Vacations are meant to be relaxing, but the preparations leading up to the take-off can be especially stressful. Particularly for those who like to leave things to the last minute (everyone’s been guilty of it at least once). The problem is, when things are left to the last minute, then important things tend to be forgotten. Which can be a right pickle when the realization eventually strikes.
Avoid turning a pleasant holiday into a stress-filled rush by planning ahead and completing the crucial tasks ahead of time. Here are ten important things that everyone should do before they leave for a holiday.
Gather Important Documents
Passports, identification documents, travel itineraries, airplane tickets, and medical documents are the most important documents to gather for a trip. Make sure to place these in a safe place, preferably in a water-resistant file.
Just in case, make some copies (either digital or physical) of important documents as well. Upon arrival, store them somewhere secure, like the hotel safe. Accidents happen, theft is a reality, and no one wants to get stuck in another country without any form of identification.
Take Care of Travel Insurance and Medical Cover
A lot of people opt to forego travel insurance, and it’s a big mistake. Any number of holiday-ruining things can happen the moment the car, plane, or train sets off. These accidents, from lost baggage to a medical emergency, can be extremely expensive without travel insurance. So it’s better to shell out those few bucks for peace of mind.
Pro tip: Those traveling to Europe should also fill out or update their European Health Insurance Card(EHIC). It provides free or subsidized health care for anyone traveling to a European country at no extra cost.
Make a Checklist of Important Items
Checklists might be so passé, but they’re really helpful in a pinch. If anything does get left to the last minute, this will at least help minimize the potential for leaving something behind.
Pack Chargers and Adapters
These are really easy to forget, and buying a charger or adapter during the trip is an unnecessary added expense. So keep these within view and remember to pack them.
Just make sure to charge any devices that will be used while traveling first.
Let the Bank Know of the Upcoming Travel Plans
Banks tend to get suspicious of unexpected overseas charges and could freeze the related accounts. So make sure they know of the upcoming trip to avoid any confusion.
Pro tip: Avoid exorbitant fees when using credit cards abroad by applying for a card that doesn’t charge extra fees for overseas spending.
Update Electronic Devices and Get a VPN
People tend to forget about the dangers of taking electronic devices overseas – especially when it comes to airport and hotel Wi-Fi. Make a note to update the system and apps on any devices that will be tagging along.
Also, download a VPN for extra protection. Whenever going online, a VPN is a must because it encrypts any data traveling through the connection. This is a no-brainer for anyone who plans on connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots and accessing confidential information (like a banking app) during the trip.
Clean the House
This might seem like a strange thing to put on this list, but honestly, it’s something most people neglect to do before they leave. Coming back to a dirty bathroom and a kitchen full of dirty dishes will ruin any leftover holiday glow right then and there. It’s just better to get all of that out of the way before leaving so the vacation mood can last a little longer.
Check the Weather
Packing only shorts and swimwear for a tropical island vacation makes sense. Unless there’s an impending storm that will last over a few days of the trip. It’s always a good idea to pack something for both hot and cold weather, just in case. But checking the weather reports for the area should also be a good indicator of what to pack more of.
Make Sure the Pets Are Taken Care Of
Kennels and pet hotels can fill up surprisingly quickly, especially around the holidays. It’s better to book a while ahead and make sure the furry members of the family are taken care of.
Taking a Break
Don’t get too caught up in the planning and arrangements before an impending holiday. Get the important things out of the way first and do as much ahead of time as possible. Taking a break is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one!