After more than a year of not being able to travel, we may be feeling a bit rusty about getting back into the swing of things. Many of us are determined to travel to make up for lost time and to nurture our weary souls from what has been a dreadful year. Now more than before traveling requires some level of planning to make sure we are both safe and comfortable. Question is how do we get started?

Whether planning a series of short trips or a long trip, we all need to plan and prepare with some care because sometimes things will go wrong, regardless.

Below is a checklist that I have put together to help me think about my travel plans for now and in the future.

Step #1. Check all of your credentials to make sure that whenever you decide to travel, your passport is not six months away from expiring. Also make sure your driver license is updated  if you plan to be on the road or renting a car. Make sure you have a vaccination card for if you plan to travel internationally.

Step #2  Now we can decide how many trips your planning to take this year (or can afford) and what is the timeframe for those trips. For example, I’m planning three trips; one for two weeks, the other two one week each. I chose the months of August and October.

Step #3  Where do you want to go and by when? (most likely the hardest step). If planning to travel internationally check to see that those places have minimal restrictions or a visa with specific health requirements.  Travelers should check with the State Department for vaccine requirements since decisions are changing on a day-by-day basis. Find the latest travel and health restrictions for your trip by connecting to Use their interactive map to discover COVID-19 test requirements, quarantine protocols, and entry restrictions for anywhere in the world.

Step #4  Decide how much you plan to spend and research the cost of your trip. There are several websites that can help you identify the true cost of traveling such as which allows you to assess the true cost of traveling alone or with someone.

Step #5  Next determine lodging availability before you book the flight. If you plan to book your flight using points, you need to do this as early as possible and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance (better safe than sorry). Trust me.

Step #6  Once you booked your flight and accommodations, you can then research the type of tours and activities you like to do when you arrive at your destination. During high season consider booking your tours or excursions early, including the renting of a car.

Step #7  Depending on how long you plan to travel, you need to manage your home while you are away. Make a list of tasks such as pausing the mail and packages, paying bills, watering your plants or taking care of your pets.

Step #8 Last Step — Packing, regardless of the length of your trip I recommend using my packing list to guide you especially if planning a long trip. Click here for my gratis/free packing checklist.

Bon Voyage and don’t forget to send photos!