June 24, 2024
Trip Preparation Guide

Shutdowns are easing, and now is the perfect time to consider visiting destinations you’ve always wanted to see. But, between booking your trip and ensuring your suitcase has everything you need to enjoy it, trip preparation can get complicated.

This travel and vacation preparation guide covers how to prepare for a trip more effectively so you can get as much out of it as possible. Keep reading to find a trip checklist you can use for your next adventure.

Travel preparation checklist

Regardless of how you travel, checklists will help you remember everything you need to do and pack. Consider keeping separate lists for each type of travel and prep. Preparation will be a breeze regardless of whether you’re driving or flying or the length of the trip.


1. Research your destination

Destination matters, and the best places to travel are the ones you want to visit the most. Researching before you book a trip will help you get the most out of your dollars and days.


When traveling to a larger city, research information about different neighborhoods, including destination-specific travel guides and crime statistics. Identify major points of attraction such as historical landmarks, theme parks and museums. Make sure there’s something for each traveler in your group.


If you’re traveling to a more rural location, check out regional events like parades and festivals and plan your trip around those. Consider finding a largely self-contained neighborhood if you want to reduce driving.


Your research should address the following:



Transportation options

Best time of the year to visit

Travel insurance options

Local customs

Prices for accommodations

You may also have personalized needs like accessibility or dietary restrictions. Find out if your destination can accommodate those. Similarly, review the purpose or goal of your trip and confirm that you can accomplish it at a price point you can afford.

Create a budget that leaves room for unexpected expenses

Creating a budget for your trip will help you travel without harming your financial goals. In most cases, you’ll need to consider at least the following expenses in your budget:


Transportation costs (flights, gas, rental cars, rideshare, etc.)


Meals and tips



International cell phone plans

Because travel can be unpredictable, it’s wise to create room in your budget for expenses you don’t expect. That will allow you to continue enjoying your trip, even if it costs more than you thought it would. These costs can include:


Currency conversion and foreign transaction fees

Baggage fees

Hotel taxes

Emergency medical and travel expenses

Check your existing credit cards for travel deals, including discounts or cash back on travel expenses. It’s also worth mentioning that some of the best travel credit cards offer built-in insurance for travel-related purchases you make with the credit card.

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