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Holiday Checklist

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Welcome to the holiday checklist from Holiday Extras. The list is full of handy hints and tips, our different checklists will give you a comprehensive breakdown of everything you'll need to prepare for your holiday. Whether you need advice on obtaining new passports and visas, or just the best way to pack for children, our holiday check sheets will help you prepare for your holiday hassle free.

Things to sort out as early as possible

Passports – OK, so everybody knows they need their passport, but be sure to double check it's not due to expire while you’re away. Keep it safe and know where it is at all times. It sounds silly but over seven per cent of the population have panicked because they couldn't find their passport at the last minute. To get your passport sorted out visit the Home Office Passport Service.

Vaccinations – Check where you’re flying to and if you'll need any medical jabs. Its also important to make sure you’re up to date with all the standard inoculations such as tetanus, flu jabs etc. The NHS offers a useful online vaccination guide.

Visas – Depending on where you are traveling to and for how long, you may require a visa. For full details and to apply for a visa online, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Get to know the country – Every country is unique so it can be useful to brush up on the language and the cultural norms of where you are going. Why not learn a few of the basics from the BBC. Also it’s well worth buying a good guidebook and swotting up on the local area before you travel, check out lonely planet for insight into just about every tourist destination.

Travel insurance – Don’t leave the arranging of your travel insurance until the last minute. Make sure you and your family are covered for every eventuality. Shop around and get the right package for you. Holiday Extras offers a range of Travel Insurance solutions for all types of travelers.

Getting to the airportHow are you getting to the airport? There is a range of options available to you dependant upon your circumstances. Holiday Extras can offer some fantastic savings on Airport Parking, Airports By Rail and Airports by Coach, so you can start your holiday with a smile.

Things to sort out two weeks before you leave

Clothes & footwear – Make sure your holiday wardrobe matches the climate of the country that you are visiting. Lay out your clothes and pack essentials first. Try to leave extra space for those holiday bargains. Check out holiday wardrobe for tips on how and what to pack.

Sun cream & medication – Be sure to protect your skin from over exposure to heat. The NHS suggests children should be protected with at least factor 30 sun cream, particularly between 11am and 3pm. Remember to use quality sun cream and get into the habit of applying regularly. Apart from protecting from the sun, it is also a good idea to take your own basic medicines to help tackle any bites or digestion problems you may encounter whilst away.

Airport hotels – If you're departing for your flight early or arriving back in the UK late, an airport hotel is a fantastic way to relax and unwind. Holiday Extras offers the best prices around and have a selection of over 140 for you to choose from, across 30 UK airports. Prices start from as little as £21.50 per person and the earlier you book the more you save. Many hotels feature restaurants and a range of health and gym facilities so you can start your holiday in style.

Travel money – Don't wait until you get to the airport before you sort out your holiday money, do it now. Exchange rates change on a daily basis and you should shop around to get the best deal possible. We offer an easy to use travel money service with competitive rates. Alternatively many main post offices have a bureau de change.

Airport lounges – Once you get the airport there's usually plenty of waiting around and killing time. Why not pre-book a relaxing airport lounge and while away the time for up to three hours, with TV, drinks, snacks and magazines. Book a lounge two weeks before you fly for the best possible price. We offer lounges from as little as £13.50 so you can kick-start your holiday with a smile.

Things to sort out one week before you leave

Tickets and paperwork – Check that you have received all the tickets and booking confirmations that you will need for your trip. If, seven days before you fly you are missing anything then contact the relevant companies and make sure everything is in order.

Photocopy – Make two copies of all your paperwork, including tickets, passports, driving licences, visas, insurance documents and contact details for the British Embassy or Consulate in the country you are traveling to.

Leave a set of paperwork with a friend - Give one set of photocopies to a trusted friend or relative. That way, if anything goes wrong while you are away, someone back home will have all your details at hand. Take the second set of copies in your hand luggage – just in case your suitcase gets lost.

Pet care - If you have pets at home then make sure you arrange for someone to look after them while you're away. The RSPCA offers advice on this on their website.

Things to sort out a few days before you leave

Plan Your route - It's a good idea to carefully plan your route to the airport or hotel several days before you travel. A good road atlas can help you do this or, alternatively, receive a full breakdown of the directions from Google Maps

Final paperwork check - At least three days before you are due to fly make sure you have received all the documentation you require. Not only should you have all your flight tickets and confirmation, but you should also have the correct correspondence for any airport parking, hotels and lounges you have booked. Photocopy any new documents and leave these with a trusted friend or relative.

House keys and security - Arrange to leave your house keys and any hotel contact details with a trusted friend or relative, and ask them to keep an eye on your home. If you have any security alarms then remember to pass on the necessary passcode information. Having your car alarm blearing out for five days straight, whilst you sun yourself on the beach will not make you too popular with the neighbours.

Things to sort out on the day you travel

Passport, tickets and paperwork - I know we keep reminding you about this but it's really important that you check and check again that you have all the necessary papers with you. Arriving at the airport without just one of these will result in you not being allowed to travel.

Getting to the Airport - Before you set off be sure to carry out any maintenance jobs on your car. Fill your car with petrol, check tyre pressure and oil levels. There could be nothing worse than having a breakdown emergency on the way to the airport. Make sure you pack your luggage in your car safely.

Suitable hand and hold luggage - Make sure all your cases adhere to the restrictions imposed by both the airport and the flight company. This will include (at least) a maximum weight for hold luggage and a maximum set of size dimensions for hand luggage.

Secure your home – Before you leave make sure to go into to every room and make sure all your electrical appliances are switched-off and unplugged. Don't forget to lock up the garage and all windows and doors.

Entertainment - Checking in, sorting out your luggage and boarding can be quite a tedious and lengthy process so, unless you've booked a place at one of our airport lounges*, be sure to have some books or magazines to look through whilst you are waiting to fly.