The holidays are here, but if you’re not sure what to take with you or what to do at home before you go, don’t worry. We’ve got the only holiday packing list you’ll ever need.
Ever set off to the airport on your annual break and remembered you’ve left your phone charger, sunglasses or maybe even your passport behind?
Perhaps you’ve forgotten to pay an important bill or empty the bins at home before you closed the door behind you?
And what are the things you absolutely must remember when travelling with children?
We’ve put together the ultimate travel checklist to help you get away without a hitch this holiday season.
If you’re travelling abroad, remember these things:
- Passports and visas
- Travel insurance documentation
- European health insurance card (if you’re heading to the EU or Switzerland)
- Foreign currency
- Plug adaptors
- Language guide
If you’re driving abroad, you’ll also need:
- Certificate of Motor Insurance
- Full driving licence
- Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident form
- Breakdown kit including fluorescent jacket (mandatory in France)
For more tips and a driving abroad checklist, our guide to driving in Europe has all the information you’ll need.
Wherever you’re travelling, don’t forget these things:
- Airline, train or ferry tickets
- Hotel documentation
- Credit cards
- Driving licence
- Prescription medicine, paracetamol, aspirin
- Sport equipment and sports travel insurance documentation
- Glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution
- Phone, tablet, laptop
- Chargers for your gadgets
- Camera, binoculars
- Books, magazines
- Guidebooks, maps
- Event tickets
- Notebook, pen
- Travel alarm clock
- Clothes, socks, underwear
- Sunhat, sunglasses
- Swimwear, beach towel
- Something warm for the evening
- Shoes, boots, flip flops, sandals
- Jacket, raincoat
- Soap, shampoo, cosmetics
- Sunscreen, insect repellent
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
What to pack when travelling with kids:
- Children’s passports and visas
- Car seats and pushchairs
- Kids medication, inhalers etc.
- First-aid kit with plasters
- Clothes and pyjamas
- Swimwear, water wings
- Sunhats, kids’ sunscreen
- Toys, activities and books for the journey
- Water bottles and snacks
Sun. Sea. Sand. …Security?
It’s hard to switch off on holiday if you’re worried about how things are going at home. And it’s no good remembering that you’ve left the bathroom window open when you’re relaxing on the beach.
But sometimes it’s only when we stop that we remember the things we’ve forgotten to check or do.
That’s why our travel checklist includes a list of essential tasks to tick off before you leave to help you ensure your home is safe and secure before you jet off.
Things to do before you head off on holiday:
- Rearrange deliveries. Got something scheduled to arrive while you’re away? Expecting a regular grocery delivery? Rearrange it. There’s nothing like a ‘while you were out’ card stuck in the letterbox to advertise your absence to burglars. If you can’t change the time of your delivery, ask a neighbour to keep a look out for the driver
- Stop your post. Lots of letters by your door is a sure sign that there’s no one home. Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will keep back your post for up to two months – handy if you’re going to be travelling for longer than your average summer holiday
- Credit cards. If you’re heading abroad, give your credit card company a quick call to let them know, so that they don’t think your souvenir spending in Spain is credit card fraud and stop your card
- Bills. If you can, pay any bills due while you’re away. Coming home from a great summer holiday is enough of a downer without the prospect of late payment fees
- Home insurance. If you haven’t already got insurance for your home, make sure you get some – in case the worst should happen while you’re away. If you have got home insurance, check it’s up to date. You could also find out if you have personal possessions cover for the things you take with you as part of your contents insurance policy
- Empty the fridge. Let’s face it: coming back after a great holiday to a fridge full of rotten food is pretty unpleasant
- Empty bins. Like the fridge, only worse
- Washing. Bring it in from lines and remove it from drying racks
- Timer switches. Invest in a few of these and set them to turn your lamps on in the evening and off in the morning so that it looks like someone’s home
- Spare keys. If you have a neighbour you know and trust, leave a set of keys with them and ask them to nip in occasionally and move any post away from your door while you’re gone. Ask them to water your houseplants so they don’t wilt, indicating that you’re away. You might even persuade them to open and close the curtains or draw the blinds morning and night
- Gas/electric appliances. Check you’ve turned off the oven, hob, iron... It’s also a good idea to turn off the WiFi if you have it
- Heating/hot water. Save money and switch it off. Or, if you’re travelling in the winter months, set it on a timer to make sure the pipes don’t freeze
- Windows and doors. Walk round and check they’re all closed and locked. Not doing so can invalidate your contents insurance. Find out about recommended window and door lock types
- Burglar alarm. Set it if you have one. Again, your contents insurance may be invalidated if you don’t use the security measures you have in place for your home. You may also want to give the details and the name of the alarm company to a trusted neighbour
- Don’t broadcast your absence. Telling people outside immediate friends and family that you’re going away is unwise. And, no matter how excited you are, never post that you’re going on holiday on social media. Uploading pictures of your toes by the poolside when you’re gone is an invitation to burglars.