If you’re going away on holiday anywhere this year, then you may well be asking yourself what you need to sort out before you go – and if you are, then this is the post for you!
I wanted to put together a list of all the key TO DO’s that you would need to do before you went away – a “pre holiday checklist” – giving you everything you need to consider so that you can go on holiday safe in the knowledge that everything has been sorted….
This holiday prep checklist includes everything you need to think of – from 2 months away from your holidays all the way up to the day you leave, so you don’t have to do it all in one go!
WHAT IS A PRE HOLIDAY CHECKLIST?
A pre holiday checklist is basically a TO DO list for the weeks leading up to your holiday, to ensure that
- You have everything you need
- Your home is safe and secure while you are away
- You can rest assured that your home will be a nice place to come home to
Whether you are going for a few days, or a few weeks, having a list of everything that you need to do before you go can stop you forgetting things and make going away less stressful.
I’ve listed everything below, in timeline order, so feel free to copy this list for your own holiday, but if you prefer to have everything done for you to save time – then this entire checklist is available within my holiday planner section of the Home File – along with everything you could possibly need to plan your holiday – you can take a look at that HERE.
So – let’s get on with it, shall we!
TO DO – 2 MONTHS BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- #1 Check all your holiday documentation is in order i.e. passport, tickets, insurance – This is key as without the right documents in place, you may not be able to go at all. Doing it this early on means you have more chance of getting everything sorted in time (especially if you find your passport is out of date, for example). Also write down all the addresses and telephone numbers you may need when you’re away and either add to your mobile phone or create a small folder with everything in. EXTRA TIP – Scan everything so you have a digital copy should everything else get damaged or stolen…
- #2 – Add contacts to your phone – Insurance specifically – if you need this when away it’s the quickest way to get in touch with them (and you are less likely to lose your phone as oppose to paperwork)
- #3 – Write down your holiday details – Having your itinerary and all details of where you are staying, travel etc… will be really beneficial when away – do it with plenty of time to check things and book other things if needed.
- #4 – Consider transport. You may need a book a taxi to the airport (or ask a friend), you may have to book car parking, or if you are driving you will want to give your car a once-over to ensure it’s ready to travel. Ensure you can get to where you’re going!.
- #5 – Sort out sitters. If you have pets or children that are staying behind, then you need to work out where they will be staying while you are away. Arrange for a pet sitter, book kennels, ask a friend or family member to help out etc… You should also also look at a house sitter or a friend to stop by while you are away for added security.
- #6 – Sort out any jabs you need
TO DO – 1 MONTH BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- #7 – Medication?. If you are on any medication, then check you not only have enough for while you are away, but also for a few days when you’re back to give you time to reorder (add a reminder to your diary for when you get back). EXTRA TIP – when you’re away it’s easy to get out of the usual habits that may remind you to take medication – so you could add a reminder alarm to your phone if you’re taking that, and/or use a pill box** so that you can see what days you need to take what.
- #8 – Begin to write your packing list for your holiday. Think of everything from suitcases and bags, clothes, entertainment, toiletries, to medication – put everything you can think of down on the list at this stage – you can always delete items if you find you won’t actually need them (due to luggage weight, or if hotel has the items – for example)
- #9 – Check bags – Any suitcases or bags that you intend to use for your holidays should be checked now so that you can fix any damage etc… before it’s too close to going away. Check locks as well for security.
- #10 – Create a TO DO list – This list will contain most of your TO DO’s, but of course there will be other one-off items specific to your needs that you may want to add – so write down anything in one place so you get it all done (and schedule the TO DO’s if possible so it’s not all left to the last minute).
- #11 – Create a shopping list for items you need to get for your holiday and start to shop for everything – you could simply start adding a few items to your usual shopping for the next few weeks so that it’s not too much in one go – OR get it all done together.
