When it comes to planning a holiday, most people aim to tick off the essentials – tickets, accommodation and itinerary. However, in order to truly enjoy a smooth and carefree holiday, there’s a lot more prep work that needs to be done prior to the big departure.
If you forget to pack something like your sun cream or swimming costume, it’s no big deal, as you can simply buy what you need at the other side.
However, if you forget crucial documents or forget to make certain arrangements you could end up with real problems on your hands, which could potentially ruin your holiday. The following are the basics; a pre holiday check list for first time travelers.
Pre-Holiday Checklist for First Time Travelers
If you’re heading abroad, you should double check you have your passports packed, as the last thing you want is to drive all the way to the airport and realize that you have left them on your dresser!
Make sure you check this just before you leave the house. Also make sure you have any and all required visas a couple of weeks in advance.
Some visas can take weeks to process, so make sure this is sorted well ahead of time to avoid disappointment. There should be a list of visa requirements for traveling overseas on your government website.
It’s not a bad idea to travel with an set of extra passport photos in the unlikely event that you have to replace it. You can usually obtain these from a local post office or grocery store.
You might have your flights and accommodation booked up, but what about when you arrive at your destination?
It’s a good idea to sort out a transfer before you arrive at the airport. That could mean researching the schedule for the trains, knowing which kiosk you need to visit to buy a bus ticket, or making sure you know which taxi’s are legitimate.
Also, consider whether you want to arrive at the airport in comfort in your own car or get a cab. If you are driving a higher value car such as the Toyota Corolla 2018, make sure you choose a secure airport parking facility.
It is never worth the risk of travelling without proper insurance in place. You may be one of the many people who think that nothing will happen to them while on holiday, but the plain fact is that you are just as much at risk as the next person.
The cost of treatment can be crippling if something does happen, so you must make sure you sort out suitable travel insurance.
Also, make sure you take your travel insurance documentation with you so that you have all the details to hand if and when you need them.
Sort Out Your Finances
When you are travelling you may need to sort out foreign money for spending while you are away. However, it is also advisable to contact your bank and let them know you are going away.
This is because banks are very hot on trying to combat fraud these days, and if they see a spate of transactions on your card abroad they may view it as suspicious activity and place and block on the account.
This could leave you in a position where you cannot use your card for a while and have to go to the trouble of trying to get the account unblocked.
In the age of paperless bills and tickets, the chances are that you will have received your flight confirmation and boarding pass details via email. Make sure you go online and print off all of the paperwork you need.
Consider Your Wi-Fi Needs
Planning on using Google Maps and Uber to get around? It’s best to research your internet options ahead of time. Depending on the destination you’re heading to, Wi-Fi accessibility will vary.
In most cases, it’s wise to purchase a local SIM/data card or a pocket WIFI to remain connected. Ensure your phone is unlocked before departure and that you turn off your cellular data to avoid hefty roaming fees.
Secure Your Home
If you normally live alone, give yourself some peace of mind by setting up scheduled lighting before a long getaway.
There are lights you can install that turn on at a particular time, giving the appearance that someone is at home. It’s also a good idea to remove any spare keys you may have hidden and leave them with a close friend or family member, in case anyone needs to get in.
If you’re close with your neighbours, it may be wise to let them know you’re going away.
Depending on how long you’re going away for, it may be an economical decision to cancel any subscriptions, such as newspaper, wine, magazine or food deliveries. Otherwise you may return to a stack of dated papers or valuable packages left unattended.
Empty the Fridge
Prevent attracting moths, fruit flies, cockroaches or mice by making sure you have cleaned out perishables in the fridge as well as fruit and vegetables left out. If you have any flours open, perhaps relocate them to the fridge while you’re away.
Ask a Friend or Family Member to Collect Mail
If you’re going away for a lengthy period, you can expect that a few important letters will be sent during that time. Have a friend or family member to collect your mail and give them permission to open any mail that may be important, such as car registration renewal.
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