There’s so much to think about when you’re taking a vacation, with your holiday wardrobe taking up most of your thoughts. So I’ve listed the things you should remember to do before your trip so you can ace that capsule wardrobe.
Most UK-based airlines will allow you to check-in online up to four weeks before the flight, and if you’re organised, you can bag your seats together without the extra cost (I’m looking at you Easy Jet). If you’ve booked your flights in advance, find out when check-in opens and make a note to do it on that day. Ask for your travelling companion’s passport details in advance of the day, as you’ll need it for checking in.
2. Change Currency
It’s always a good idea to split your money between physical cash and a bank card. Do not put all of your eggs in one basket and only take cash or only take your card. You need to have access to money in case something goes wrong, so always have a backup.
I’ve made a lot of use out of MoneyCorp at Bristol Airport, where I can pre-order my currency in advance to buy and collect on arrival to the airport – often the rates are quite good when ordered in advance.
3. Notify Phone Operator
Unless you’re on 3 and get free worldwide usage, you’re probably going to be charged for using your phone abroad. To ensure you aren’t caught out, be sure to notify your phone operator of your impending trip, and find out what data plans are available to you if you plan to use your phone off Wi-Fi.
4. Notify Your Bank
Really you should be using a card such as Revolut that enables you to make purchases worldwide without the charges. However if it’s unavoidable, be sure to notify your bank that you’re going away. If you don’t it’s likely they’ll believe its fraudulent activity and your card may be blocked.
5. Pre-load Currency Card
If you are a savvy traveller and you’ve got your currency card (I recommend revolut), ensure it’s been topped up.
6. Take a Photocopy of your Passport
Take one copy with you, give one to your companion and leave one at home with a family member or friend – you just never know.
7. Note Down Accommodation Details
If you’re entering the US from the UK, you’ll need to have your accommodation details to hand when completing the entry form. But it’s good to have these anyway so you can use them in an emergency, or just to show to a taxi driver.
8. Take Out Travel Insurance
It’s loathsome but important.
Of course, you won’t need vaccinations if you’re travelling to Europe, but when heading further afield it’s important to check what you need well in advance. Remember, some vaccinations need to be administered a number of weeks before the trip.
10. Ensure you’ve got the necessary Visas
Since you don’t want to spend 13 hours travelling and be sent all the way back, be sure to check what you need before you get there.
11. Check the Validity of your Passport
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months at the start of your trip.
12. Seek Travel Advice from FCO
Pay attention to weather warnings, delays and other possible crises.
13. Getting To and From Airport
Book your airport transfers on the other side, or know how to get from the airport to your accommodation and vice versa.
14. Download Useful Apps
Make sure you have all the apps you need – Uber, Currency Converter, Google Translate, Google Maps
15. Download Your Entertainment
Download your Netflix wish list and your Kindle books.
16. Clear Your Memory
Now would be a good time to clear off all those screenshots and selfies to make space for your holiday snaps.