Pre Departure Checklist!

You may have booked and paid for your holiday, but are you holiday ready?
Before you head off on your adventure, here is a little check list of things that you should consider taking care of.

1. Passport – is it valid and up to date? It needs to be valid until 6 months after you return home. Don’t let your current passport expire – it’s much easier to renew on line if it’s still valid. Try the post office or your local Kodak shop for good quality, properly taken passport photos, and I can assist you with the rest if you need.

2. Mail, bins and pets – arrange for a neighbour to collect your mail (or for the post office to hold it for you) and to put your garbage bins out for you whilst you are away. You will also need to speak to a trusted neighbour or family member if you need to have your pets looked after.

3. Speak to your mobile phone provider about options for overseas travel – you can sometimes pay a small fee for an overseas package to be added to your plan temporarily, or you may want to consider a travel sim card for your phone. I can tell you more, including ways that you can keep in touch with loved ones at home (and them with you) for free while you are abroad!

4. Travel Insurance – don’t leave home without it. As the saying goes, if you cannot afford insurance, you cannot afford to travel. Choose a quality policy from a reputable insurance company (again I can help here). The last thing you want is a cheap policy that has exclusions you did not read about when things go wrong and you need help.

5. Spending money….as they say, pack half the clothes you think you will need and take twice the money! Cash Passport cards are a fabulous idea, and have a great benefit when you return home that you may not be aware of. It’s my little trade secret I can share with you later….. It’s also a great idea to have a small amount of cash in the currency of your destination when you arrive.

6. A few plastic bags packed in the suitcase come in handy for dirty clothes, keeps them separate from the clean ones. Also for collecting brochures and tickets on your travels – stops them from flying around inside your suitcase and getting lost along the way.

7. Register your details at to make it easier for us to find you if there is an emergency.

8. What happens if you lose your tickets and passport whilst you are travelling? Take a copy of them all before you leave home and pop them on a USB stick. Fabulous back up plan to have!

9. Do you need a visa to enter your chosen destination(s)? Please ask me to check before you leave. Nothing worse than being denied boarding onto your flight at the airport – holiday over before it begins.

10.  Medical check list - Check with your GP if vaccinations are required for your destination. If you are taking long haul flights and travelling through changing time zones, discuss your range of medications with your GP for advice on what to take when, so that you do not suffer any side effects. Take enough medication with you in original packaging to last for your trip plus an extra week – just in case you are delayed somewhere. Keep some in your hand luggage in case your luggage is delayed en-route. Check the rules on the country that you are travelling to in case some medications are illegal to import there. Visit your pharmacist for advice on some basic first aid / precautionary purchases that could be helpful for you.

11.  Never arrive anywhere with nothing planned. Always book at least the first night’s accommodation in case of the unexpected. Have a safe stop ready. Good planning is the key to a successful, and stress free holiday.

12.  Give yourself one last holiday treat before you come home. Book a house cleaner and lawn maintenance person to help you arrive home to a clean, tidy, well presented house. Leave the key with a neighbour, or have them arrive at the house the same time as you. Leave them working, go out for lunch or dinner, get your hair cut or have a massage, and voila!! Nothing worse than coming home from holiday and having to spend the whole weekend tidying up the lawns and gardens, and doing a full clean of the house. I can recommend (Matt) and (Tam) if you live in the Newcastle/Hunter region for being reliable and doing a good job.

13.  Last but not least, expect the unexpected. We travel to learn and experience new things. Places that we visit will be different to home – if you don’t like different, don’t leave home. The world is waiting to show you what it has on offer. Embrace the change, open your mind and go with it!

By Sarah Fenton

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Your MTA Travel Expert