such as family size, pets, and your destination. And remember, the sooner you start planning, the better!


At least 1-3 Months ahead

  • Plan your budget. Start saving now, if you haven’t already.
  • Research your destination options. Use travel guides and online websites. Be sure to not book anything yet, until you’ve finished your research.
  • Decide what type of vacation. Consider the types of activities your family enjoys, such as sightseeing, beaches, mountains, cruises, city life, or a combination.
  • Decide exactly when you’re going and verify with all your family members.
  • Request vacation time from your job.

At least one month ahead

  • Look for special deals on flights, hotels, or special tour packages. Book as soon as possible for the best rates. Before booking, however, research and check online reviews. Make sure the companies are legitimate before giving credit card numbers! Keep all reservation documents together in a file.
  • Plan activities for your trip. Start early and try to get discounts on tickets for tours, shows, amusement parks, and other special attractions.
  • Be sure to plan some relaxing activities for your trip so you don’t go home needing a vacation from your vacation. A good balance will probably be best for everyone!

At least three weeks ahead

  • Make kennel reservations for your pets. Do this as early as possible, especially during summer vacation season. They get booked very quickly!
  • Shop for clothes, shoes, and other essentials for your trip. What you need will depend on your activities, but don’t wait to the last minute to buy things such as hiking gear, camping equipment, walking shoes, backpacks, luggage, or your kids’ vacation essentials.

Two weeks ahead

  • Get your car serviced, especially if taking a road trip. This includes oil changes, tire pressure checked, fluids checked and filled, and other car maintenance. Check your vehicle’s manual for more details.
  • Get all prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, toiletries, batteries and chargers for camera and other electronics, and other miscellaneous for the trip.
  • Verify your reservations with your hotel, airline, and rental car company.

One week ahead

  • Do all laundry and iron clothes for your trip.
  • Pay all bills that need to be paid before leaving.
  • Ask post office to hold your mail.
  • Ask neighbors to water your flowers, if needed, and keep an eye on your house. Also, give them your cell phone number, in case of emergency.

Two days ahead

  • Fill up your car’s gas tank and get car wash.
  • Buy snacks and drinks, especially if traveling by car.
  • Get cash out for the trip.

The day before

  • Take pets to the kennel.
  • Charge your cell phones and electronics that you and your family are taking.
  • Make sure you have everything you need to take.
  • Make sure everything is packed except for last-minute things.
  • Put all luggage and miscellaneous in one spot and ready for the next day.
  • Make sure the house is reasonably tidy.
  • Have an easy dinner or take-out the night before leaving.

Day of your trip

  • Finish packing.
  • Do dishes and take out the trash.
  • Load up the car.
  • Close blinds and curtains and make sure everything is turned off.
  • Leave one or two light on. A better option is to have lights on a timer.
  • Make sure all family members haven’t forgotten anything such as luggage, things for the car ride there, wallets, tickets, reservation confirmations, medications, or anything else, depending on your family’s needs.
  • Lock doors!
  • Have a great vacation!

Trip Planning



I hope you’re organized and ready for an awesome summer vacation! Please let me know in the comments below how your vacation plans are going! I’d love to hear all about it!

Be sure to check out my previous posts for packing for a summer trip and packing essential beauty products for your trip.

Till next time, have a wonderful day and a fantastic vacation!

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