Top 10 things to organise before you go on holiday.

Published: 17th January 2009
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You are going away on holiday to relax, unwind, do some sightseeing and maybe even get a bit of a tan. The last thing you need is racing about at the last minute to get things done, or worrying while on holiday about whether you remembered to do everything before you left. Below is a checklist of the ten important things you need to arrange or check before you go on holiday:



Hold your post

Contact the Post office to arrange for your mail to be held at the sorting office while you are away. A collection of letters sitting on the doormat can signal that no one is at home. The Royal Mail operates a 'keep safe' service that holds your mail for a specified time period and delivers it to your home on the day of your choice when you return.



Cancel deliveries

Another giveaway to an empty home is neglecting to cancel deliveries, such as milk and newspapers, while you are away. Cancel all deliveries and try to get a neighbour or family member to keep an on the front of your property to make sure nothing is left by mistake.



Vaccinations

Check if you require vaccinations when booking your holiday and make arrangements immediately.Book the kennels or cattery Book your pets into a kennel or cattery as soon as you book your holiday. Good kennels are booked up early for the popular holiday seasons and there's nothing worse than phoning around at the last minute trying to find somewhere available. If you do get caught out, ask friends or the vet to recommend somewhere.Alternatively, pet sitting services are usually available where your pet can stay in your own home while you are away, or go to stay at a pet sitter's house in a 'home from home' environment.



House watching or house sitting?

Don't worry about the security of your home while on holiday, arrange for family, friends or a neighbour to check on your property. Preferably more than once a day - a staggered routine will look more natural than the same time every day.If you can arrange to leave a car parked on your drive this should help to make it look as if someone is at home.Can't find anyone to look after your property while you are away? There are professional house sitting organisations available.Check passports are up-to-date Check your passport is up to date and has sufficient time left on it to cover your trip. If you need to renew it do so as soon as possible, as fast tracking a passport at the last minute is more expensive and certainly more stressful.You can renew your passport whenever you like; you do not need to wait until it has almost expired. Applications forms can be filled in online - these are then checked, printed off and sent to you for signing, photos etc.Apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)The EHIC enables you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge. If you are a UK resident you can apply for one free of charge online or at the post office.



Buy travel insurance

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance which is a must when travelling abroad. Book your travel insurance - if you take more than two trips per year it's probably better value to buy a year's policy.



Check your car

If you're planning to drive to the airport, make sure you check your car before setting off. Ensure your oil and water levels are topped up and you have the correct tyre pressure. Fill up with fuel and plan your route in advance. Carry a map or satellite navigation in case of an accident or road closure that may force you to take another route.



Book your foreign currency

Shop around and buy your foreign currency before you get to the airport. Check whether you need to inform your bank of your holiday before you travel so that you are able to use your cards abroad. Find out whether they impose a charge for using your card abroad - if the do, it may be worth signing up for a credit/debit card which doesn't impose charges abroad.



Paula Garrett is a frequently traveller and recommends using Gatwick meet and greet parking , advising passengers to book theirmeet and greet Gatwick parking as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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