Pre-Vacation Checklist

Kohala Coast

While we’re in between holidays, I thought we’d revisit this blast-from-the-past post with a checklist of what to do before going on your Hawaii vacation. We’ve refined the list a bit to make it even more useful. I’d really appreciate you’re input,, too. So, please comment to add your checklist items.

I wrote this checklist while I was recently in-flight while all the “going away” preparations were fresh in my mind. Preparing to go on vacation can be stressful, but hopefully this checklist will help you stay organized and calm.

Prep yourself and your home before you go away

  1. Check and pay your bills.
  2. Take out trash – so that you don’t come home to a smelly home.
  3. Wash dishes – don’t let ick grow in your sink or dishwasher while you’re away
  4. Hold your mail or arrange for a neighbor to collect it daily while you’re away. For US Postal Service customers, you can very easily arrange for your mail to be held by the post office while you’re away, and then redelivered when you get home, at
  5. Put your newspaper delivery on hold.
  6. Check your calendar for any appointments that you may have accidentally scheduled during your vacation. Also check for any special occasions like upcoming birthdays and anniversaries that you normally acknowledge with a gift or card.
  7. Set your heat or air conditioner on a more economical temperature; as there’s no need to waste and pay for that energy while you are away. For example, we usually set our heat to 62 and our air conditioner to 82 depending upon the season.
  8. Do you have a pet that needs to go to a boarder or friend? Make plans well in advance for these situations.
  9. Check your prescriptions. Do you have any that will run out while you are on vacation?
  10. Make sure you’ve got your health insurance card and that you know where to go in case of an emergency. I once had an emergency in Maui that I describe here. I didn’t go to an approved provider and had to jump through some hoops to get reimbursed for the expense.
  11. Notify your credit card company that you will be traveling to Hawaii to prevent your card from declining payment under fraud suspicions.
  12. Call your alarm system company to let them know you’ll be away. Provide them with any of your temporary telephone numbers.
  13. Charge your mobile phones, iPods, mp3 players, laptops etc. Don’t forget to bring the chargers with you.
  14. Verify your hotel booking. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other significant event, let the hotel know. They may upgrade you or provide an amenity for the occasion.
  15. Print or otherwise electronically store your travel details such as car, hotel, tour confirmations.
  16. Research and print directions from the airport in Hawaii to your hotel and/or bring your portable GPS navigation system, if you have one.
  17. Determine the parking situation at your hotel. Can you self park? If so, where is the parking? What’s the valet charge?  It’s best to know your choices before you arrive.
  18. Pack your suitcases. Here’s my handy dandy Hawaii packing list. .

Prepare for your flight

  1. Check that your flight is still scheduled as planned. Sometimes when you book through a third party, you are not directly informed when a flight is either canceled or has a departure time change.
  2. Check your seat assignments on the airlines website or by calling them. If you have a bad seat assignment, your chances of finding a better seat improve within 48-hours of your flight; as frequent fliers with elite status get upgrades their exit row seats become available.
  3. Plan your in-flight meals. Most airlines don’t offer any free food in economy/coach class. Non-alcoholic beverages are free, though. So plan or prepare snacks and meals.
  4. Though you’ll be headed to the warm temperatures of Hawaii, the in-flight air might be chilly. So, bring a light sweater or jacket for the flight. Be prepared by reading our recommendations for what to wear on the flights to Hawaii.
  5. Make sure you have your prescription medications packed in your carry-on baggage in case you need them in flight or your checked luggage is lost. Make sure you are hydrated before you get on board.
  6. Plan to keep yourself entertained on your flight. It’s a long way out to the middle of the Pacific. Most airlines offer some sort of in-flight entertainment, though you will need to either bring your own earphones or purchase them on board. Bring books, puzzles, magazines, music, movies to watch on your iPhone, iPod or laptop to keep entertained in case the in-flight system doesn’t work or you don’t care to watch the movies they are showing.
  7. Create a little flight necessitates and comfort kit for the long flight. I shared my own list of necessities when flying to Hawaii.
1 comment
  1. great post and tips Sheila!

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