Things To Do Before Going On Holiday
There’s always a lot to do just before you leave for a holiday. At this stage, people commonly focus on wrapping up any loose ends at work and on getting their bags packed. However, just a little more organisation beforehand can help ensure that your trip goes smoothly – and that it’s a pleasure to walk back into your home when you return.
Well before your departure date
Well before your departure date, you need to ensure that all your travel documentation is in order. This may include your passport, required visas, tickets, proof of any reservations you’ve made and documents like an international driver’s license or student’s card. You may also need to transfer funds or make potentially time-consuming arrangements to ensure that you’ll have enough money to take with you.
In addition, don’t leave it too late to
- investigate and purchase an appropriate travel insurance policy
- apply for a European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC, if you’ll be on holiday in Europe
- get any required inoculations
- see your doctor for medication you should take with you
- if you have a pet, find and book a suitable kennel or arrange a pet-sitter
- if possible, ask a neighbour, relative or friend to check your house from time to time; also give this person a number where they can reach you if necessary when you’re away
- prepare a packing checklist
A little ahead of time, it’s a good idea to check that you’re informed about any events that have occurred in the country or countries you’ll be visiting. For example, a strike or local unrest could affect your holiday plans. For updated UK government travel advice and warnings, you can visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office web site.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving all your packing until the night before. However, it’s also not a good idea to pack items like clothes and toiletries too early, or you’ll just end up taking them out again – and then you risk leaving something you use often at home.
Instead, find a clear space that’s out of the way, on the floor or a table, several days before you’re due to leave and lay out all the items you plan to take with you, alongside your case. Whenever you remove any item – like a favourite piece of clothing you can’t do without – make a hand-written note of what you need to return to the pile, and add this to the items you’ve laid out.
Keep your toiletries kit on your bathroom counter. Pack it ahead of time and then simply get used to living out of it until it’s time to add it to your case. That way, you won’t end up on holiday without a particular cosmetic item you depend on. Remember that to comply with airport security requirements, you need to put all liquids, gels and pastes in separate bottles that don’t hold more than 100 millilitres, and then put these in a clear, plastic, resealable bag.
On the day or just before
As well as getting your bags packed and making sure you haven’t left anything out, spend a little time organising your home so that it will be pleasant to get back to it after your holiday. Empty the fridge of any food that’s likely to spoil, empty the rubbish bins and, if it’s winter, turn off the water at the mains to prevent pipes freezing. You should also pull out all electric plugs.
If you have one, switch on a timer that will turn on lighting at night, to make it appear as if someone is at home. Also move any high-value items such as laptops so they can’t be seen through windows, to avoid tempting burglars.
At the last minute
Before setting out, take a few minutes to perform these steps:
- run through your packing checklist to make sure you haven’t left anything out, paying special attention to your travel documents, tickets and money
- call the airline for a final check in case there’s a last-minute delay
- make sure all windows are closed and the front and back doors are securely locked
Once you’ve done this, set off and enjoy a wonderful holiday!