Going on holiday is so exciting, sometimes it’s easy for vital details to get overlooked. Here’s a checklist covering most of the things you’ll need to think about before leaving on vacation. Some of them may seem obvious, but research reflects that many of us neglect to attend to everything we should before flying off to warmer climes. Don’t put a dampener on holiday high spirits by forgetting something major, read on for useful reminders…
Dig Out Your Passport
Keep your passport in a safe place so it is easy to put your hands on. Check well in advance of your holiday departure, that your passport is still valid – getting a renewal can be a lengthy process, especially at peak holiday times, so avoid problems by checking in good time. With some foreign destinations (eg. Ghana, Kenya and UAE), travellers are required to have at least six months validity remaining on a passport). For more information, check The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
Deal with Documents
Any foreign travel trip generates a sheaf of documents. Take copies of all documents and make two separate folders, one of the originals, the other for the copies. Whether it’s driving license, passport, entry visas, travel insurance, medical certificates, hotel confirmations, car hire documents or something else, keep it in a safe place. Make a separate note of important details, emergency telephone numbers, passport details, bank contact numbers, just in case.
Don’t sweat it when it comes to check in at the airport – nothing ruins the beginning of a holiday more, than having to pay extra for excess weight, or to jettison carefully packed belongings. Know exactly what the luggage allowances are for your carrier, and weigh your bags before you leave home using accurate travel weighing scales. This type of stress is totally avoidable – get it right, and you get more time to browse duty free once you’re checked in.
Don’t forget to secure your home. Close and lock all windows and doors – double check before you leave. Do not overlook garage and garden shed doors and windows as well. Most home thefts are opportunist events where windows or doors are carelessly left open, so if you lock up properly, you reduce your chances of being burgled. Cancel milk, newspaper and grocery deliveries and ask a trusted neighbour to collect mail from the letter-box. Invest in electronic timers that trigger light switches or radios in the house – a dwelling that seems occupied will not be targeted by thieves. Place any valuables in a safe if you have one before you leave, alternatively hide precious items in less obvious places such as the bathroom or under the sink.
Don’t leave holiday pet care to the last minute or you could have problems. Asking a neighbour to feed a fish or guinea pig is not such a big deal, but dogs require more time and commitment. Consider booking pet dogs into professional dog care services such as Dogs Downtown which look after all your pooch’s needs from long walks, to feeding, grooming and cuddles. If you are based in London and need a reliable and caring arrangement for dog care whilst you are away on holiday, contact Dogs Downtown to check out what they can do for you and your canine companion.
The Devil is in the Detail
Other random details not to forget include: travel to the airport. Are you getting a taxi or transfer? Are you parking your car at the airport? Whatever you choose, plan well in advance for best choices and prices.
Inform your bank that you are travelling abroad, this way if foreign transactions show up on your account, they won’t consider it suspicious. Getting the best value for money when buying foreign currency and using bank plastic is a minefield – shop around, do your research and squeeze as much value out of your well earned holiday pounds as possible.
Once you arrive at your holiday destination, how are you going to get around? Pre-booking car hire for the duration is usually the most competitively priced option.
Research your destination online before you go, printing out maps and directions, money off vouchers, details of local attractions etc. – You never know if internet coverage at your accommodation will be good, expensive or merely non-existent, so do as much preparation on your holiday itinerary as you can before you get there.
Holidays are for fun, relaxation and re-charging your batteries. Follow this checklist before you go, and you should be able to arrive on the beach feeling 100 per cent chilled out…