Before You Leave

Maybe I’m just an OCD list lover, but does anyone else make lists of things to do before they leave on a trip?  I’m not talking about a packing list… I’m talking about the list of papers to print, things to arrange, etc… I keep an open list on my phone for about a month before I leave so I can check off and add things to the to do list when they pop in my head.  Here are a some of things I write on my list to check off before I go anywhere.

  • Create a to pack list: We all have that moment during the day where we think, “oh, I need to remember to pack xyz.” Just have a list (yes a second list).
  • Create a travel folder: Print color copies of your passports, travel itinerary, any confirmations you receive, travel insurance, etc… I also make a copy to leave at my house with my mother.
  • Notify your bank: I learned this the hard way. I was once on a road trip and used my card in two different states and then did an online purchase where the transaction was processed in a different state, which led the bank to shut down my card.  Go by your bank a few days before you leave and let them know where you are going and if you need to remove any limits on transactions.
  • Safe deposit box: This may be my insurance background going into overdrive, but I’ve always kept a safe deposit box that holds important documents and when I travel I let the bank know to give access to my mother and/or husband if something were to happen to me. I keep car titles, my husband’s adoption papers, birth certificates, our will, and copies of life insurance documents.
  • Insurance: I make sure whoever is watching over my home knows who to call if something were to happen to the house and claim needed to be started. I also make sure that whoever is watching my child has a copy of my health insurance card.
  • A will: If you don’t have a will and you have a child at home, get a will before you leave on your next trip.
  • Alarm: I always call my home monitoring company and give them the number to whoever is watching or staying at my home while I’m gone so that if it gets set off, that person is immediately called. Also make sure this person knows your password and alarm code.
  • House keys: Again, we learned this the hard way. We returned home during a power outage and our garage door wouldn’t open and my mom had already left to return home… with our house key.
  • Medical: If you have a child at home, make sure you leave a notarized document granting a certain person the right to make medical decisions for your little one while you are gone.
  • Pay your bills: You don’t want to return home to your water being shut off because you forgot about it.
  • Take out your trash: You don’t want to return home to a stinky garage or kitchen.
  • Cash to tip with: We always carry an envelope with enough bills in small denominations to cover tipping.
  • Car maintenance: If you are going on a road trip, have your vehicle looked over for any issues during the oil change prior to leaving.

What are some things you make sure are done before you travel?

Road Trip Through Waco


Last month I headed to Houston for a summer visit.  My niece wanted to come back with me so we decided to take a little detour through Waco to visit the beloved Silos at Magnolia Market that serve as the background to one of our favorite shows on HGTV.

We checked in to the Hilton in Waco, which I must say, was just top notch.  The price and location was great.  We arrived a little early but they said we could go on and check in.  It is right across from the river and suspension bridge.  You cannot beat the location, which is why I can’t wait to return for a football game.

We headed out to the Silos the next morning so we could be there right when the doors opened.  Our hotel was right by the trolley pickup but it was a nice morning so we opted to walk.  We got there about 10 minutes before the doors opened and there was already a line, but don’t worry, once the doors open it moves quick.  It was a Saturday so it was a bit a crowded.  We had a hard time being able to look at stuff and considering we had a stroller for my son, that made it even tougher.  Had my husband been there, he probably would have stayed with my son out on the lawn to play games until we were done.  We made it to the merchandise area and grabbed t-shirts, hats, and coffee mugs.  There will be a line at the bakery but just do it, it’s worth the wait.  I let my niece play with my toddler out on the lawn while I got the cupcakes.  The lemon lavender was like having a unicorn do a little dance in your mouth.  On our next trip, I’ll probably try to go on a weekday so I can browse some of the home décor.

We then headed back to the hotel to unwind before we hit the road again.  We took a nice stroll on the bridge to get some great pictures.  I also wanted to read all the monuments because I’m a history nerd.  Apparently though, no trip is complete without a stop at In and Out Burger so we had to try one.  I confess, it was delicious.

So, if you get the chance and are doing a road trip through Texas, just take the time to stop off and visit Waco.  You can get a night’s rest and visit a couple things the next morning and still be on the road by lunch.  Also, if you are driving through the town of West, Texas which is just about 15 minutes or so north of Waco on I35, stop at the bakery there call Little Czech Bakery. I always stop to get cookies to bring back.