Summer is finally coming and summer vacation season is just around the corner. It doesn’t matter if you travel far, and have the chance to get a new stamp on your passport, or near, one thing is sure: many things have to be done even before starting a trip to enjoy the holidays entirely.
We decided to help you organize your vacation and put together a checklist of activities you should do before you go away, kind of a pre-holiday checklist.
1- Check your documentation
Without the right documents, you may not be able to go at all. Taking care of it early on means you have enough time to get everything done. Especially if you have to renew your passport or apply for a visa. Check your passport, tickets, visa, and insurance.
Extra tips – Scan everything, so you have a digital copy should everything else get damaged or stolen. Another great tip is to add valuable contacts to your phone from your insurance especially.
2- Medication and vaccination
If you are on any medication, check you not only have enough for the period you are away, but also for a few days when you’re back to give you time to reorder.
Vaccinations will depend on your destination, as different countries have different risk factors. Some countries also require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, so it’s important you research your destination’s vaccination requirements. Some vaccines must be administered six to eight weeks before travel, so making an appointment with a travel health professional in advance of your travel date is crucial.
3 – Sort out sitters for your kids or pets.
If you have kids, it is sometimes useful to spend some time alone or with your spouse. It is a self-care act and is a healthy part of parenting. We know it involves lots of logistics to planning a grown-up getaway, but finding a sitter you trust in advance can make this experience more comfortable. Organize with the grandparents, other family members, or some good friends. A good tip is to talk about your absence with your kids ahead of time, so they will have some time to adjust and ask questions. To add some fun for your kids while you are away, leave some surprises for them. Tuck special notes under their pillows or leave an envelope per day to open with a short note or joke. Pets are also a special part of the family, so do not forget to arrange a pet sitter or ask a friend or family member to help out.
4 – Don’t forget about your plants.
Well-watered houseplants will last for a few days on their own. However, if you are going on a longer vacation, we recommend to give friends or family members smart access to your home with Nuki. You can open the door remotely from wherever you are with your smartphone using the Nuki Smart Lock, or if you also have a Nuki Keypad, you can give them a 6-digit code, and they can open the door themselves and water the plants for you.
5 – Check bags
Any suitcases or bags that you intend to use for your holidays should be checked in advance so that you can fix any damage before it’s too late. Check locks as well for safety. Look up baggage fees of the airline.
6 – Take care of deliveries
Mail, delivery notifications, or newspaper subscriptions can start piling up on your door while you are gone. This might be a hint for burglars that you haven’t been at home for a while. You can ask friends to pick it up for you or open the door directly for delivery companies while you are enjoying your vacation. With the Nuki app, you can check if the door was locked correctly afterward.
7 – Inform your bank
Let your bank know you are away so that they won’t block your card when you use it abroad. EXTRA TIP – Add the bank’s telephone number to your smartphone in case you need to get in touch while away.
8 – Ensure all bills are up to date
Better be up to date than come home to unpleasant surprises. A way to avoid that is to set an automatic bill payment to recurring bills.
9 – Connectivity
A smartphone is a traveler’s best friend. It gives you access to maps, translation services, and, of course, a method of communication. Buying an international phone plan ahead of time will ensure you’re switched on the moment you land. Most phone companies also offer roaming services, which can be the best solution if you need to keep your current phone number. If you do choose to go with an international phone plan with a new SIM card, make sure your phone is unlocked. Some carriers will “lock” the phones to one country.
10 – Take care of your kitchen
To avoid having a foul smell greeting you as you walk through the door when you come back, clean the kitchen (including the fridge), empty all trash cans, and load/run the dishwasher before leaving. Isn’t it great to have a clean and clear space to start unpacking when you return?
11- Unplug electronics
Unplug electronics and save energy while you’re away. Phone chargers, computers, printers, DVD player, TV, coffee maker, lights and game consoles are some of the things you should unplug.
12 – Email
If you really want to unplug yourself, you could disconnect from your email for a while. Set up an away message. Include the start date of your vacation, when you will return and how you can be reached in the event of an emergency.