Last-minute holiday checklist

Harvey Jones

Here's everything you need to do to make sure your holiday goes smoothly

Holidays are supposed to be restful but there is nothing relaxing about the final days before you lock up and leave the country. This last-minute holiday checklist should help avoid the nagging worry that you have forgotten something.

 

Check your documents

Check everybody's passports are valid for at least the next couple of months, especially if flying to long haul destinations outside Europe. Otherwise your airline could refuse to let you board. Remember, children's passports are valid for shorter periods.

 

Pack those extras

Pack information and tickets for hotels, airport parking and transfers, and pre-booked trips such as theme parks.

 

Take emergency numbers

Write down insurance company and tour operator telephone numbers for emergencies.

 

Avoid extra flight charges

Remember to check in online and print all your boarding cards in advance, because you will face hefty charges to print them at the check-in desk.

 

Weigh your baggage

If flying, check your airline's policy to ensure your cabin luggage fits and you are within the allowed weight. If likely to exceed your baggage allowance, it may be cheaper to pay in advance rather than at the desk.

 

Those little essentials

Draw up a checklist of those vital essentials, such as spectacles or contact lenses, leads and rechargers for your smartphone, tablets and other electronics, and overseas adapter plugs. Take any medicines you need, plus a copy of your prescription to show airport security.

 

Get covered

Always buy travel insurance to cover your trip. If travelling in Europe, order the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at Ehic.org.uk.

 

Security issues

Liquids, sprays, gels and pastes in containers larger than 100ml won’t make it through airport security, even if half empty. Decant toiletries into travel-sized bottles rather than paying inflated prices for mini-travel toiletries.

 

Pack your lunch

Taking your own food can save money at the airport and on board, with most carriers now charging for meals. Consider carrying empty water bottles that you can fill up after passing security.

 

Car hire risks

If hiring a car, remember to take your reservation documents, passport and a driving licence. You also need a credit card in your name with at least £1,000 of credit as a deposit. A debit card will not be accepted.

 

Cover your own car

If taking your car to the continent, tell your insurer. It will typically charge a small fee to extend your comprehensive cover overseas. Also, contact your motor breakdown company to extend cover overseas.

 

Holiday cash

If you plan to use your debit or credit card while away, tell your bank. If it spots a string of overseas transactions, it may suspect fraud and put a stop on it.

 

Home front

Give your policy number and insurer’s contact details to anybody looking after your home while you’re away.

Unoccupied properties make tempting targets for thieves, so don't advertise your absence. Stop the milk and newspapers, and remember that pictures on Facebook and Instagram may alert burglars to your absence.

 

Unplugged

One reason we go on holiday is to unplug ourselves from daily life. Apply the same principle to your kettle, toaster, oven and television, and turn off your taps.