How to prepare for your summer holiday

How to prepare for your summer holiday

Isn’t it funny how we all amp ourselves up for a summer holiday? One week – or two if you’re lucky – out of the whole year when everything has to be perfect, because honestly, for most people it’s the highlight of our calendars. Capsule wardrobes are meticulously planned, bodies are toned, plucked, painted and prepped and destinations and accommodation is researched with a fine-tooth comb.

There’s a lot of pressure on a summer holiday to live up to all the expectations, daydreaming and expense, so how do you make sure there are no flies in the ointment?

Print out your travel documents.

Having hard copies of all your important travel documents can be a lifesaver, so make sure your printer is well stocked with ink and you have plenty of paper in advance of your departure. Scratching around to print out your itinerary on the night before you fly is not an ideal way to ease into your holiday!

Don’t forget to check in.

Most flights these days request that you check in at least 24 hours in advance of travel. It’s one of those jobs that can be done easily online but in the maelstrom of packing and prepping for departure it can be forgotten. Why not set a reminder on your phone to be certain it doesn’t fall through the cracks?

Print copies of everything.

Once you’ve got copies of your travel documents, including insurance, tickets, visas, reservation details, and passports, make a second copy of everything. Then be sure to pack them all in a different bag to the originals, the chances of your bag or case being lost in transit are always small but it never hurts to be sure. Also, if you’re planning on hiring a car or moped abroad then don’t forget your all-important driving licence and copies of that too! Again, make sure your printer is stocked up with enough ink or toner.

Prepare your home for your departure.

Have you booked a place in kennels for your dog, asked a friend to feed your cat and persuaded someone pop round to water your plants? It’s also a good idea to make sure a neighbour has a spare key for your place, just in case people need to get into your home while you’re away. Chances are they won’t – a holiday only tends to be seven days after all – but why take the risk?

Make your own mini phrase book.

You don’t want to be that British buffoon on your holidays, the one bumbling across foreign phrases to make yourself vaguely understood by unimpressed locals. And frantically thumbing through a phrase book to find the most basic of questions is never a good look. Instead why not print off a quick-reference piece of A4 with a few key phrases in the local tongue?

Check your phone tariff.

Avoid getting stung on international data and calls by checking your phone tariff before you leave. A quick call to your mobile provider will put your mind at ease about how much things will cost when you’re overseas. It will also give you an opportunity to set up ‘roaming’ if your plan requires it.

Weigh your luggage.

Going even slightly over the weight allowance for your baggage can be a costly mistake. These days people tend to have e-books rather than heavier paperbacks, and summer clothes don’t tend to be too bulky, but if you find it impossible to narrow your holiday footwear collection down to anything fewer than 16 pairs (you know who you are), you may want to check your bag on the scales at home.

Boring but important.

The following list includes a number of key items that are all too easy to forget, especially if you’re running out of the house for an early morning flight. Print it out and tick everything off one by one, because half of these things are available in the Duty Free section of the airport, but you know they’ll cost you a small fortune…

  • Plug adaptors
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun tan lotion and after-sun
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitiser
  • Sunglasses
  • Chargers for any electronics you’re taking
  • Deck of cards (in case of really long delays)
  • Headphones
  • Toiletries
  • Razors and tweezers (make sure they’re not in your hand luggage or they’ll be confiscated at security)
  • Eye mask and earplugs for travel
  • Driving licence
  • Pants and toothbrush in your hand luggage – just in case your suitcase goes AWOL

Enjoy your summer holiday and remember if you need to stock up on ink to print your documents before travelling, visit 

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