Holiday checklists prior to cheap holidays are not just something for the excessively fastidious amongst us, they are a basic necessity. Planning a holiday can be on par with planning a bank job in terms of unforeseen eventualities and overall complexity. The more law-abiding of us will hopefully have had more experience in the former and so should have some prior knowledge of those unforeseen aspects. You should not, therefore, feel like a bespectacled librarian for making a checklist, nor feel unprepared when unwilling to compromise your facade of cool spontaneity.
To make a successful holiday checklist you need to be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of time in front of that old square friend that is your computer. He contains everything you need to inform yourself sufficiently, providing you’ve hooked the chap up to the rest of the world of course.
Start with the destination. Look at weather reports for the area at the relevant time of year. This will determine whether your snow googles are appropriate or your handsome palm tree shirt and shorts combo. It is important to take a flexible array of layers to cater for mischievously sporadic clouds.
Check out the local currency, how much things cost in the area and what they have to tempt you into frittering your money on. If you know you have a vulnerability to local markets on city breaks, or you’re married to one, add a few more bucks to your budget.
Find out what the local transport is like: whether you will need to rely on buses or hire a car. And if you’re planning on walking places, ensure you have a suitable alternate to your flip flops. There’s nothing worse than getting a blister early in the week when you plan on lots of walking, except for maybe then getting salty water and sand in it.
Once you start thinking about all these separate elements of your holiday, start writing down all the things you need to make it happen. There are lots of items that can make your life easier whilst there. Will your hotel have everything you need? Settling down in the evening with a bottle of red only to find you have no bottle opener, is a terrible thing indeed.
Segment your list into different areas; so break it down into documents, beach, clothes etc. and prioritise each one. When you come to pack it all, this helps organise you and also with weeding out items to make it all fit. Begin packing early so you can estimate how much of your list is realistically able to travel with you. If you are sharing a suitcase, ensure the guy does the bulk of the packing: he will be able to fit more in, trust me.
Double check your list. Never underestimate the importance of the list!
Insurance! This is also important. Make sure you have the right level of travel insurance so that if your all-encompassing, beautifully packed luggage should take a diversion to Taiwan, you can claim some compensation.
There are sites out there that have drawn up holiday checklists for you which you can just print off, rather handily. These should just be considered a guideline though. Make sure you add your own personal items to your checklist so you’re not missing your favourite Andy McNab or girly equivalent.