There’s nothing worse than settling on the plane or the ferry seat and having this nagging feeling that you have left something behind. Or arriving somewhere and discovering that those one or two essentials you forget are going to cause you a world of trouble with the kids. It is easy to forget things in the run up to the holiday and one of the best ways to make sure you are prepared for all eventualities to it make use of a holiday checklist.
Ahead of the trip
There are some jobs that need to be done in the immediate few days before departure but there are other jobs that should be handled much earlier. Ask yourself if before you go do you need to:
Have vaccinations? If you are travelling abroad, then always check the NHS website for information about any vaccinations you may need. Otherwise get in touch with your GP to check what you have had and what you might need.
Exchange money? Often a good deal on exchange rates can be found by changing the cash ahead of the main holiday periods. Shop around and don’t be shy to haggle to get the best possible rate. If you leave it to the airport, you will lose out financially.
Organise insurance? Travel insurance is a must these days even if you are only travelling to Europe. While the European Health Insurance Card (don’t forget to pick that up too) can cover you for some things, it’s better to be comprehensively covered. And you should never consider going further afield without the right and full insurance in place – there are horror stories out there about uninsured people and most aren’t over-exaggerated!
Sort out a visas or renew a passport? These legal documents are crucial and can take a bit of time to sort, or cost a lot more money to be rushed through. Organising them ahead of time reduces both cost and stress.
Transport? If you need to book transport to the airport, from the airport to the hotel or any other transport needs, do it sooner rather than later. Even car hire can be best arranged ahead of time for peace of mind.
Getting ready for a summer holiday somewhere in the sun is about more than just packing shorts and t-shirts. Firstly, have an essentials bag where you keep all those items you would really be stuck without. These are items such as your passports, now updated and ready to go, as well as tickets and your new currency. Keep your travel insurance documents and EHIC card in with this along with the contact numbers for anyone you may need while abroad. Boarding passes and flight tickets along with visas should all go into the bag. If you are driving while on holiday, you will need your driving licenses, along with breakdown cover if it covers you where you are going. Finally, if you are staying in a holiday home or chalet and the keys have been sent ahead of time, don’t forget to pack them!
Clothes almost pack themselves depending on where you are going but don’t forget extras such as reading glasses and hearing aids if anyone uses them along with glasses cases and contact lenses equipment. Medication is also crucial to have ready and make sure you sort repeat prescriptions so you have enough for the holiday as well as for when you come back. Watches, sunglasses, hats as well as jewellery can all be awkward if you forget them.
Even a summer holiday in the UK needs an appropriate packing list and you can include a few more fun things that couldn’t always go abroad with you. Wet suits and body boards for the kids may be essential along with face masks and goggles for a bit of swimming in the sea. A cool box, thermos flask and beach bag are great for taking those beach snacks along and don’t forget to pack both a windbreak and umbrellas – you never know what the British weather is going to do!
Snow holiday preparation starts out the same then changes depending on the sports or activities you will be doing when away. Some people choose to hire equipment for skiing or snowboarding while on site to save having to carry them along while others have their own equipment and won’t be parted with it. As well as the basic skis, snowboards and poles don’t forget the accessories such as powder ribbons or traps if you are going somewhere with deep powder and a board leash. Lift pass holders are useful and take along wax and iron if you need to do some on the spot maintenance. Ski holder straps and board locks are also very handy.
Then there are the snow sports clothes essentials that a trip won’t be a success without. Face masks can be important if you are going somewhere with particularly low temperaments as well as a hooded top. Neck warmers, thermal clothes and fleece vests are also crucial for the coldest temperatures. Helmets, goggles as well as ski jackets and pants may all be part of the repertoire while gloves and socks designed to deal with the cold will be possibly the first items into the suitcase.
Don’t forget that you won’t spend all of your time on the slopes and pack some lounge clothes and some smart clothes for the evening meal. Skiing gear is warm but not ideal for the restaurant! Take along a few first aid essentials such as painkillers, bandages, lip creams and even a few knee braces.
Travelling on a plane can be a tricky manoeuvre with some kids, especially on longer flights. Therefore planning ahead to keep them occupied is the key to a tress-reduced flight. Look at books, hand-held computer games and even colouring items to see if you can take them on the flight as well as headphones for tablets or music players to avoid irritating the neighbours. Often planes have movies to help pass the time so get the kids into watching them and consider flying at night so they will drop off to sleep during the journey, in theory at least.