A few weeks ago I shared with you a list of 10 Essential Things to do Before Going Away on Holidays (that you probably haven’t thought about). Believe it or not, there are a few additional ‘must do’ items to add to the list! So, here are 10 MORE things to do before going away on holidays!
1. Do your research.
A little research goes a long way! Know at least something about the destination you are going to. Unless it is a destination you will know without doubt you will go back to, it would be such a shame to get all the way there and miss out on activities or experiences that you only found out about after getting back.
TripAdvisor is a great place to start for ideas, reviews and recommendations. Research also helps you to avoid potentially awkward, embarrassing or even dangerous situations. If you are travelling to a destination with completely different customs for example, you need to know the do’s and don’ts in order to stay respectful and safe.
2. Get your travel documents in order.
Making sure all your travel documents are organised makes for a smooth, stress-free trip. When planning a holiday through a trusted and competent travel-agent, this will pretty much all be done for you. I recommend Travel With Intention, for an Australian-based agency that creates amazing holiday packages based on your travel intentions; be it to reconnect, revive, relax, seek adventure or experience culture.
However, if you are organising your trip on your own, then it is paramount that you have all your documentation in the one place, including everything from flight and hotel information to tours and restaurant bookings. You can either set things up in a spreadsheet with email confirmations printed out separately, or input information into an app (such as TripIt) to save on the extra paper.
3. Register your details with smartraveller.com.au
Smartraveller is an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) initiative that provides the latest up to date information about more than 170 destinations worldwide, to help Australians avoid difficulties whilst overseas. They have advice on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry and exit requirements and information on health issues. In subscribing to their service, you input information to receive updates and advice that is relevant to your country of interest and particular travel plans/arrangements. By providing further information about the particulars of your trip, their registration service helps you to be more contactable in case of an emergency or disaster such as a cyclone, for example.
4. Notify your local post office.
If you’re heading away for any longer than a few days, it’s a good idea to notify your local post office so they can hang on to your mail until you get back. An overflowing mailbox is an obvious sign to passers by that the homeowner is away. Alternatively, if you have a good relationship with your neighbour, get them to collect it for you on a regular basis.
5. Put any subscriptions or memberships on hold.
There’s no point in spending money where you don’t have to. You won’t be around to collect any magazine or newspaper subscriptions anyway, so put them on hold while you are away. Likewise, allowing memberships such a gym, swimming or other kids activities to continue while you are gone, is just throwing money away!
If you know in advance that there will be a local, state or federal election happening whilst you are away, you can vote early. This can be through a postal vote, at a local early voting centre or by voting online. There is also the opportunity to vote for federal elections whilst overseas at selected Australian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions. If you are going overseas for a substantial block of time or indefinitely, you can also apply through the Australian Electoral Commission to have your name removed from the electoral roll for a time period or permanently, if appropriate.
7. Download relevant travel apps.
Make sure you’ve downloaded all your apps for travel before you go and have a bit of a play around with them too. This saves time and fussing about if you’ve already got them up and running. There are some great apps available for travel including Google Maps, XE Currency, Rome2rio and Google Translate. In an upcoming article, I’ll share with you a comprehensive list of my favourite apps for family travel… so check back later!
8. Charge electronics.
Don’t get caught out with a flat battery! Make sure all your electronics are fully charged and ready to go, including phones, iPads, laptops, cameras and video cameras. Make sure you put a power board aside as well (ready to pack). At your holiday accommodation there may be few power outlets, so having a power board allows you to charge multiple devices at once. Obviously you’ll also need an compatible travel adaptor, if you are travelling internationally.
9. Create a travel checklist.
Write down a checklist of everything you will need for your trip away, so you don’t forget anything. Make sure to do this ahead of time, so you can revise and add on as appropriate. Not sure of where to start? Enter your details below for a comprehensive packing checklist that you can download straight away!
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Travelling with young kids? Scratching your head about what to pack?
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10. Pack a busy bag for the kids.
There’s nothing more dampening of a holiday than bored and nagging kids! Keep them entertained with a busy bag filled with a collection of hands-on activities and toys. Head to your local Kmart or dollar shop to fill up a bag before you go. Ain’t got time for that? Head to my online store instead, for a collection that has already been packed for you and is ready to go! It’s got a huge bunch of things that the kids are sure to love!