There’s always a lot to do before going on holiday. At this stage, people tend to focus on wrapping up any loose ends at work and packing their bags. But that’s not all you need to think about.

Just a little bit more organisation beforehand can help ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Plus, doing these odd jobs before going on holiday means that it’ll be a pleasure to walk back into your home when you return. You might still have slight holiday blues, but these easy steps will definitely make you feel a bit better about coming home. Along with checking your passports and your flight times, here are a few things you should do before going on holiday.

Things to do before going on holiday

Things to do well before going on holiday

Well before your fly, you need to make sure that all your travel documents are in order. The obvious ones are your passport, any visas and flights tickets. But it’s also worth thinking about printing off proof of your reservations, or checking whether you need any other documents, like an international driver’s license or student card.

Plus, don’t leave it too late to…

  1. Investigate and purchase an appropriate travel insurance policy
  2. Apply for a European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC, if you’ll be on holiday in Europe
  3. Sort any required inoculations, if you’re travelling somewhere tropical
  4. See your doctor if there’s any medication you need to take with you
  5. If you have a pet, find and book a suitable kennel or arrange a pet-sitter
  6. If possible, ask a neighbour, relative or friend to check your house from time to time. It’s also a good idea to give them a number which they can contact you on, in case of emergencies
  7. Write your packing checklist, to see whether there’s anything you need to buy before you go

A little nearer the time, it’s a good idea to check that you’re informed about any events that have occurred in the country or countries you’ll be visiting. For example, a local strike or a national holiday could affect your holiday plans. Before going on holiday, it’s always worth checking the UK government’s travel advice and warnings, which you can find on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

Packing

Don’t make the mistake of leaving all your packing until the night before going on holiday. But, saying that, it’s also not a good idea to pack items like clothes and toiletries too early, or you’ll just end up taking them out again. And then you risk leaving something behind at home.

Instead, find a clear space that’s out of the way, on the floor or a table, several days before going on holiday, and lay out all the items you plan to take with you, next to your case. Whenever you remove an item – like a favourite piece of clothing you can’t do without – make a list of what you need to return to the packing pile, and keep that list by your case.

Keep your toiletries kit on your bathroom counter. Pack it ahead of time and then simply get used to living out of it until it’s time to add it to your case. That way, you won’t end up on holiday without a particular cosmetic item you depend on. If you’re putting any toiletries in your hand luggage, remember that, to comply with airport security requirements, any liquids, gels or pastes must be no more than 100ml. Then, just pop them in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag.

On the day or just before going on holiday

On the day you’re due to fly – or the night before – it’s a good idea to spend a little time organising your home. We know you’ve got a lot to think about already, with luggage and passports, but spending a quick half an hour doing some odd jobs around the house will make it so much nicer to come back to. Empty the fridge of any food that’s likely to spoil, empty the rubbish bins and, if it’s winter, turn off the water at the mains to prevent pipes freezing.

If you have one, switch on a timer that will turn on your lights in the evenings, to make it appear as if someone is at home. And it’s always best to move any high-value items, such as laptops, so they can’t be seen through the windows.

Right before going on holiday

Before setting off, take a few minutes to do these final checks:

  1. Run through your packing checklist to make sure you haven’t left anything out, paying special attention to your travel documents, tickets and money
  2. Check that your flight is on time – you can find this out on the airport’s website or your airline’s site
  3. Make sure all windows are closed and your doors are securely locked

Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready to go. Get ready for take off…

While you’re here, read our holiday packing check list to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Or, find cheap flights for your next getaway.