The 3-2-1 Guide to Travel Preparation13th May 2013
Holidays are certainly fun, but with so much to remember, the countdown to your holiday can often become more stressful than exciting! That’s why I’ve put together a 3-2-1 guide in the weeks counting down to your holiday to ensure you have everything covered, enabling you to relax and enjoy the ride before your trip! Do you have any additional tips to add to help you prepare for your trip?
Three weeks before
Excitement will definitely be starting to creep in when you have three weeks left before you depart on your long awaited holiday. This is the time to start getting organised and deal with the things that perhaps slipped through the net when you initially booked your holiday.
• If you haven’t already done so, start getting quotes and buy your travel insurance. You may be unsure about this one but it’s definitely recommended and will allow you to enjoy your time away safe in the knowledge that everything is covered. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of the policy thoroughly.
• Now is also the time to think about and organise your travel arrangements to from the airport. If you will be driving yourself, you will need to get airport parking arranged for the duration of your trip; now is the time to book up if necessary. Alternatively, you may be planning to get a lift with a friend or family member or use public transport.
• Start thinking about what you are going to do in terms of currency. Are you planning to use cash, a currency card or debit/credit cards or perhaps a combination of the three? If you plan to use a currency card or even a credit card now is the time to apply for one.
Two weeks before
Anticipation is starting to build and your beginning to day dream of an afternoon spent on a sun drenched beach with cocktail in hand! Now is the time to start planning for your time in your destination.
• If you have elected to take foreign currency with you, now is the time to get it ordered. Currency is always much more expensive at the airport so by ordering in advance, you have time to compare rates and get as much for your money as you possibly can.
• Consider purchasing a guide book to take on your trip or alternatively, research online for handy travel tips, suggestions and recommendations for the places you are going. You can scout out attractions as well as some nice looking restaurants and bars.
Once week before
With one week to go before you travel, you start repeating the phrase ‘this time next week I’ll be…’ whilst completing menial tasks! This is the ideal time to ensure everything is in order with your bookings and reservations, giving you ample time to rectify any errors.
• Check over all of your bookings and arrangements, including names, dates of births, check in and check out dates as well as flight dates and times. Ensure you have all necessary paperwork printed out and keep it all together.
• Write out your packing list and decide which clothes and other items you want to take with you. If necessary, ensure they are freshly laundered and put them aside ready to go into your suitcase.
A few days before
With just a few days to go before you jet off on holiday, you can begin to make your final preparations and tick off some of the smaller jobs on your list.
• Check the luggage weights and sizes with your airline for your flight. Do be sure to check this information both for your hold luggage as well as your hand luggage.
• It’s always useful for a trusted friend or family to have contact and travel details for you whilst you are away. Give this information to them a few days before including your flight itinerary, hotel information and perhaps even your passport number. This will be useful as a precaution in case of any unexpected events, delays or alterations to your schedule.
• Packing a few hours before you leave is a popular option but it might be worthwhile starting to pack a few days before, especially if you have to oversee the packing of your children’s cases too.
The day before
Your excitement will be peaking by this point and it’s time to deal with the final details.
• Finish packing the bulk of your luggage before moving onto hand luggage. Be sure to include snacks and drinks as well as some entertainment for your flight. You might also need to pack a variety of items for your children if applicable.
• Some airlines will allow you to check in 24 hours before your flight so if possible, do this in advance. Alternatively, this is a good opportunity to double check your flight times.
• If you are driving to the airport yourself, it is worthwhile completing some simple vehicle checks including the oil level and tyre pressure.
• Plan your route to airport, as well as an alternative in case of traffic or other delays. Check that road works won’t be affecting your planned route.
Day of travel
Your long awaited holiday starts here but before you leave home, there are just a few final things to take care of:
• The last thing you want to do is rush to get to the airport only to find your flight isn’t leaving at the expected time. Be sure to check flight status, either online or by phone, in case of any delays which may be affecting your flight.
• Ensure you keep important documents including passport, ticket, visas and more with you at all times to ensure they don’t get lost or forgotten.
• Secure your home including all windows and switch any alarms on as needed.
• Have a great trip!