So, you already have your leave from work approved, your passport has been renewed, and the countdown to your tour departure date is now in single digits. Have you forgotten something? Is everything packed? Did you turn on your out-of-office reply for your emails?
Travel to: Europe
Save the worries, and take note of our list of pre-vacation tips to check off just before you depart for your well-earned vacation.
1. Leave a house key with someone
Well, obviously not just anybody, but with someone you trust. This person’s job while you’re away is to empty the letterbox, feed your cat and prevent your plants from dying. A better option is to have a friend house-sit while you’re away. An occupied house is at much lesser risk of a break in, so you can go travelling with your mind at ease.
2. Take a photo of your appliances or stovetop before you leave the house
Hear us out, because it might sound a little weird at first. If you’ve ever been struck by a panicked moment of ‘Did I turn the stove off?’, by having a photo of your appliances saved in your camera roll with everything unplugged or switched off will help to put your mind at ease. Then, you can enjoy your tour or holiday without fear that your house will catch on fire.
3. Get a travelcard with local money on it
It’s a question every traveller needs to consider before they travel, that being, ‘How do I carry my hard-earned money?’ While everyone has their own preference as to how to manage their money while abroad, we can tell you from experience, that carrying bundles of cash or travellers’ cheques is not the best idea.
Loading a travel card with local currency is a great idea and takes no time at all. It’s also a good idea to confirm with your bank that your regular bank and credit cards are going to work where you’re headed and clarify what bank fees might be involved with using them to avoid nasty surprises.
4. Set your work email to ‘out of office reply’
The last thing you want to be doing when you set off on your next tour or adventure is to thinking about work. Holidays are for relaxing, and work is for work. Make sure to draw a firm line between the two. Forbid yourself from reading your emails and make sure you let people know you’ll be away, remembering to specify your return date.
5. Get an external battery and an adaptor
If you’re travelling far away, we can almost guarantee you’re going to a land in a destination where the electric sockets look funny, so make sure you’ve got an adaptor so you’re not constantly borrowing one from the hotel or hostel reception.
If you don’t have an external battery already, we seriously recommend you get one. They come in very handy for long flights or bus rides and that extra bit of juice guarantees you’ll never miss a photo opportunity.
6. Do your laundry and clean the house
It’s probably the last thing you want to be doing when you’re preparing for an exciting trip abroad, but it’s well worth the hard work before setting off. This way you’ll be sure to have a suitcase full of fresh clean clothes when you arrive at your destination and clean sheets when you come home.
If your house is going to be unoccupied for the time you’re away, it’s also best to leave it clean so nothing smells when you come home. Don’t forget to clean out the fridge too and put out the rubbish. No-one wants a punnet of strawberries covered in mould welcoming them home from a holiday.
7. Check your flights
Flights are not cheap, we all know that. Before you arrive at the airport, make sure you know exactly what’s going on with yours. Check the flight status online, or you may even want to download your airline’s app to make sure you know exactly where you need to be, when.
8. Download offline maps and language app
Offline maps are often free these days and a great resource to have while you’re exploring the world, particularly if you’re visiting cities!
Try to download these at home so you don’t have to worry about finding Wi-Fi while you’re on the go. A language app will also mean you’re down with the basics upon arrival and can get straight into travelling like a local!
9. Make a killer playlist
Where would we be without Spotify or Apple Music (maybe even Tidal) these days? We can guarantee that you will encounter a flight or bus ride with a screaming child, in which case, you’ll want to have some good headphones and a playlist that’ll forever be connected with your trip of a lifetime.
See Also: Best Road Trip Playlists for Summer 2018
10. Get your paperwork in order
While most important documents are likely stored electronically in your emails, it’s never a bad idea to have a printed copy of some of those things for safekeeping (or for when your phone falls in a toilet).
Your travel insurance and emergency phone numbers are good ones to put in your suitcase or wallet, along with a photocopy of your passport which could come in handy if your precious ticket to travel goes walkabout.
Share your best pre-vacation tips below in the comments for our community of travellers to enjoy!