After a long year of tireless work and household chores, you deserve an extended vacation. Maybe you’re going to a tropical paradise to frolic at golden beaches and drink from coconuts. Or you’re heading to the northern hemisphere and look for the aurora borealis. Wherever your destination may be, you should make sure to get things in order before your trip. You can steer clear of fees and heartaches by simple planning.

Follow these simple tips for a stress-free vacation:

1. Get Rid of the Snow

Hire a snow plowing service in Salt Lake City ahead of time. The last thing you want to think about during a supposedly worry-free holiday is the possibility of paying large fines. Salt Lake City gives out daily fines for the failure of removing snow. If you’re going to be out for a month, fees can rack up as high as $2000, and it’s very avoidable. The only thing you have to do is to schedule snow removal in advance, and you’re set.

2. Find a Temporary Home for Your Pet

Unless you’re taking your dog or cat with you. Otherwise, you don’t want to leave your pet alone at home. They need to be fed and cared for while you’re pampering yourself. You can enroll them at a dog school, where you can be sure they’re training and being cared for properly. You also have the option of hiring a dog sitter so that your pup can still go on walks while you’re gone.

pet cat

3. Turn off Your Meters

Even if your appliances aren’t turned off, they can still rack up charges. Don’t take the chance and switch off the meters of the water and electricity. It will only take a few moments, but it means that you’ll save money, and you won’t have to worry if you have forgotten to turn off the oven.

4. Do Your Financial Research

Compare the exchange rate versus the international credit card charges of your bank. Cash is still king in a majority of places, but use your card if it is cheaper and more convenient. The difference may seem minimal, but as the transactions add up, it could save you Benjamins.

If you’re going to a European country such as Sweden, make sure that you’ve told your bank that you’re going abroad. In a 2018 survey, only 13% of Swedes say that they’ve used cash in a transaction. While buying something in a big city such as Stockholm, you don’t want your card to be denied because of suspected fraud. You can avoid an embarrassing episode with a simple phone call before your trip.

On the other hand, if you’re going to a Southeast Asian nation, get the local currency. Apart from high-end shops and restaurants, the majority of stores accept only cash. You can exchange your dollars or withdraw money from a local ATM.

If there’s anything the Home Alone movies have taught people, it’s that preparation is key. That way, you won’t panic or forget someone or something important before a Christmas trip. You can save yourself a lot of trouble just by settling things in advance.