Stress-Free Pre-Vacation Checklist



A bolt of excitement runs through your veins while staring at your printed online ticket to another unexplored destination. Each day is a countdown and so is that empty luggage waiting to be stuffed full, moments before the D-day. That was D for departure.

For almost two years now, we have no problem moving from one place to another even at the last minute. The nomadic lifestyle simplifies pre-vacation preparations to zero. Once the logistics are sorted out, we need not worry about anything else. 

Yet, here's the catch. I'd give anything to have a home. Our own home. A base. I'd like to refer to an actual house and not a hotel room when I say to my daughter, "Let's go home."  

When someone asks where I live, I want to be able to write a proper address on registration forms and stop indicating hotel names. This is what happened a few days ago when we rushed our daughter to the hospital for admission when she got really sick. As we were all stressed in the emergency room, I stared at the incomplete  form in front of me.  The address was blank. 

So I pretend for a moment that we do have a home, a house with a yard, a fence and all the basic needs for comfy living. I dream of a time when I am able to book an overseas trip. Here's how I will be preparing for it.


A Tidy Home

General cleaning happens a few days before vacation. I want to come home to a super clean home after a long journey. The kitchen is tidy with an empty and spotless sink. All beds are made so we can lie down and chill before going back to the routine. 

An Empty Fridge

I plan the meals a week before departure based on the contents of my fridge and kitchen cabinets. I know I have succeeded with this task when the fridge is empty on the day of departure with the least items stored on the overhead shelves. This ensures nothing expires and there is zero food waste.

Pet Accommodation

We used to have a cat. There was one time when I asked our neighbor to feed him during a three-day emergency business trip.

In Dubai, there are cat and dog hotels (cattery/kennels) looked after by a veterinarian(s). So soshal I know!  The pets each have their own chamber with a play pen. I pre-book a cat accommodation prior to our vacation so I'm worry-free while we're away.  Read more: Pets in Dubai  Read more: What You Need to Know for Expat Pets in UAE


Conserving Electricity

All appliances are unplugged except for the fridge. We usually leave the refrigerator outlet on while we switch off the rest in the circuit breaker or distribution board. 

Curtains and Doors

We keep all of the curtains closed while we're away. All windows are closed and doors are locked.


Empty Garbage and Recycling Bins

All trash bins are empty and I make my way towards the recycling station to empty our recycling bins.


An Empty Laundry Hamper

I know the laundry piles up after a trip. In order to avoid unnecessary stress, I want an empty laundry hamper after a tiring flight. 


Security System

Technology makes our lives much easier. If you're planning to go away on a holiday and you are considering to install an effective security option, you should take a look at SimpliSafe. They have a wireless security system you can check out here that protects your home while you're away. Having worked in the design industry for many years, going wireless is definitely the way to go. It's hassle-free and easier to install. While you're there, check out more tips and helpful pre-vacation checklist.


How do you prepare before going on vacation? 
What are your tips for a worry-free travel?

Love & light,
Arni


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28 comments

  1. That's a pretty comprehensive infographic for someone who doesn't have a "home"! Are you living and working in Dubai right now?

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    1. Thanks Christina. No, we left Dubai for good last year and we live in the Philippines.

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  2. Wow, I have a home and that list is really going to be helpful for when I prepare for our next trip. I hope all turns out well with your daughter and you are able to bring her home from the hospital- where ever that home maybe.

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    1. Thanks Christina, I am relieved my baby girl is now all well and I hope we do finalize on a house we'll be happy in soon.

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  3. A vacation is a time to chill out and enjoy a worry free time. So it makes sense that you plan well before hand so that your vacation does not become a sour experience. Your checklist is really practical and sensible.

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  4. Impressive tips from a responsible traveler. Great advises for safety and even to avoid wasting money. Thanks. I am currently in Abu Dhabi, though as a bedspacer, I consider it my home.

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    1. Hello Louiela :) Oh UAE is close to my heart, you have no idea how happy I am to read and learn that you're there in Abu Dhabi. I remember the days when I shared the hall with other expats in Dubai and it was my home then. After a long day, the space is ours alone.

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  5. Wishing you a happy home soon! You seem well prepared for a holiday keeping your home in good condition. i follow most of these myself but never kept a check list. Now I have a ready made one from you. :)

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    1. Thank you Indrani. We just found one and we look forward to moving in soon.

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  6. the simple security is a good way to organize. never heard of this.
    Anyway, that's my problem as well, the address. As time passed by, I used my parents address for emergency case and important matters. This is a problem of a nomad yeah! hehehe..

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    1. Yes :) like you, we have been using my parent's address for a while for admin purposes. Being a nomad has its perks.

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  7. After travelling for 1 year, I have the same daydreams as you - sometimes I crave nothing but to be in my own bed in my own home. But you have it planned a lot more thoroughly, good luck, I'm sure you will find or make a home when the time is right

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    1. You captured it well- ah our own dream bed. yes, I am imagining a memory foam mattress with 300+ thread count sheets and memory pillows. :) Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  8. Very detailed list here. Definitely useful in planning your vacation. I might use this checklist as well in the future. With this, you will be worry free during your entire holiday.

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    1. Thanks JM..my obsessive compulsive side just keeps coming out. lol I'm crazy about checklists.

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  9. I can relate a little bit about not having an address as I was technically homeless in the 2 months that I didn't have work. I just crashed my friends' places. It was okay, but nothing beats having your own place of course.

    I don't have that many appliances save for a rice cooker and an electric fan. When I go away for a vacation, I just unplug everything that's it. But you got some great tips here sis.

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    1. Thanks Marge. How's life in your new apartment?

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  10. This is the first time I came across your blog and I wonder why you move a lot? Anyway, that's a good pre-vacation checklist. :) In my case it's my mom who does all the checking when our family plans a vacation. It must be exhausting in a way because you have to check every appliances, clean out the fridge and all that.

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    1. Hi Kat, the nomadic lifestyle was a big decision my husband and I plunged into when we quit our old corporate life in the Middle East. We started to move around to look for our ideal home. Our initial plan was to be a nomad for 6 months which turned into a year and a half. We're now itching to settle much longer in one place.

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  11. Luckily there's not much work on my end, which makes it wonderful since travel happens quite often for me. And my lovely trainer takes care of Ryon when I'm gone, so it's perfect

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  12. It's great that someone looks after Ryon while you're away. It's much easier to relax when you know he is in good hands.

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  13. This is so cute and such a great checklist!

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    1. Thanks Ashley. Looking forward to be able to plan a vacation again now that we are finally settling into our new home.

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  14. I hope this finds you and yours doing well. May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at SiteHoundSniffs.com.

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  15. Nice experience. Very inspired for a travel blogger like me. Tks for making this article.

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