Pre-Travel Tips to Make the Most of Your Vacation

hand with pen checking a map near coffee for pre-travel tips

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The following pre-travel tips is a guest post from Laurie Larson.

Planning a trip is always exciting. You’ve got a lot of things you want to do, and you don’t want to waste a second of your time away from home. The key to making it to all of your activities isn’t racing about from one thing to the next, it’s putting in the prep work before you even leave.

Here are some pre-travel tips to help you make the most of your time on vacation.

Make a list of what you want to do, and what you HAVE to do.


When you’re planning out a list of activities it’s helpful to force rank. You want to be able to say “I really want to go see this museum” and “I don’t necessarily need to eat at this restaurant.” Ranking your activities into theses two simple buckets of need-to-do and would-like-to-do will help you feel more satisfied with your trip.

Sorting activities in this way will also help you prioritize time with friends or important events if this is a business trip. Know where you need to be, know where you’d like to be, and then chart a course.

Make sure you get enough sleep.


The last thing you want to do is go into your trip with a sleep debt. The average person loses about an hour of sleep by default from their flight, so rest before that happens.

Getting enough sleep will ensure that you have the energy to make it to more of the places on your list. Plus, you’ll feel better at each one of them. Collapsing on the hotel bed isn’t really what you booked your flight for, so make sure to keep that to a minimum.

Adjust your internal clock.


Getting your internal clock set where you need it to be before your trip can give you a lot more energy when you get there. The goal here is to get your body used to the timezone you are traveling to in order to reduce jet lag.

Try setting your alarm clock closer to the destination timezone by about 15 minutes or so each night. Slowly moving your bedtime and alarm each day will help you gradually acclimate and maintain healthy sleep before leaving your timezone.

Make reservations.


A lot of folks forget that places they are going will often take reservations, and many may require them. Even if your plans change, making reservations will anchor your trip and keep you moving through your checklist of things to do and see.

Most reservations don’t have a fee associated with the cancellation, but that’s worth checking on a case by case basis.

packing or backpacking gear



We all go to great lengths to avoid packing too much, and this usually entails not packing enough. While it can be easy to pick up toiletries and personal items at your destination, clothing and personal tech are a lot harder to get your hands on if you realize you need them.

The best way to ensure you bring just enough is to make a list of the things you are bringing and check it against the list of things you want to do.


Planning for a trip is more important than you might think, even if you already thought it was important. The work that you put in before you get on the plane is going to pay off tenfold when you touchdown. You’ll feel rested, prepared, and equipped to make the most of your time wherever you are.

Related: Get a Pre-Travel Checklist here

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