Whether we are travelling on business or for pleasure there always seem to be a multitude of things that we need to organise before we leave. Some of these things concern our travel arrangements themselves, some involve our safety and security whilst en route to our destination and during our stay away from home and some involve preserving the security of our home and belongings whilst we are away. In this article we look at some of the most useful and necessary steps we can take to ensure that our trip and our return home both go smoothly.
The first thing you ought to think of is who is going to look after your house whilst you are away. If someone is staying behind this will not be a problem. However, if the house is going to be empty you will need to arrange for someone either to watch your house, such as a neighbour or for a friend or relative to move in and stay in the house whilst you are away. If there is no one to do either of these it is important to ensure that you have some kind of timer switch for your lights that will switch them on in the evening and off again in the morning to avoid the house looking to be obviously unoccupied.
Similar arrangements will need to be made for the pets. If you have a house sitter, they will be cared for. If not, you will need to either arrange for them to stay with a friend or relative or for someone, such as a professional pet sitter or pet walker to care for them at your home. If neither of these is possible or desirable, you will need to place your pet in a kennels or cattery. Remember, if this is what you intend to do, you must ensure that they are fully inoculated and that these inoculations are up to date or they may be refused entry.
If your house is to be unoccupied it is essential to suspend delivery of milk, newspapers, groceries, your mail and any other regularly delivered item during the period of your absence from home. Ask a neighbour to watch out for any letters that may have been delivered but not properly pushes through the letterbox and ask that they attend to them on your behalf.
Organize your travel money as early as possible. Remember, some currencies will need to be ordered by the bank or exchange bureau, so give them plenty of time to do so. It is a good idea to take the bulk of your money in traveller's cheques or via your credit or debit card rather than cash. Cash is less secure and there are also limitations as to how much cash can be taken into certain countries. Check with your bank or credit card company how much interest you will be charged for withdrawals abroad. At the same time, you can ask that the security department at the bank or credit card company be notified of the planned trip to avoid unnecessary and unwanted problems in using the card for cash withdrawals or payment for goods and services.
If you are travelling by airplane and your airline requires you to re-confirm your flight you must ensure that you do so, many airlines allow you to check-in online. Some airlines even insist that you do this. Make sure that you utilize the online services as required.
Ensure that you have a travel insurance policy that covers the trip that you are planning to undertake and that any conditions in the policy are complied with. One of these is likely to be that you have had the necessary inoculations, particularly against tropical and sub-tropical diseases that may be prevalent in the country that you are travelling to. Make sure there is adequate cover for the goods that you are taking, particularly any special items such as golf clubs, skis, surf boards or snow boards.
If you are driving to the airport, particularly if it is a lengthy trip and even more so if you are embarking upon a motoring holiday you should ensure that your car is properly serviced. Motoring in some foreign countries requires special license arrangements and the carriage of special equipment in the vehicle (such as a hazard triangle) If you are driving abroad you should also ensure that your motoring insurance is valid for the countries that you are visiting.
Measure and weigh your hold luggage and cabin luggage to make sure that you are within the airline's limits to avoid a surcharge when you check it in. Make sure that you have no prohibited items in your hand luggage, particularly if you are travelling without hold luggage.
Make sure that you have all prescription medicines that you need for the duration of your trip. Take a copy of your prescription to prove what the medications are if required and to obtain replacements if they are lost. Also ensure that you have a supply of insect repellent, antihistamines, sticking plasters and sun block, dependent on the country that you intend to visit.
Make sure that your passport is up to date. For some countries the passport will need to have several months still unexpired at the date of travel. Check this out with your tour operator or online. Make sure that you have your passport (as well as your money and your tickets) with you when you leave the house!
Whilst the list of items above is not intended to constitute and exhaustive list of the things that you should organise before taking a trip, it hopefully covers the main issues that you should attend to in order to ensure that your trip and return are without a major mishap.
Sophia D'Souza is a Content Marketer, Blogger and Story Teller at Exit Timeshare Now. She enjoys connecting with people, keeping herself updated with the latest in the field of business, technology, travel & fashion and spending quality time with her family.