24 Jun 2024

Preparing to go on holiday

3 min read

We all know the feeling - time off work is booked, destination decided and everyone is looking forward to welcome time away from the daily routine. But there is a lot to organise before a holiday, so where to begin? 

APDO member Jennie Smith has 10 practical tips and tricks to ensure preparing for your holiday is pain-free. Why not make a list using her suggestions to ensure nothing is forgotten and you can start your holiday confidently organised!

1. Passport validity

Remember to check the expiry date on your passport before making any travel bookings. Visit your government website for the latest requirements to avoid a disappointing refusal to fly. 

Allow plenty of time to renew or apply for a passport as this process takes several weeks. Finally, remember to check well in advance if you need a visa.

Visit gov.uk for more detailed information about passport rules.

2. Vaccinations

Depending on where you’re travelling to, ensure you’re vaccinated before setting off. This will include being up to date with routine vaccinations. You can find details on the NHS vaccines website. 

3. Pet care
June-2024-Blog-Preparing to go on holiday-pets.png

If you have pets, remember to organise their care well in advance by booking kennels, sitters, or arranging a friend or neighbour to look after them while you’re away.

4. Home security

It’s always a good idea to let your neighbours know that you’ll be out of your home too, and provide them with a spare key and your contact details.

To prevent drawing attention to your empty house, set timers so that lamps will come on. Turn off non-essential electrical appliances, and clear out any food from your fridge that might go off while you’re away.

5. Travel Insurance

Don’t think ‘it will never happen to me’ and ensure that you organise travel insurance. It should cover you for cancellation before your trip, missed or delayed journeys, and lost or stolen luggage or passports. Most importantly, it should cover emergency medical costs, in case anyone becomes ill whilst on holiday.

6. Travel Money

Other essentials include getting some cash if travelling abroad, as you never know when you might need it. Order it before you travel and not at the airport, where the exchange rate won’t be as good. 

7. Transport
June-2024-Blog-Preparing to go on holiday-departures.png

If flying or using public transport, double check your journey times, including departure time and when to check in by. I like to add in plenty of extra time to get there. I’d rather arrive early and have time for a coffee, than be feeling stressed due to my late arrival, because of unexpected delays en route.

8. Healthcare

Remember to take a first aid kit wherever you’re going. I suggest you include painkillers, indigestion tablets, antihistamines (for insect bites and minor allergic reactions), travel sickness tablets, plasters and bandages, antiseptic cream and wipes, as well as insect repellent. 

If you’re on prescription medication, pack enough to last you more than the length of your holiday, including potential delays. It’s also a good idea to take a copy of your prescription, just in case.

9. Devices

Remember your chargers for any devices, and also the right international plug adapters for your destination too.

Preparations are complete - now you’re ready for the fun bit, packing your suitcase! 

10. Time to pack!
June-2024-Blog-Preparing to go on holiday-pink packing list.png

To ensure that you don’t take too much, put the clothes you want to take, on the bed in categories. This makes it easier to pare back but also ensures that you’ll have enough of everything.

My other tip is to colour coordinate, so choose your base colour of navy for example, and then organise your holiday wardrobe around that.

When it comes to packing, I prefer to roll my clothes, as it keeps them in good condition and ensures they’re less crumpled in my bag. For items like jumpers and jeans, folding also works well and for smart items, such as a jacket, I suggest packing it last and folding and laying it on top of the other clothes. 

Place shoes in the bottom layer of your suitcase and fill in the spaces between them with smaller and odd-shaped items.

So that’s it, you’re prepared, packed and ready to go. Have a wonderful holiday!

To find your local organiser to help you prepare for your next holiday, check out our Find an Organiser page. 

Jennie Smith started Kent & Sussex Decluttering in 2018 and has helped many clients to organise and declutter their home. Jennie also specialises in helping to prepare for a house move, providing downsizing and practical help before and after moving day. As part of her sustainability efforts, following each decluttering and organising session, Jennie will drop off any donations for charity, and with her clients’ help, she has raised thousands of pounds for the Hospice in the Weald, Kent.