If you have a busy job, kids to organise and a home to lockdown, the days leading up to the big annual summer holiday can be quite stressful.
But if you don’t do a number of important things before you go, you could end up with much more stressful situations to deal with – failing to tell your bank or phone provider that you’re going abroad can mean your plastic won’t work, for example.
Here’s a check list of what you should try and do before leaving, to help you to have a relaxing, worry-free break.
A couple of months before you go:
Passports – Perhaps the most crucial of all tasks is to check your own and your family’s passports are not out of date because if they are, you’re not getting on the plane! Allow at least a month to get a new one.
House/pet sitters – If you want someone staying in your house for security reasons while you’re away, or someone to look after a pet, book them well in advance. This is particularly important if you are going away for an extended period.
Transport – If you need a taxi from an airport, or to hire a car, book it in plenty of time. Otherwise, especially during the holiday high season, you could be stranded and astronomical transfer costs.
One month before you go:
Medicines – Does anyone in the family need to take medication? Make sure you’ve got all you need ordered from your local surgery and/or chemist.
Bags – Make sure you’ve all got the right travel bags or you could find yourself paying through the nose for new ones at the airport.
Travel money – Most people like to take a reasonable amount of cash and use top-up foreign currency cards these days. Sort it out a good few weeks in advance, especially if you’re relying on postal delivery.
Insurance – Arranging travel insurance is crucial to avoid a potentially hugely expensive situation due to some unforeseen incident, with no financial back up from an insurer. If you’re planning to take your car abroad, check your car insurance covers you abroad, and that you have sufficient break down cover for the trip.
The week before and the day you go:
Inform your bank – If you don’t, they may stop your card if you use it abroad.
Tell your mobile phone company – For the same reasons as above.
Photocopy your passport – This is of great help if you lose it.
Cancel deliveries – Newspapers, milk or anything else that could build up and advertise the fact that you’re not home to thieves
Tell your neighbours– Neighbours can keep extra-close watch on your home, and intercept your post to stop it piling up.
Check security and home maintenance – Put lamps on timers, check all window and door locks, make sure there aren’t any leaking taps, blocked drains etc. that could cause damage while you’re away.
Note car position at the airport – It’s very easy to forget where you parked your car at an airport, so make a note of it!
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Published 20 July 2017