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MONDAY, 21ST MARCH 2011
Checklist of what to do before you go on holiday

Pool with Ocean View at Riviera Maya - flckr - dMap Travel Guide
We all know the feeling: your holiday is just around the corner but you’ve got a list as long as your arm of things to do before you can relax. So, before you set off on your UK holidays this year take the time to read our list of top tips. Make like a boy scout and be prepared! Food glorious food

The last thing you want when you get home from your UK holidays is a fridge full of rotten food. Make sure you eat up any perishables in the fridge, or bung them in the freezer before you leave. If not, you won’t get quite the welcome home that you were expecting! If you get milk delivered to your doorstep, remember to cancel it for the duration of your break. Bottle upon bottle of milk outside your front door is a bit of a giveaway that you’re not at home. The same goes for newspaper deliveries, too.

Love thy neighbour
You’ll want your house to look lived in even though you’re away. So ask a neighbour or friend if they wouldn’t mind popping in every morning and night to draw the curtains and collect the post that’s piling up inside your front door. Don’t forget your houseplants may need watering, and if you’re taking your UK holidays during the summer, your garden will probably need some TLC too. Be sure to leave a contact number for where you’re staying as well as your mobile phone number in case they need to get hold of you.

Creature comforts
If you’re not taking a pet-friendly holiday, you’ll need to make arrangements for your four legged friend too. Ask around for a reliable pet-sitter who can feed, water and exercise your dog – maybe a neighbour’s child would like a bit of extra pocket money. Of course, it’s not just dogs that need checking up on – whether you’ve a cat that will need feeding and fussing, a rabbit wanting a top-up of carrots, or a hamster in need of fresh bedding, don’t forget to make arrangements for them too.

You can bank on it
Even if you’re not jetting off abroad, it’s still worth letting your bank know that you’re going on holiday. If you think you’ll be splashing out on expensive meals, excursions or anything out of the ordinary for you then alert your debit/credit card provider. Banks are hyper-vigilant and any sign of suspicious behaviour in your account could result in your cards being blocked. And we’re sure that a day-trip to the bank isn’t exactly what you had in mind when planning your UK holidays.

Pack it in
Make a list of essentials you need to pack, even the boring things. Don’t forget your mobile phone charger, a basic first aid kit and any medication you take.

Map it out
You’ll want your holiday to be relaxing from the word go, and that goes for the journey too. Take the time to plan your route so that you don’t end up resembling a big ball of stress upon your arrival. If you’ve got a sat-nav then be sure to take it with you as it should alert you to any traffic disruption and road works. If you’re not in possession of such technical wizardry, then check the online travel pages of the areas you’ll be passing through en-route to your destination.

Better safe than sorry
Make sure any valuable items such as laptops are out of view from the windows. Even if your neighbour is on curtain duty, you won’t want all your gadgets visible during the day. Lock treasured jewellery in a safe place and take any keys out of inside window locks. It really is worth reading the fine print of your home insurance policy so that you’re covered, whatever happens.

Light up, cool down
Invest in a timer for your lighting so that it looks like someone’s home in the evenings. You can set these to come on and off at certain times, so you won’t be burning a hole in your pocket. Also, be sure to adjust your thermostat settings if your heating is on – there’s no point heating an empty house. However, if your pet is staying at home, they’re bound to appreciate a bit of heat, so don’t turn it off completely.

Live and unplugged
Unplugging electrical appliances while you’re away will reduce any fire risks. So switch of the TV and DVD player, shut down the computer and put away any kitchen appliances

And finally...
If you’re taking your holidays in the UK, you may not need as much insurance as when travelling abroad. BUT, it’s worth taking out a cancellation policy that will cover you in the event that your holiday can’t take place. This will cover you for any transport and accommodation costs.

 

POSTED BY: RACHAEL
AT 13:01

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