You know the feeling. You are booked to depart in the next couple of weeks and you have that nagging feeling that you have forgotten to do something. Here is your essential checklist to ensure you are ready to depart on your dream holiday.
Travel Gear Review. Do a final review of your luggage to ensure you have everything essential. Lay everything you plan to take out on your bed and review your packing list to confirm you have the essentials.
Trial Pack and Weigh. Pack everything into your bag/s (except the clothes you plan to wear) to check that it will all fit, and then weigh it. If your bag/s are too full or heavy, review to see if you can remove anything.
Official Documentation. Check your passport, ensure the expiry date has at least six months to expire after you return from your trip. Reconfirm you have all visas you require.
Travel Money. Ensure you have your travel money set up. Advise your banking institution of your travelling plans so they do not suspend your account. Transfer funds to your travelling accounts.
Travel Documentation. Review all of your travel documentation – this includes travel agent itineraries, airfare booking confirmations, accommodation confirmations, tour confirmations etc, any tickets or vouchers, travel insurance certificates. Re-read the details and ensure you have everything. Make at least two photocopies of your entire document package. Send one set of copies to a trusted relative or friend you can call if you get into trouble.
Critical Bookings. Reconfirm critical bookings and check the actual flight departure times.
Cash. Purchase some starting currency for your first destination.
If you have set up a special email address, blog site, or have purchased an travel SIM card for your phone check that all of these tools are working and that you know the passwords to access them. Make a small cheat sheet of your communications details.
Call your network provider to ensure your phone has been unlocked to enable other SIM cards to be used and also unlocked for international calls.
Travel Warnings. Review the latest government travel warnings on your destination countries to see if there are any new issues you should be aware of. While you are on their website register your trip so that your government knows where you are in the event of trouble.
Travel Insurance. If your destination country travel advice has changed reconfirm with your travel insurer that you are still covered for your planned trip.
Destination News. Keep track of the news for your destination countries in the lead up to your trip so you are aware of any issues. Be prepared to change your travel plans if a significant issue arises.
Ensure you have planned how to get to and from your local airport and your arrival location. If you will be in transit for more than 16 hours do not plan to drive yourself as you will be at higher risk of having an accident. Allow enough time to get to the airport so you can check in without stress.
Mail. Arrange for your mail to be either picked up by a friend or neighbour, or arrange with your mail service to have your mail held or redirected.
Bills. Pay and pre-pay all bills which will become due while you are away.
Home Services. Cancel or suspend any home services which you will not require.
Clean Home and Garden. It is always nice to return to a clean home. Clean, vacuum, mop, tidy, clean oven, put items in appropriate storage. Ensure outdoor items are stored securely, and have been put in safe locations for extreme weather conditions. Mow lawn and complete other garden tasks.
Day or Night Before You Depart
Reconfirm Flight Times. Confirm flights and confirm actual flight times. Sometimes flights change – confirm what the latest published flight times for your particular flight. Sometimes airlines don’t call to advise you of changes. If you can check in online do it now.
Prepare vehicle/s for your absence. Transfer to vehicle carer, or park in garage with the hood to the exit. Disconnect battery if going on a long trip. If car needs to be started regularly, ensure your carer knows when and what to do. Give them the car keys.
Final Packing. Pack luggage and lay out clothes you will wear. Reweigh luggage to confirm it is within airline limits. Put all of your travel documents and currency together.
Prepare home for departure. Clean perishables out of fridge and cupboards. If your house needs to be winterized, do this on day of departure. Set heater temperature to maintenance level if required. Turn off all non-essential electrical items in your house to save on power bills and reduce the risk of fire. Ensure all windows and doors are locked. Close blinds and curtains. Turn on lights on automated timers. Give keys and contact details to house minder. Put final rubbish in outside bin.
Entertainment. Ensure that you have loaded any inflight entertainment that you wish to take with you.
Charge All Travel Gadgets. Put all travel gadgets items on for a full charge overnight. Ensure items are in a prominent location so they are not left behind. Don’t forget the chargers.
Set Alarm. Set your alarm if you need an early wakeup. Set two alarms if possible – ensure both are not reliant on mains power. Give yourself enough time to finalise your departure without panic. You can relax at the airport.
Go!! And have a great time.
Have you ever had the final panic before departing on your trip? Share your story in the comments below.
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