10 things you should do before leaving on your holiday

A little careful planning can avoid pre-holiday stress, last-minute panics, and anxiety.

We've put together a checklist of things to remember before you set off, but first, a few notes on the obvious, essential, but often overlooked items:

Some countries require that you hold a passport with at least six months validity remaining from the date of travel, so be safe rather than sorry. If you, or anyone in your group has a passport which has less than 6 months validity, don't delay- apply now for a new passport now.

Establish if the country you are visiting requires that you hold a valid visa, and if so, order your application forms straight away, and complete and send them off with your valid passport.

Vaccinations are often forgotten, and some countries have compulsory vaccination requirements, so check well in advance. For more about vaccinations read our guide: An Easy Guide to Holiday Vaccinations.

When you receive your travel documents, check them carefully. Ensure that you do not exceed the prescribed luggage allowance.

Buy travel insurance and make sure that all of your existing medical conditions are covered.

Take a small amount of local currency with you. Order your travel cheques and currency, and don't forget your credit and debit cards.

So now, 10 things you should do before leaving for your holiday:

  • 1. Pets: Make arrangements for the care of your pets, whether with a friend or family member, or local animal boarding home.
  • 2. Plants: Water your plants before leaving, and if some of them require extra care, ask your neighbour to pop in every three or four days to keep an eye on them.
  • 3. Fridge: You won't want to return home to stale food and unpleasant odours so make sure all perishable food is thrown out prior to your departure.
  • 4. Heating and electrical appliances: If your heating system is on a timer, you can turn it off to save money while you are away. (Don't do this if you are going away in the winter). Unplug all electrical appliances.
  • 5. Birthday & anniversary cards: Write and stamp your cards in advance and ask a friend to post them on the appropriate day.
  • 6. Medication: If you are on medication of any type, take sufficient supplies for the duration of your holiday.
  • 7. Call your bank: Let them know you're off on holiday and that you'll be using you cards in whichever country you are visiting. This will avoid any embarrassing moments when trying to make a purchase only to find that your bank's high level security system has blocked your card.
  • 8. Secure your home: Double check that all windows, doors, and gates are securely locked. Cancel all deliveries such as newspapers and milk, and tell your neighbours when you are leaving, and ask them to keep an eye on your home.
  • 9. Keep it fresh: Use scented disinfectants in toilets and down sinks to avoid coming home to unpleasant drains odour.
  • 10. Family head count: Remember home alone? Make sure that as you set off, you have everyone with you that should be with you.