Use our basic travel checklist to avoid troubles

Free Downloadable Travel Checklist So You Don’t Miss A Thing!

Listen, I did zero things on any of our checklists the first time I left the country. I packed my bags, showed up at the airport, and somehow got to Ireland and back. 

Since then, I’ve learned a lot. And that is why we have so many travel checklists.

This is the perfect travel checklist for three months to three weeks prior to a trip.

There are a few items on here, like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, that take at least a few months to acquire, so plan accordingly.

We joke that this website is built off of our mistakes. But more than that, we’ve seen the people in tears trying to push through security who didn’t budget enough time. The person who can’t get their phone to connect in a remote area or new country. The person who lost their one and only payment method. We’ve seen a lot, and so much of it can be avoided with some planning.

Having a travel checklist, or five, can calm your mind and keep your trip on track.

I’m only partially kidding about the five checklists.

Do you have to do everything on every list? No. But reading through a few of them can save you time, money and headaches.

These travel checklists are all found in this planning section of the website.

Start here: Comprehensive Travel Prep List. This will take you through almost any scenario.

If you want just essential items, read 13 Essential Travel Prep Tips.

Read 19 Simple Steps to Prep Your Home for Vacation for all things home-related.

The checklist below is filled with basics. It is also in a downloadable format you can keep right on your computer desktop or print off to store somewhere handy. 

Don’t forget to share this with your travel buddies by hitting the share buttons below! 

I run through this list 2-4 weeks before a trip.

Air Travel

  • Read: Beginner’s Guide to Plane Travel (even if you have flown before!)
  • Consider TSA PreCheck 
  • Create accounts for the airlines you’ll be flying 
  • Download apps – set up notifications 
  • Check luggage rules for all airlines 
  • Know the basic TSA rules 
  • Check-in 24 hours before the flight 
  • Get a digital boarding pass 
  • Leave ample time to arrive, park/get dropped off, check bags and get through security 
  • International Download Mobile Passport control 
  • Consider Global entry


  • Download transportation apps: public transport, ride share, etc.
  • Buy a local e-Sim (I)*
  • Buy a portable battery bank
  • Download hotel apps
  • Download mobile ticket, booking or event apps

*for international travel, downloading a local eSim (or buying a sim card) is often cheaper than the plan through your carrier


  • Check bag dimensions and weight if you are flying
  • Separate your liquids if you are flying carry-on, otherwise pack them in your checked bag
  • Check weather 1 week prior and pack appropriately

Car Travel

All Travel

  • Read our in-depth “Travel Prep” blog
  • Double-check all reservation dates
  • Prep your house for being away
  • Register your trip with the State Dept if traveling out of the country
  • Purchase travel insurance
  • Get a travel-specific credit card
  • Bring cash – $100 minimum
  • Check expiration dates on passport or state ID
  • Read all contracts (look for hidden fees)
  • Download all apps you might use
  • Learn key phrases in the local language

Travel better! Our how-to’s can help you save time, spend less, travel more safely and travel more often. You got this!
Dream and discover. When the world gets smaller, your heart and mind grow bigger. Get inside the travel stories that move us.
We work with brands and individuals. Travel coaching, marketing and writing are our sweet spots!