I like routines. I like things clean. I am a planner. (If you ask my sister, she will say I am O.C.D.)
There is a routine I go through when I travel (meaning being away from home more than one night). It goes something like this.
48 hours (or so) before departing:
Clean the house (vacuum, mop, dishes, counters, toilets, etc.).
Do laundry (so that everything I might want to pack is clean).
Pull out suitcase (complete with travel sized liquids containers- refill if necessary).
Make an overall packing list.
Set up online bill pay for anything that may come due while I am gone. (I typically only pay bills once a month but sometimes my travel dates occur across when this one bill paying session comes around.)
Set DVR for the time I am gone.
Night before I travel:
Pack my bags.
Make a "last minute list" of everything that cannot get packed the night before (i.e. cell phone charger, pillow).
Water the houseplants.
Make sure I have cash on hand (if not, I hit an ATM or a store with a cash back option).
Check mail. (I only do this once a week but I try to make sure I have done it right before I am gone).
Print boarding pass.
Day of travel:
Pack the things on the last minute list.
Carry out all trash (including things from the fridge that will expire while I am gone).
Unplug any electronics that can be unplugged.
Lock up doors and windows.
I always park in the same area of airport parking so I can remember where it was (and I put the parking zone's letter/number into my phone's calendar on my return date).
First, I check the mail. It is an apartment mailbox so it can get so full they stop delivering.
When I come home, the house is clean (because I left it that way).
My suitcase goes immediately to the laundry area and gets unpacked and put away as I arrive (or if I am home after midnight, it is first thing the next morning).
I plug things back in as I need them, saving me electricity by not having items plugged in that are not in use.
What did I miss? What else are you certain to do before/after you travel?