The Ultimate Freelancer Pre-Vacation Preparation Checklist

We’re in the full-swing of vacation time and if you are lucky enough to be heading off on some amazing trip, kudos to you for taking the first big step toward avoiding burnout as a freelancer!

When prepping for your much needed vacation, you know that in addition to the surprising number of to-dos that need to be crossed off before just leaving your house, you also need to take into account that you’re leaving your clients, too.

Of course you’ve thought (and maybe even panicked) about how you’ll ensure deadlines are still being met and how you’ll possibly manage the potential gap left in your income. But not to worry, with proper preparation you can enjoy a restful, client-free vacation.

Leaving for Vacation Freelancer Checklist

One Month Before

  • Mark your vacation on your client-facing calendar
  • Set expectations early with your clients by sending a short email letting them know when you will be on vacation and if they can get in touch with you or not
  • Encourage clients to request work early so they don’t miss any coverage in service (also allowing you to front load your income for more vacation spending money!)
  • Start scheduling projects around your vacation dates, giving yourself at least 2 days buffer before and after your vacation to prep and ease back into work
  • If you work with a team of subcontractors, talk to them about ongoing projects and continuing projects while you are gone
  • Start wrapping up any major projects or refer more work to your subcontractors
  • Consider hiring a temporary virtual assistant or intern if you don’t have a team to rely on

A Week to 48 Hours Before

  • Put a hold on the delivery of your mail, packages, and newspapers or hire someone to collect it for you
  • Find someone to care for your pool, mow your lawn, and water your plants
  • Arrange a pet sitter or someone to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone
  • Pay outstanding bills, subcontractors, schedule social media and blog posts
  • Send out invoices and collect payment, send out reminders for any outstanding invoices
  • Check your stock of toiletries, gear, and clothes — buy new items as needed
  • Load up on reading material and snacks
  • Order and pick-up a refill on your medication if it’ll run out while you’re on your trip
  • Let friends and family know about travel itinerary
  • Make copies of important items like your passport or credit cards in case you lose them on vacation
  • Arrange for a ride to the airport
  • Connect with your clients to remind them about your upcoming vacation
  • Wrap up every single remaining project — do not leave that last little task until tomorrow

The Day Before

  • Throw away perishable food items from fridge, as well as any fruit/veggies that might go bad while you’re away
  • Notify your bank, credit card providers, and alarm company that you’ll be away
  • Get all laundry done (including bed sheets — nothing better than coming home to fresh sheets!)
  • Check-in for flight online and print off boarding passes
  • Write down/print off destination addresses
  • Check the weather of your destination
  • Confirm hotel and rental car reservations
  • Download apps (especially the Moonlighting app so you can instantly chat with the Moonlighters you’ve hired for your vacation to-dos), music, and movies/shows for yourself and the kids
  • Set your email away message
  • Fully charge phone/tablet/laptop (and don’t forget to pack those chargers for the trip)
  • Withdraw cash and be sure to bring along single dollar bills in case you need to tip shuttle drivers, hotel valets, etc.
  • Run the dishwasher
  • If you have a spare key hidden, bring that inside
  • Pack everything (minus what you’ll be using on travel day) in your suitcase and carry-on bag

Morning of Departure

  • Make sure all doors and windows are shut and locked
  • Take out last bag of trash to garbage can
  • Turn off lights
  • Unplug electronics
  • Water house plants
  • Set thermostat for away temperature (upper 70s in summer, upper 50s in winter — try 4 degrees off your normal temperature)
  • Close blinds and curtains
  • Double check that you have IDs and itinerary packed in carry-on bag

Vacations are critical to anyone who works, especially freelancers just like you, struggling to balance work and life every day. Find the help you need to truly enjoy your vacation without any stresses by hiring other awesome freelancers on Moonlighting. We are here to help!

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