It’s easy to overlook a small but important detail when rushing off on vacation. You may have perfected your packing list, but there are still a few mundane items that can really make or break a good holiday. Avoid vacation regret with these 15 essential things that travellers forget to do before they leave home.
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- Check visa and passport requirements for your destination. Confirm with your destination countries website for visa requirements and entry/exit fees that are often required in cash. Some countries require a minimum of six months left on your passport to enter. If you have less than six months until it expires, you may need to apply for a new one.
- Check required and recommended vaccinations and medications. Some vaccines like rabies and Hepatitis B require several shots over a number of weeks or months. Don’t leave this until the last minute.
- Purchase appropriate travel insurance for your destination, trip length and activities. Make sure you read the fine print, particularly if you are the adrenaline-junky type. Many adventure activities are excluded from basic travel policies. Frequent or longer-term travellers might consider an annual plan such as Wander Frequent Traveler Insurance by Seven Corners.
- Purchase currency for your destination, or find out where you can exchange it once you arrive. If you are using a debit or credit card for payments, ensure you understand all the fees involved.
- Make copies of your passport, visa and itinerary and give them to a reliable friend or family member. Also, keep a digital copy in a secure cloud location like Dropbox so you can access them online from your destination if required.
- Remove unnecessary items from your wallet such as spare credit cards, in case of loss or theft.
- Contact your bank and let them know your itinerary so they don’t freeze your card the first time you try to use it.
- Do your laundry including sheets and towels. You don’t want to come home to housework at the end of your fabulous holiday.
- Pay upcoming bills or schedule automatic payments to avoid late fees or service shut-offs.
- Organise someone to collect your mail or get a temporary hold/redirection.
- Recruit someone to water your plants.
- Arrange pet sitting if appropriate.
- Clear out perishable food items and empty your rubbish bin.
- Turn off and unplug unnecessary appliances to save on your power bill. For longer trips, I even empty and turn off our fridge/freezer.
- Set your thermostat appropriately to save on energy but also keep your pipes etc from freezing.
If you have anything else to contribute to this list, drop it in the comments below, or share this post with a traveller who might need it.
Peace, love & inspiring travel,