In all the excitement that comes with the lead up to a trip or holiday, you might wonder if there’s anything you’ve forgotten to do.
Have you ever found yourself sitting in the car or on a plane worrying that you didn’t lock the back door?
Well, don’t worry! Because I’m here with a list of important things that you’ll need to do before your trip.
Whether you’re heading off for a weekend, a holiday or the long-term trip of a lifetime, leaving your house behind unattended can be a little nerve-wracking.
Now, with this list, you can spend more time daydreaming about your upcoming destination and less time worrying.
3 months before your trip
- Check your travel documents. Most countries require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months from when you enter the country. Check your expiry date and order a renewal if you need to.
- Check visa requirements. These differ depending on your nationality, so double check whether you’ll need a visa for your trip. Visas can take up to 3 months to be issued in some cases.
- Buy travel insurance. Ideally, you should have done this when booking your flights or other travel methods. If not, make sure you get this done now so that you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
- Speak with your doctor. Depending on which country you are visiting, you may need to get vaccinations or medication before your trip. Have a chat with a medical professional to make sure you don’t pick up anything nasty while you’re away.
1-2 weeks before your trip
- Inform your bank. If you are planning on using any of your bank cards abroad, make sure your bank is aware of which countries you are visiting. This will prevent your card from being blocked for suspicious activity.
- Check travel advisories. As I write this list, we are in the middle of the global Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, and travel advisories are changing all the time. One major thing to note is that if you travel to a country that your home country is advising against, for any reason, your travel insurance will likely become invalid and you could be putting yourself at risk.
- Make copies of your important documents. We all plan to take great care of our passports and other documents, but life happens and sometimes circumstances become completely out of our control. Make sure you have copies of everything important, just in case.
- Buy a travel adaptor. Check which plug sockets are used in your destination country and buy an adaptor for your electronic items.
- Plan your first move. Once you arrive, you’ll likely want to get straight to your accommodation to drop off your bags. Find out the best way to get there from the airport in advance to save stress on the day.
- Put your mail on hold or ask a neighbour to collect it. If your letterbox is likely to fill up while you’re away, contact the mail service or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to collect it for you. If it is obviously full, passers-by will know immediately that you’re away from home and may see that as an invite to break in.
- Plan your meals. In the last week or so before your trip, make a plan to eat all of the food in your fridge so that there’s nothing left to go bad while you’re away. It may also be worth making and freezing a meal so that you don’t need to worry about shopping or cooking immediately after you return home.
On the day you leave
- Unplug your electrical items. Television, kettle, microwave, lamps; unplug it all before you leave. This will save you money on energy and reduce fire hazards while you’re away.
- Clear out your fridge. You don’t want your food to be growing new stuff while you’re away, so throw out anything you didn’t manage to eat in the lead up to the trip.
- Clear out your wallet. You won’t need those receipts from the past month or the loyalty card for your local coffee shop on holiday, so just take with you what you’ll need.
- Put the bins out. Don’t miss the collection just because you’re not there, put the bins out before you go so that you don’t come home to a horrible smell. Maybe you could ask a friend or neighbour to put them back once they’ve been collected.
- Make sure you have all your documents. I always double and triple check that I have my passport and tickets with me before I leave the house, plus my phone and wallet.
- Lock all doors and windows. The final step is to secure your house! If you’re anything like me, you might have to tell yourself, out loud, that you’ve done it so that you don’t worry later. Or maybe that’s just me…
That’s it! You’re ready to go!
A little planning and preparation before your trip go a long way to easing your worries and letting you enjoy the excitement of the adventure.
Everyone’s situation is different, so there may be a few other things that you need to do before you go, but this list covers the important essentials for most travellers.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Do you have any stories from forgetting to do something important? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
Want more like this? Check out these articles:
- Travel safety guide: 12 tips that could save your life
- 13 essential planning tips for long-term travel
- Travelling with anxiety: a personal experience story