Pre-Holiday Checklist

Holiday Checklist

Peace Of Mind Whilst Travelling.

When it comes to travel, there is a long list of tasks that must be done before you leave home. Use this travel checklist and leave home with the peace of mind that you didn’t forget to take care of something important.

Confirm That your passport, Driving License & EHIC Hasn’t Expired.

Travel Documents

Check the expiration date on your driver’s license and/or passport. When you are hiring a car it’ll be bad timing to find out that your license has expired. Check your license isn’t going to expire today and ensure you get a new one in time for your journey.

If you’ll be travelling internationally, check your passport expiration date well in advance. Most destinations require you to have at least 6 months left before it expires. This is because if you get stuck in a country for whatever reason you can return home easily. If you need to order a new passport it could take 2 months, especially at peak times. You can pay for an express service but this is not a good approach from a budget point of view.

EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)

The European Health Insurance Card DOES NOT cover you for every medical situation in Europe. Therefore Travel Insurance is essential & a legal requirement, ensure you always have adequate insurance before any journey. The EHIC card does not help with repatriation or the full cost of medical services. After BREXIT this could become invalid. The Canary islands already refuse to accept it.

Print your Boarding Cards & Check-in Online.

It’s a good idea to print your boarding cards off as some budget airlines charge you for checking in. I recommend pre-booking your seats on the aircraft before you travel as this gives you the peace of mind that you’ll be sat together. It also means you don’t have to queue to board the aircraft and you can board either when your section is called or last. I always board last unless I’m carrying my camera equipment and want to ensure it goes in the overhead storage bins.

Check Your Phone Coverage

Check Phone

Make sure your phone plan will adequately cover you while you’re away, most don’t. Travelling around Europe there are no longer roaming fees but the cost per call/text has gone up. It’d be an awful ending to a trip to find your bill is higher than usual. Take precautionary steps to make sure you’re covered while on your trip.

Call your provider’s customer service department and alert them to your travel plans. The agent will be able to explain your options and make you aware of any potential additional charges. Many plans offer short-term upgrades to your agreement for a reasonable fee that will cover international usage, texting, and internet access while travelling. The best option is to buy a local SIM card, however, your phone must be unlocked. It may be worth asking your provider to unlock your phone, most do this for free nowadays. Some companies even allow for a local SIM to be installed whilst you are abroad.

Check Your Medication

Determine whether your current prescription medications will last for the duration of your trip plus at least a week longer. Remember the ash cloud. Always take all your medication in your hand luggage. Imagine what you would do if your luggage went missing with your medication in.  If not, make arrangements to get them refilled in advance.

To be on the safe side always bring a copy of your prescription with you as well as your doctor’s contact information. Better to be prepared in the event that something happens and you find it necessary to fill one of your prescriptions while out of the country.

Hit The Dry Cleaners

Make a trip to the dry cleaners with any clothes that need to be cleaned. Add picking up the dry cleaning the day before your trip. This way you’ll avoid feeling frustrated while packing.

Tell Your Bank and Credit Card Companies

Call your bank and credit card company customer service departments. Inform them that you will be travelling and give them a list of all of your travel dates and locations. Many banks and credit card companies deny charges in foreign countries or popular destinations if you have not alerted them to your travel plans in advance.

Pack Your Travel Documents

Make sure you have all necessary travel documents & even upload copies to a Google Drive or a Dropbox account.

  • Copies of your credit cards and the numbers to call in the event of loss or theft
  • Medical insurance cards
  • Passport and driver’s license
  • Travel itinerary bookmarked on your phone
  • Reservations and confirmations
  • Easy access to electronic tickets

Decide on how you are getting to the airport.

Call Uber

The best way to do this is to plan on how you are getting home after your holiday. A taxi is often cheaper than parking, especially if you take into consideration fuel costs. This means you don’t have to drive tired when you return. Some airport hotels offer free parking for a week or two if you book a nights stay before you depart and a night when you return. This could be an excellent option for a stress-free start and end to your holiday.

Cross Pack Your Luggage.

In the 14 years I’ve been in the travel industry this is the one most people don’t do. Always split your luggage between those who are travelling. You’ll be surprised at the many reasons why luggage doesn’t arrive at your holiday destination. Whether it’s been pulled by security and missed the flight to the barcode falling off. It’s worth taking a photo of your luggage too, that way you just show the photo to the agent when it goes missing.

Divert or put your mail on hold

Have you ever struggled to get through your door when you return from holiday because there’s so much mail behind it? Well, a great way to prevent this and advertising to potential thieves is to stop your mail for the duration of your holiday. Just go to your local post office with your I.D and put your mail on hold or have it diverted to a PO Box.

Set your email autoresponder to away

You are going on holiday to relax and take a break not work from abroad. So set up your work email autoresponder, however, it may not be best to advertise the fact you are out of town. So set up forwarding so a colleague can take care of business. A great and rather creative way to set up your autoresponder is to copy the below message. This works as the person sending the email knows you didn’t get it and you are not advertising that your house/office is unoccupied.


MAILER-DAEMON: DELIVERY HAS PERMANENTLY FAILED TO THIS RECIPIENT OR DELIVERY LIST.
An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient’s email address. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. User does not exist.
Sent by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
Diagnostic information for administrators:
Generating server: corporate.dmgt.net
HSJFK-EXWT-W0V1V-S.corporate.bzqt.net #550 … No such user ##
Original message headers:
Received: from mail66.besmt5.meqlabs.com (10.181.104.248) by
HSJFK-EXWT-W0V1V-S.corporate.dzzgt.net (10.195.2.137) with Microsoft SMTP Server
(TLS) id 8.3.274.0;
Received: from [208.93.140.190:44031] by server-5.bzgmt-5.meqlabs.com id
FB/48-17252-2A7230FG4;
X-Msg-Ref: server-136.tower-425.meqlabs.com!345832498624!11005757!1
X-Originating-IP: [184.154.123.70]
X-SpamReason: No, hits=1.2 required=7.0 tests=HTML_20_30,HTML_MESSAGE,
RCVD_BY_IP
X-StarScan-Version: 6.4.3; banners=-,-
X-VirusChecked: Checked
Received: (qmail 22800 invoked from network);
Received: from mail-hw0-f34.gaole.com (HELO mail-hw0-f34.gaole.com)
(289.25.986.44) by server-136.tower-425.meqlabs.com with RH6-ZRA
encrypted SMTP;
Received: by qfadb12 with SMTP id c14sb9234843qxh.20
Received: by 173.193.156.78 with SMTP id fdsalkf293238hj2.30.11349182363705;
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Received: by 174.120.168.2195with HTTP;
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”20cf385fc2b644bb8314b59ggbc0″


This checklist is by no means an exhaustive list of things to do before you travel. Some other ideas are listed below.

  • Arrange for someone to water plants etc
  • Arrange for someone to put out & bring in your bins
  • Ensure bill payments are up-to-date

So there are a few practical ideas to ensure you have a more relaxing holiday. Enjoy your trip!

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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