The bags are packed and you’re almost ready to go! We all look forward to vacation, but before you head out the door make sure you have everything you need.

Travel tips and checklist

Ready to go? One more check won’t hurt.

Preparing to take a trip can be a lot of work and planning. So, whether you’re traveling domestically internationally, or just a drive away, use our checklist to take some of the stress out of getting ready.

Collect important documents

  • Make sure your driver’s license, passport, and any other forms of legal identification are current
  • Travel-related documents (i.e. – airline tickets)
  • For travel to areas that require it, proof of necessary vaccinations

Get your finances in order

  • Ensure bills are paid or scheduled prior to leaving to avoid any late fees
  • Inform any credit card and debit card issuer about your travel plans
  • Have sufficient cash on hand
  • Download your credit union or bank mobile app if available (i.e. – HawaiiUSA Mobile Banking App)
  • Enroll in account notifications and alerts (i.e. – HawaiiUSA Digital Banking notifications)

Don’t neglect the things at home

  • If you have a security system, be sure to set it before you leave
  • Unplug electronic appliances
  • Make plans for your pets and plants; consider having a trusted friend check in periodically or look into overnight care
  • Turn off your air conditioner
  • Set your water heater on vacation mode or low
  • Remove items from your refrigerator that may spoil while you’re gone
  • Take out the garbage to avoid returning to a smelly home

Will it work where I’m going?

  • If traveling abroad, check with your mobile provider to see if they have international calling and date plans—if unavailable, be sure to turn off cellular data to avoid data roaming charges and look into an internationally prepaid SIM card
  • Some map apps allow you to download local maps of your destination, which may be helpful if your data connection is unreliable or unavailable
  • Check to see if you have enough memory cards for digital cameras
  • Extra batteries always come in handy
  • Make sure to bring chargers and voltage adapters

What’s in your luggage might make all the difference

  • Pack appropriate clothes and shoes for the weather conditions and activities you have planned
  • You may not need to pack as many clothes if you’re able to get access to laundry services
  • Check your supply of prescription medication and refill if needed
  • Consider bringing an extra pair of prescription glasses—or extra contacts
  • Pack toiletries, sunscreen, makeup, and over-the-counter medications; place liquid items in plastic, sealable bags prior to packing
  • Bring a backpack so you can easily carry items when you’re out during your trip
  • Compare what you’re bringing against TSA’s list of restricted items

Vacation budgeting

How to save on your next vacation

Nothing takes away from the joy of going on vacation like the dread of coming back home to a mountain of bills. But what if you could take the vacation you’ve been dreaming about, without being scared about overspending? Here are a few ideas that can help you to save some money on some of the costlier points of going on a trip:

Airline tickets

  • If you have the luxury of planning your trip in advance, search for your tickets early. Sometimes booking your flight weeks or even months ahead of time can bring huge deals on the cost of your ticket
  • Nonstop flights might be ideal, but if you’re flexible with your schedule look into connecting flights to save big dollars
  • Travel light to reduce your number of checked-in bags, so you can avoid paying for baggage fees
  • If you have a rewards credit card, your spending can lead to earning rewards that can be used to book your travel

Rental car

  • Rent only the size of vehicle you need; don’t be upsold to upgrade to a larger, pricier rental if you don’t need it
  • Refill gas on your own before you return your rental

Lodging and accommodations

  • If you’re traveling to a major city, consider staying at a hotel in a nearby smaller city or suburb
  • See if the hotel you’re considering will price match a competitor’s rates if you can find a cheaper per night elsewhere
  • If you have a large group, a single suite might be cheaper than multiple standard rooms


  • Check to see if your hotel offers complimentary breakfast
  • If the room you’re staying in includes a kitchen/kitchenette, consider preparing your own meals rather than eating out
  • Stock up on snacks at a grocery store rather than hotel gift shops


Your escape might be closer than you think: a staycation might be just what the doctor ordered

Maybe traveling isn’t a possibility this year. That doesn’t mean you still can’t treat yourself to some time away from home. Staycations are gaining in popularity and for good reason. You can avoid many of the high-cost expenses of a traditional vacation, for example airfare, while still having the opportunity to do whatever fun activities you have in mind, or maybe even act like a tourist in your own town. Here are some great staycation ideas for your next “not-so-faraway” getaway:

  • Book a night at a fancy local hotel – Ok, yes, this isn’t cheap. And luxury definitely comes at a price. But sometimes it’s worth the extra money to pamper yourself. And since you’re staying close to home, all the money you’re saving on travel expenses can balance things out!
  • Go outside and explore all of nature’s beauty – Instead of seeing things through others’ social media posts, set out for that picturesque hiking trail and make your own memory. Enjoy a day in the sun at the beach. The fresh air and exercise will do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit.
  • A five-star all-day dining experience – Have you checked out that new dinner restaurant getting all the rave reviews? Or what about that extra popular brunch spot you’ve never been able to try? Well, why not plan a food-filled day getting to dine on all the delicious things your stomach has been craving.
  • A day in bed – There are definitely days when the worst sound in the world is the buzzing of your morning alarm clock and there’s nothing you’d like more than to spend the day with your head in your pillow. Go ahead and make that lazy dream a reality. Crack open that book you’ve been looking forward to reading, binge watch that show you’ve been hearing about, order some delivery, and take your day off to the next level.

Need Series: Massage

Add to your staycation with the massage you need

Catch up with Cody and Crystal as they find the perfect massage to transport them to relaxation and bliss.

Mahalo Serenity & Massage, Tiffany’s Thai Massage, and Zudao Foot Massage for helping Hawaii to choose wisely. Recommendations of the businesses featured in this video are the personal opinions of the hosts.