TO DO – 1 WEEK BEFORE YOU GO
- #12 – Cancel any one off deliveries you may be expecting. Or re-route to a friends address – you don’t want a large package sitting on your front porch for days/weeks.
- #13 – Cancel the milk / newspaper or anything else you get delivered regularly
- #14 – Tell neighbours you’re going away. If you get on with your neighbours then let them know you are away as they can keep a general eye on your home for you.
- #15 – Check in on the sitters – Hand over any info/keys etc… that they may need when you’re away. (It’s a good idea to have a schedule for your kids, or pets, and info on food etc…. so that there is no guess work needed, and any details of the house such as the alarm code etc….)
- #16 – Ensure all bills are up to date – better be up to date than come back to no hot water!
- #17 – Inform your mobile phone company and get roaming set up so you can use your phone abroad.
- #18 – Inform your bank – Let your bank know you are away so that they don’t stop your card when you use it abroad (add the banks telephone number to your mobile phone in case you need to get in touch while away).
- #19 – Check for any Birthdays and Occasions coming up while you’re away – sending these things now will stop you forgetting or missing it completely.
- #20 – Check for any Birthdays and Occasions that will happen the week you get back – Buy cards and presents now so you don’t have to panic buy when you get back, and they will be ready to post when you arrive home.
TO DO – 2 DAYS BEFORE YOU GO
- #21 – Clean the house ready for your return. A really hard job to get motivated to do before you are going away, and one that frankly, you could do without, but if you can clean your house as close as you can to leaving it, you will love coming back from holidays tired and walking through the door knowing that the house is clean and nothing needs doing.
- #22 – Freeze a meal for your return so you have something easy and quick available for you when you walk through the door. If you don’t want to cook a meal, then at least have something in the cupboards ready for you (pasta and a sauce works well), and also think about having a carton of UHT milk on standby so you can have a hot drink (this is especially useful if you are arriving home in the small hours of the morning when everything’s shut). I usually have a loaf of bread in my freezer so that I can have some toast, which works well.
- #23 – Watering plants etc.. needs to be considered. There are some self watering systems** out there which I have yet to try, or you could get a friend/house sitter to water them for you. Whatever your plan, don’t come back to a load of dead plants if you can help it!
- #24 – Pack your bags and label them (also weigh them** if you are flying and ensure that you haven’t exceeded your limits)
TO DO – THE DAY BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- #25 – Set a few lights on a timer** – this way your home looks like there’s someone there even when you’re out
- #26 – Clean out the fridge and empty all bins – the last thing you want to come home to is the smell of rotting food..
- #27 – Secure your home – check all locks, ensure the alarm is working and someone you trust has access in an emergency
- #28 – Remove any flowers in vases or plants that won’t last – they will start to rot and smell if left
- #29 – Double check travel times, travel documents and sitters
TO DO – THE DAY YOU LEAVE
- #30 – Do the washing up and put everything away that you have used before you leave.
- #31 – Tidy up! – Don’t leave things out for burglars to see and be tempted by
- #32 – Pack your last few bits (toothbrush etc…) that you have needed to use right up to leaving. I find it handy to have a checklist of these things on top of the suitcase so I can check them off as I add them to the case – saves having to think much before you go!
- #33 – Turn off/down the heating. If you are going away during the winter consider leaving on at least a little so the pipes don’t freeze and burst…
- #34 – Last minute walk around the house to ensure everything’s locked, nothings left on etc…
- #35 – When you leave the house – remember to RELAX – the holiday has now started – ENJOY AND HAVE A GREAT TIME – YOU DESERVE IT!
So – why not create a pre holiday checklist for yourself, and tick everything off as you count down to going away, you’ll be sure that everything will be tackled.
I’d love to know if you have anything else to add to the list – or if you have already created something similar.
And don’t forget – if you want extra help in planning your holiday – INCLUDING a pre holiday checklist all ready for you to tick off, then take a look at the Holiday Planner in the Home File – perfect for organising your trip away!