Okay, so yes going on holiday is supposed to be wonderful, relaxing and a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but I can’t be the only one who finds the build up a little stressful? Trying to get ahead at work, making travel arrangements and trying to ensure you haven’t forgotten something super important, it can all get a bit much, and the last thing you want is to arrive at the airport too frazzled to enjoy the start of your trip. Over the years I’ve put together a bit of a list to make the pre holiday buildup less stressful, and since when you’re reading this I’ll be off on my travels, it seemed like the perfect time to share my pre holiday checklist.
A month before.
Do you need an jabs or visas?
Obviously sometimes trips are planned less than a month in advance, but as a good rule of thumb a month is a good time to start thinking about these things. Some countries require jabs that need a little planning, it might take a few weeks for an appointment at your local GP, or they may have to order a vaccine or tablets in for you, so double check that your location doesn’t require any medical treatments. It’s also a good idea to check if you need a visa too, I recently organised a trip to Nigeria and the whole visa application took a good three weeks plus a trip to the embassy, so it’s good to be prepared!
Is your travel insurance valid?
I always like to check my travel insurance plan prior to travel to make sure my location + the stuff I’m taking is covered. I often travel with quite a lot of tech, including expensive cameras and lenses, so I like to make sure that should anything happen my possessions are covered up to their full value. I recommend using Compare the Market because if you purchase a policy through them they’ll give you a two for one cinema voucher once a week for a year!
Two weeks before.
Do your prescriptions need refilling?
I often joke that if you shook me in the morning I’d rattle, the amount of pills I’m popping these days. Two weeks before I travel I like to make sure I have enough of each prescription to get me through my trip + a week or so after so I don’t have to stress about it when I get home. Get this out of the way two weeks before you travel so you don’t have a last minute rush when you’re packing a few days beforehand.
What about cars?
Do you need to book airport parking? Will you need a hire car once you arrive at your destination? Prices for things like parking and hire cars don’t tend to differentiate much if you book them in advance or at the last minute, so you can really do this at any time, but I find that taking care of this a couple of weeks in advance is the most hassle freeway!
A week before.
Avoid that last minute laundry rush when you’re packing and realise your favourite dress is covered in foundation marks, and get your laundry done a week before. I like to hang the clothes I’m thinking of taking on one side of my wardrobe so I know not to wear them in the run up to the trip!
As someone who has had their card blocked on trips before, I highly recommend giving your bank a call before you travel to let them know you’ll be out of the country. This should stop any embarrassing incidences of your card being declined, and save you the hassle of racking up international minutes calling your bank to try and fix it. I now have a Monzo card I use for travel which is great as you don’t pay any fees for using it abroad! I also like to pop to the Bureau de Change at M&S and get a little cash out in local currency just in case I’m caught short, need to leave a tip or get a taxi from the airport. You’ll get better rates doing this beforehand than you will trying to change money at the airport!
When I travel I always like to get my nails done beforehand so I don’t have to worry about them on the trip! Shellac tends to last me two weeks so I try and get this done a few days before I travel so I can have snazzy hands! If it’s a beach holiday I’ll get a pedicure too, nobody wants dry cracked feet by the pool! I’ll also try and time my hair cut + colour beforehand too, so that I’m not looking back at holiday snaps and distracted by my roots, or spending my whole trip battling frizzy ends.
Especially if I’m travelling a fair distance I like to download some bits and pieces to my iPad to keep me entertained! I’ll download a book or two to read by the pool, a series or a few movies to entertain me on the plane, and I’ll make sure my Spotify is updated with a few offline playlists to keep me going. Trust me, this is a step you don’t want to forget, more than once I’ve been sat in an airport lounge trying to download a movie on dodgy wifi signals!
A few days before.
I always pack a couple of days before my trip and then try and use the beauty products I’ve packed until I leave – it’s kind of a sure fire way to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything (I once went on a two week cruise without an eyebrow pencil and those photos still make me cringe). Get everything organised and packed a few days before, and hopefully you’ll have a buffer to figure out if you’ve forgotten anything.
There’s nothing that makes the post-holiday blues hit harder than returning home to a big mess. Clean the kitchen, run the hoover round, change your bedlinen and take care of the laundry before you leave so that coming home is that bit less stressful!
Hopefully this helps any of you off on your travels soon (you lucky devils you), I’d love to know if there’s anything on your pre holiday checklist I’ve missed!