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With a holiday booked and the countdown begun, it may be all you can think about. Don’t lose sight of the things you should do in preparation in eagerness of what awaits. There are certain things you need to do for your holiday to be a success. Others are advisable to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible. Here’s our top 11 things you should do as holiday preparation.

things to do for holiday preparationPhoto by: fotofabrika/Adobe Stock

1. Book extras

If you’re staying abroad, ensure you’ve booked everything for the correct dates and times. Consider hotels and car hire. Booking your car hire in advance is recommended as it ensures you pay less than if you just visited the rental desk and paid the on-the-day price, and you’re more likely to get the category of vehicle you want. Read more here.

2. Prepare paperwork

Take along print-outs of all confirmations you need for your holiday. Find out whether you need entry visas (and apply for them if you do). Print your flight boarding passes. Take confirmations of anything you’ve booked or paid for that is relevant to your holiday.

3. Check passport

This is one of the most important elements as without this, your holiday won’t happen. Ensure that your passport will be valid for the whole duration of your trip. Read our guide to applying for or renewing one if necessary.

4. Research and plan luggage

Check the luggage allowance of your flight company. Even if you’ve travelled with them before, it’s worth checking again as these can change. Prepare a list of what you need to pack in your hold luggage and your carry-on. Research the climate of the country for the time you’re visiting and pack accordingly.

5. Get medication

Does the country you’re visiting require you to have any jabs before you enter? If you take any prescription medicine, make sure you have enough to last you for the duration of your trip (and that you take it with you!). Pack a prescription note to prove it’s necessary medicine if the question is raised.

6. Arrange travel

Arrange your travel to and from the airport. Book taxis if necessary, arrange a lift, or book airport parking. If you’re travelling there yourself, ensure you’re aware of the route and check for any traffic issues that may cause delays on the morning of your travel and adjust accordingly.

7. Take out travel insurance

Take out travel insurance and be sure of what’s covered and what isn’t. If you’re going on a skiing holiday, check what winter-type activities it doesn’t cover as there may be exclusions. If you’re eligible for one and you’re travelling to Europe, apply for a European Health Insurance Card. If you have one, check it’s valid for your travel dates.

8. Get holiday money

Make sure you tell your card providers that you’ll be travelling abroad. If they aren’t aware and you use your card abroad for transactions, then you may find your card blocked as the bank will assume they are fraudulent transactions.

Check our recent blog on thrifty tips to get the most of your holiday cash.

Things to do for holiday preparationPhoto by: Fly_dragonfly/Adobe Stock

9. Arrange pet care

If you have pets, make suitable arrangements for them while you’re away. If you’re putting a dog into a kennel or cat into a cattery, ensure you have the relevant paperwork necessary for their stay. Many places require proof of certain immunisations.

10. Prepare your mobile phone

Contact your mobile phone provider to check if your phone will be useable in the country you’re visiting. Be aware of any data roaming charges that may apply and higher costs for making calls or sending text messages.

11. Protect (and prepare) your home

If you’re going away for a week or more then there are certain signs which alert people to the fact your home is unoccupied. If your bin is due to be emptied while you’re away, don’t leave it outside on the pavement in preparation. Ask a neighbour or friend to put it out for you and get it in after it’s emptied. Consider investing in light timers so lights come on at appropriate times so it looks as though someone is in the house. It may also be worth asking a close friend or neighbour, if possible, to visit to draw the curtains accordingly and water plants. If you’re leaving your curtains or blinds open while you’re away, ensure any valuables are hidden out of sight. Cancel any paper or milk deliveries that will also signal that your home is empty.

Don’t post on your social media accounts that you’re off on holiday. Again, it will advertise that your home is empty. Hold off on posting holiday selfies to your accounts until you return. In some cases, you may find that if you were burgled and had posted online that you were away, your home insurance could be invalidated.

Make sure you empty your bins inside the house before you leave and remove any plants or flowers that may die while you’re gone. Check your fridge for any food that will go past its expiration date during your holiday. These things will ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises to come home to. You may consider buying a frozen meal to have to hand in the freezer if you know you’re arriving home late after your trip.

Holiday preparation complete

If you follow all these steps, then you’re on your way to having a stress-free holiday. Make a note of the most important ones and those that are applicable to you, as not all will be. What other steps do you think are vital that should be on the list?

Written by Jessica Juby.

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