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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

Passport

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.

Kyza travel wallet passport holder

Transport

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Bear in mind that when it comes to stress, it’s not the short-term issues that are the problem. It’s the long-term ones.

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.

Paperwork

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.

Chinatown

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.

Cancel Subscriptions

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.

FOR STAYING ENTERTAINED IN TRANSIT: CLICK PHOTO ↓

Hi-Def Noise Canceling Headphones

Power Bank Ultra High Capacity

Kindle Voyage E-reader

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

    16 Comments

  1. This is a great guide, I will definitely share this.
    Anyway I been reading your blogs since 2016 awesome!

    • Glad you’ve been enjoying our articles! Appreciate the share :)

  2. Some wonderful travel tips here. Emptying the fridge is a good one. You do not want to return to find some cool experiments in there. One other tip (you know I could go on for days with my travel tips!) is to run the garbage disposal. A neighbor told me her house smelled to high holy heaven (or hell) when the electrical power was out for three days and there were things in the disposal.

    • Haha yes I learned the lesson on emptying the fridge the hard way; some ripe smells when you get home otherwise!!!

      Great tip on emptying the garbage; oh dear god I can only imagine those smells!! We don’t have trash collection at our place as we live rurally, so we make an effort to do a trash run the day before we leave so we’re not leaving our bins out in (a) the heat, and (b) for the wildlife to push over and get to.

  3. Totally find your check list so useful. I’m against buying travel insurance last time. But after a few accidents overseas, I learnt my lesson and realise the importance of being insured overseas. Coz we never know what’s going to happen. :)

    • I’m so glad we could help Chloe :) Yes, I feel the travel insurance point is one a lot of people learn the hard way. Hopefully nothing too serious though – sorry to hear you’ve been in accidents overseas. It’s one of those things (travel insurance) that you never want to understand the full value of, but if you have to, you don’t want to be sitting there, regretting having underestimated it’s importance.

      Safe travels! X

  4. Travel insurance is definitely a very important part of travel and people mostly ignore. You would probably need it the time you didn’t do so and it’s always better to be safe than sorry :)
    Besides, make sure to check the visa requirements upon traveling as I have some friends who forgot that she requires a traveling visa. Luckily, she could make one the airport counter at a higher price. @ knycx.journeying

    • Absolutely re travel insurance – it’s really not a lesson you want to learn the hard way. A holiday isn’t worth being bankrupt if you get landed with crazy expensive medical bills you can’t pay.

      Excellent tip to check on the visa requirements – yes I think that some people take it for granted that they can just show up at a country, but a lot of the time it’s not the case. Lucky that your friend didn’t get turned away!

  5. I’m so glad you included Empty the Fridge!We have some home so many times to rotten veggies and it is the worst. These are all great tips. My travel insurance came in very handy when my camera and some other goods were stolen this summer. I’d also have to add that scanning all your documents (passport, drivers license, tickets, etc) and sending them to yourself in an email is also a great backup.

    • Yuk lol yes me too – I’ve forgotten to throw bananas out before, and they smell terribly after a couple of weeks! Sorry to hear that your electronics were stolen this summer, though I’m glad to hear you had travel insurance to cover you. It’s not worth traveling without honesty, and covers so many things from theft to accidents, cancellations etc, any of which could easily happen on a trip.

      Great tip on scanning documents – I do this too; luckily I haven’t had to rely on the backups, but it’s nice to know you have access to the information electronically if you need to.

      Happy travels!

  6. Perfect list of recommendations! It is so important to have things worked out ahead of time instead of solely relying on Wifi, as you mention! There once was a time when that was the only option – it’s nice to get back to that way of doing things as you are taking control yourself. The same goes for printing your paperwork, maps, itineraries, etc, instead of relying of an online copy!

    • Thanks Alli! Yes absolutely, preparation is the key to success with travel, because you can lose access to WiFi on the road at any point, so it’s always advisable to have things worked out before you take off, and traveling with printed copies as backups :)

  7. Take a picture of your luggage, if it dosen’t make it to your destination, the first thing the airline will ask you is “what does it look like”, after a long flight this won’t be an easy question.

    • Great tip! Especially if it’s black too, lol I can’t imagine how many descriptions they get saying “my luggage is black” :D

    • They pull out a poster with about 50 cases on it and say which one is yours. (not good enough to say the one with my name written on it)

    • Fortunately I think the majority of cases are found, but I have heard that some airports throw monthly auctions for unclaimed bags that have been sitting there for more than X amount of time.

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