Before You Go! 10 things to do before you leave for your big trip By

Before You Go! 10 things to do before you leave for your big trip

Traveling to a new destination is exciting, but preparing for an extended time away can quickly become overwhelming. We’ll help you streamline your planning with these 10 helpful tips:

 1. Investigate your destination.

It’s important to know the basics when you arrive in a new city. Prepare yourself for the journey from the airport to wherever you will be staying. Research where you can get a decent meal when you arrive. A full stomach will comfort any weary traveler.

 2. Secure Passport(s), if necessary.

If your destination is abroad, be sure to get on this ASAP! The processing time for passports in the U.S. is approximately 4-6 weeks, but for an extra fee can be expedited to 2-3 weeks. For more details, visit the U.S. Passports & International Travel website.

 3. Find the perfect home to rent, exchange, sit or share.

Start your search today for homes around the world on It’s free to register as a member of our community–and it allows you to save search results, create a list of favorites, keep track of queries, and much more. If you are searching for a specific location, consider creating a home wanted listing for yourself.

Looking for a more cost-effective way to travel? By looking after another member’s house, garden, and maybe even a pet, you will be able to enjoy the comforts of home worldwide. And while free rent is rare, most homeowners will offer reduced rates in exchange for your help. Another option is a home share, which consists of letting a room and sharing your space. Home sharing is a housing alternative that’s both economical and relationship building.

4. Offer your home for rent, set up a home exchange, or find a house sitter

Whether you are traveling for sabbatical, research, or holiday— finding a reliable tenant provides unparalleled peace of mind. is your resource to find responsible tenants worldwide who will pay reasonable rent while you are away.

Have pets? Finding the right home sitter will allow you to leave for sabbatical knowing that someone will care for your home, water your plants, and pamper your pets.

5. Verify insurance coverage with your agent.

Your homeowner’s policy might provide liability coverage if someone gets hurt while in your house, even if they are a renter. There is a Landlord’s Package Policy that might be a better option. This is designed to cover physical harm to tenants as well as damages to your property. It’s probably worthwhile to look into this especially if you plan to be away for a long period of time.

6. Set up online banking & bill paying.

Many banks offer this feature as a convenient way to stay on top of financial obligations remotely.

7. Set up mail forwarding or hold mail service.

In the U.S, it’s as simple as visiting your local post office or

8. Return borrowed items.

Gather and return library books and things you’ve borrowed from neighbors and friends.

9. Inform your friends and family.

Be sure that at least two people who live in different households have your itinerary and contact information. You may also want to leave a copy of your keys with a close friend or relative so they can periodically check up on your place while you are out of town.

10. Arrange your transport to and from the airport.

After all this planning, you wouldn’t want to end up in a rush the day of your big trip. Arrange for a car or shuttle service to transport you to the airport and while you’re at it, secure a ride back home.

What else do you do before you go? We’d love to hear what you think too! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +.