Holidays are meant to be exciting. It’s that time of the year when you escape into the sunshine with your family, free from the rat race, emails, early mornings and bad weather. From now on, it’s cocktails, safaris, exploration and lounging by the pool. Win!
However, holidays can quickly turn you into a nervous wreck when you arrive at your destination and realise you left the faucet switched on in your newly revamped home. Or – if you were in Home Alone – you left one of your children behind! Nightmare! (especially when you JUST ordered a martini).
We’ve got you covered. To make sure your holiday is as stress-free as possible, use our guide of 10 things you need to do before going on holiday as your checklist.
To make sure you get the most out of your holiday and don’t return home regretting that you ran out of time to do this or that, plan ahead. Research where you’re going, make a list of the things you want to do, the places you want to see, and the possible restaurants you can visit.
Going with the flow sounds fun, but it doesn’t always work like that. Preparation means we’re free to be flexible and have lots of fun without worrying or rushing around in a desperate bid to find a vegan food place before we literally starve to death.
Organize All Your Essential Documents
There is little you can do if you arrive in a new country without the right documents. Before you leave the house, make sure you’ve already organised your documents. These include your hotel confirmation, boarding pass, driving license and entry visas if necessary.
Be extra cautious too and make notes of key phone numbers you might need, such as your mobile phone number, as well as emergency contact details.
It’s also a good idea to jot down your passport number. Passports go missing, and when we lose them in a foreign country, it can be a stressful and scary situation.
Make Sure People Can Get In Touch With You
Most people can get in touch with you via Facebook, but if your parents or other family members or friends aren’t yet on Facebook, make sure they have alternative ways of getting in touch with you if your phone dies.
Pre-Book A Car Hire
Pre-booking isn’t massively necessary, but imagine if there were no cars left when you got there? Time to catch the number 455 bus to GOD KNOWS WHERE.
When you pre-book, you get to save some money too, and it’s another task off your to-do list. All you need to do is turn up, get in your car and go exploring.
Protect Your Home From Fire
Ready to get your hands dirty before you go on holiday? Garden maintenance is essential if your home is in an area where there is a risk of wildfire, but the reality is that brushfires can occur anywhere.
If there is lightning, there is a chance of fire, especially if your gutter is crammed with fuel (leaves and debris) that can ignite a fire and cause it to spread. If you have no experience with this kind of thing at all, recruit the services of a professional gutter cleaner or ask your window cleaner if they know how to do this.
Prune back any bushes or branches that are dangerously low or hanging over your roof. Mow your lawn, keep the grass short and clean up any dead leaves. If you haven’t the time to do this yourself, call in an expert gardener.
Create A Schedule If You Have A Smart Home
For example, remember when you were a kid and your parents would always leave a light on so that thieves would think someone was home? If you have a smart home, you don’t need to leave a light on the whole time you’re away. Instead, you can create a schedule so that the light is on at night and off during the day. Perfect.
You could adjust the lighting remotely while you’re on holiday, but it’s the last thing you’ll want to do while you’re trying to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s the same with the thermostat. Who wants to sing a song on karaoke before adjusting the thermostat remotely?! Set it before you leave the house for your holiday so that you save money (setting it as close to the actual outside temperature will help you conserve energy) and save yourself hassle.
If you have smart security settings, you will need to check these, too. They should already be set the way you want them, but check their status before you go. Make sure any batteries are fully charged, too.
Pay The Bills
The very last thing you want while on holiday is to be shocked by a bill you’d totally forgotten about. It can be enough to ruin your enjoyment and you might decide that it’s tap water for everyone from now on.
Make sure all impending bills are fully paid before going away. It will give you peace of mind.
Clear The Fridge
DON’T leave that block of feta cheese in the fridge that you opened the night before your holiday. Clear out all food that might spoil, or offer it to friends.
“Heyyyy, I’m going to Cancun but don’t be jelly because you can have my half-eaten cheese (I saved you the best bits)!!”
Check The Route To The Airport
If anything is going to stress us out on the first morning of our holiday, it’s a traffic jam en route to the airport and a “clever” shortcut that takes us into even more traffic and more stress.
Then, we see our plane flying over our heads. Not cool.
Do all your route planning beforehand. Find out what the traffic is expected to be like, plot an alternative route if things go wrong, and book a parking place at the airport in advance if you’re taking your own car. If not, remember to hire the same cab firm for when you arrive back at the airport after your holiday.
Inform Your Bank
Imagine if you were abroad and just two days into your holiday when your card stopped working? Unless you tell your bank that you’re off to some far-flung corner of the world, this is exactly what can happen.
Unusual activity makes banks suspicious. Let them know in advance that you’ll be abroad.
These are 10 things you need to do before going on holiday so that you save money, save energy, avoid stress and avoid a wildfire (hey, they happen). Now all that’s left is to relax and have fun!
Now, where did I put MY passport …