Leaving town for the holidays? Make a list. Actually, many people have some of the more common lists covered (who's naughty and nice, who to send cards to, etc.) A list that is particularly valuable for me is my "don't forget to do this stuff."
Some things on my list include the following:
|Arrange for pet sitter||Adjust thermostat (lower in the winter, higher in the summer)|
|Leave check for pet sitter||Turn on "out of office" reply on email|
|Stop newspaper delivery||Change voicemail greeting to let people know you're gone|
|Hold mail delivery (you can do this online in the US at www.usps.com)||Pay all bills (or schedule them in online banking)|
|Bring garbage from kitchen garbage can to outside can||Print out itinerary and confirmation numbers|
|Check weather forecast for where you're going and pack appropriately|
If you're traveling internationally, ensure you have:
This is just a sample of the things on my list, and we end up adding things to it every time. For example, 2 trips ago, we forgot my 7-year old's suitcase in her room; now, everyone must put their luggage by the front door and we double check that everyone has their bag before we leave the driveway. Last trip, I forgot my Blackberry and we almost missed our flight because I needed to go back and get it (it's also my phone).
Don't have a list? Here is a great online travel checklist, organized as a timeline - this provides a really good place to start.