Before you settle into holiday mode, take a few moments to run a few final checks and must-do tasks to ensure total peace of mind when travelling.
Download It – Roaming charges can be criminal, so minimise a nasty bill by downloading all the TV shows, films and music you’ll need when travelling. And stock up on useful travel apps too in case wi-fi spots are few and far between in your destination (gasp!)
Charge It – Don’t forget to charge your mobile phone, tablet, mp3 player, electric toothbrush, e-reader (and the list goes on) so you can hit the ground running. Then pack all chargers and adapters (if needed) into your suitcase. And by carrying out this task 24 hours in advance, you’ll have time to buy any additional bits of kit you might need from the airport or in-resort.
Final Pack and Weigh – I find the best time to pack a suitcase is about a week before travelling. This gives you plenty of time to repack a few times and loose a few non-essential items. I’m a huge fan of the capsule wardrobe and mentally creating outfits to mix and match items. Then when you’ve pared the contents down, you’re ready to weigh said luggage. Invest in a portable hand-held weighing device which will repay itself on your first trip by avoiding excess baggage charges.
Check and confirm – Check that you have all your paperwork, passports and visas ready to go. And call ahead and check that your hire car, accommodation and flights are all in order. This will also allow you to check for any potential delays and you can always ask for a free upgrade at the same time; don’t ask = don’t get!
Check the forecast – It’s a good idea to check the local weather, especially if you’re only heading off for a few days. An unseasonal hot/wet/dry spell could affect how and what you pack and therefore, how much the potential excess luggage charges might be. And learn what NOT to pack to keep the costs/weight down.
Clear your fridge – Either throw or freeze any perishables in your fridge as the last thing you’ll want to come home to will be putrid mouldy items. And don’t forget to reconfirm with neighbours etc if they’re looking in on your post or watering your plants whilst you’re away.
Sort your finances – Ideally you’ve already bought your holiday money but if you haven’t you can still scoot to your bank or local currency exchange (providing you’re not going somewhere totally obscure). For goodness sake though – don’t opt for buying currency at the airport – the rates will be obscene! And whilst you’re on finance duty, make sure any pending bills are paid and you’ve alerted your bank/credit card company to advise them that you plan on using your cards abroad. Otherwise your cards could flag up as having been stolen and stopped. Cue red faces and empty wallets all round!
And read our guide to 100 Easy Ways to Save Money on Travel in 2013 for more last minute and money savings tips and advice.