Your flights and accommodation are booked, you’ve researched your destination, and you’re ready to go. It’s easy to get caught up in the pre-holiday excitement, but there are always jobs to do before your leave — don’t get caught out at the last minute!
Here are seven things to do before jet-setting on holiday.
1. Buy a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers everything you’re planning to do
Travel insurance is essential. The cost of medical care abroad can be extortionate, even for relatively minor injuries, so it’s not worth going without it.
If you’re going on any kind of adventure holiday — a skiing trip, for example — or planning to do an activity like skydiving, you’ll need extra cover to account for the extra risk.
Once you have your policy, save it to cloud storage and print off a copy to keep with your other travel documents.
2. Order your currency
There’s nothing worse than having to make a mad and expensive dash for your holiday money when you’re at the airport. Order it weeks in advance to make sure it arrives on time (especially if you need a less common currency), then pick it up and pack it as soon as you can.
3. Pack your suitcase — carefully
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of packing extra items, just in case, but you really don’t need to do this. Make a strict list and stick to it — why take things you don’t need when you can leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs?
4. Pack your hand luggage
How much you take in your hand luggage will depend on the length of your flight. You might not need much for a short-haul trip, whereas if you’re travelling long-haul you’ll probably want some snacks and something to keep you entertained.
Don’t forget to put your passport and boarding pass in a safe, accessible place!
5. Double and triple-check the dates and times of your flights
A shocking 25% of travellers admit to missing a flight. Sometimes it can’t be helped (if there’s traffic, for instance), but other reasons people miss flights include:
Not leaving enough time to go through check-in and security
Missing the last call to the gate
Missing a connection
Losing a passport or other form of identification
6. Tell your bank you’re going abroad
Banks look out for any suspicious activity, and that includes foreign transactions. Forget to tell them about your holiday and they may freeze your account, which you don’t want while you’re trying to enjoy yourself.
Most banks have a simple online tool you can use to mark the dates you’ll be away, or you can ring them and let them know in advance.
7. Lock up your house
The last thing you want to do when you’re on holiday is worry about your home, so make sure you secure all the windows and doors before you leave. You could also set a timer for the lights and ask a neighbour or friend to check on the house regularly. Having someone to organise any post will help to give the impression you’re around (check out this guide for more security tips).