You have booked that trip, researched the must-see attractions, recharged all your electronic devices, packed your bags and now... it's the evening just before you leave on holiday. What do I need to do?
It's the day before you leave for that long-overdue vacation you've been dreaming of for months... are you ready?
Before you embark on your trip, here are a few tips before you go. Cross them off just before you go and if you have more to share, please comment and let us know down below. This could change your life and make your vacation even more enjoyable.
Leaks happen, geysers break, and things can break when water gets involved in your house or apartment. This will also definitely ruin your holiday memories when you arrive home, and it's all flooded. Even though your insurance might cover the costs, it's always a good idea to turn your water supply off.
Appliances that are not being used when you are away, are electricity vampires. That includes your TV, microwave and even your radio. Not only does it save you on electricity when its off, but it also helps to prevent any electrical fires. And, instead of switching them off, try unplugging them instead... this includes the dish and antenna. Why risk a power surge?
Eat, throw out, or give away any perishable food. The last thing you want is to return home to a smelly fridge or kitchen. Also, run the dishwasher, take out the trash and, clean the sink to be sure there's no food in the drain that could rot or attract bugs while you're away.
What also helps here is Baking Soda... and when you combine it with vinegar, it freshens your drains and unclogs them. Try it also in your toilet before you leave, and it should rid the house of that smelly odour when you arrive back home.
Don't leave any outdoor items laying or standing around. This would include things like the patio chairs, cushions, pool equipment, your Webber, bicycles, tools, and any unguarded, especially lightweight items that are easy for thieves to steal.
If you have a swimming pool, perhaps it would be a great idea to get someone to look after it. Returning home from a vacation to a swarm of mosquito's is not fun.
Like me, I'm sure you keep all your receipts in your wallet or purse. Sift through your wallet/purse and remove any items you don't need on your trip. Try leaving loyalty cards, gift cards, extra credit cards, and any other unnecessary contents at home.
Try make payments on the monthly bills that have due dates before you leave. You don't want to get hit with penalties for late payments or even debit order fees for something that did not go through when it was supposed to. Make sure all credit cards, housing expenses (e.g., bond payments/rent, utilities, food, car payments etc), and other monthly bills will be paid on time, so you don't have to do this when you get back home.
Also, a good idea is to pay for your holiday and experiences well in advance. In this way you can save a bit extra cash just before you leave, and you shouldn’t get that surprise bill at the end of your trip when it all was enjoyed... you don’t want to discover you don't have enough cash to settle your accounts.
Firstly, make sure your credit card/bank card works while you're traveling. Check up on them before leaving!
And there's one other very important thing; make sure you have enough available credit on your credit cards. It would suck to be in the middle of something and you run out of cash! Trust me. I try make sure this doesn't happen by having more than one card and money available on it.
Traveling abroad? Call your service provider to help you set up the cheapest plan for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing Internet from your smartphone. Many mobile phone companies, including Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom, offer affordable packages for international talk, text, and data plans. Just ask them.
If you're leaving and staying away for two weeks or longer, it might be a good idea to tell your local police department you'll be gone and also tell your local security company... and if you ask nicely, they may even do a few extra runs by your house.
I always double-check all my reservations and so should you; your flight, hotel, car rental, restaurants, attractions and any other services or experiences you've planned. You don't want any surprises at a check-in counter.
If you have access to a printer, it's not a bad idea to print out all your confirmations and keep them safe on you. If you can't or don't want to, write down confirmation numbers (and customer service phone numbers) and keep the paper easily accessible in your wallet or carry-on.
Especially with a friend or family member. Your emergency contact should always have a copy of your travel plans. In the times we live in today, you never know what could happen.
This may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of people forget to do this. Check the forecast for your destination and your hometown when you'll be returning... and pack appropriately. Being in need of a jacket when it's cold or even wearing winter clothes when it’s summer, can really bum out a holiday.
It's always a good idea to leave your GamePlan with your boss. This includes all ongoing projects that you won't be able to attend to when you are away. Also, try including a summary of each project, it's status and deadlines that might creep in, in your absence. What might also help here is to create a list of all the things that could possibly go wrong and provide clear instructions for co-workers to handle in case it does happen.
Before you know it, that long overdue holiday will be over, and you will be back to the grinding stone. So, don't spend most of your holiday attending to emails and phone calls from co-workers who don't know how to help.
This is my favourite because there is nothing worse than getting home after enjoying that very relaxing vacation and having to run to the shops and make dinner on your first day back. I try have a delicious meal waiting for me when I get home like a bolognaise, a favourite soup or even a great hearty stew because it saves me time, the hassle, and the money. This just ends off my holiday with a smile.
I hope these tips help and may your holiday be relaxing, safe and responsible.