Departure time is almost upon you. Your bags are packed (if they aren’t, see here and here) and your trip stretches out before you like the ever expanding Universe, but with a slightly more tangible end date. Now is a pretty reasonable time to start freaking out about last minute things that you might have (but probably haven’t) forgotten. To take the stress out of the situation, follow these steps to make sure you enjoy the final furlong before your trip.
Assemble your travel documents & currency. Not strictly a road trip tip, but well worth doing in advance. I like to have everything printed, checked and confirmed about a week before departure – that gives plenty of time to resolve any unexpected problems. Make sure you have all the visas and vaccinations too, and a copy of your car insurance document so you don’t get stung at the Airport. Don’t forget your road rules cheat sheet we talked about in part 2 – you can revise it on the flight!
Reserve your seating. Nothing spoils a long flight than your party being separated. If you haven’t already reserved your seating, do it now.
Prepare your hand luggage. Yet another thing which is best done in advance, even if you just gather all the things and switch them to your carry-on bag the night before. Not sure what to take for the most comfortable long haul experience? There’s a guide coming soon. The week before departure is also a good time to make a start on the book you plan on reading – get yourself invested in the story.
Pack your bags. Duh. You’re probably close enough to check the weather forecast now, so check that out and tweak your luggage to reflect it. Not sure how much/what to pack? There’s another guide on its way!
Give people your route. Making contact with people who are on holiday can be difficult when you know where they are, but if you’re moving around its super difficult. Hopefully nobody will need to contact you while you’re away but its smart to give your itinerary to a few people.
Print your route & charge your SatNav. New airport security requires all electronic devices in hand luggage to be charged enough to demonstrate that they work, so make sure you have enough juice in your GPS to get to your first destination. Backup is your nectar when you’re navigating unfamiliar routes too, so print your route in hard copy or trace it onto a road map.
Be a Nan about it. You know when your gran would pack energy bars or granola on long journeys just in case? Well, DO IT. If you’re getting off a 18-hour double-leg flight then you need sustenance that just can’t be completely provided by airline food. Your rumbling tum will thank me later.
Finally, spend tons of time talking about what you’ll do, where you’ll go, meals you can’t wait to eat. The week running up to your trip is almost as exciting as taking the trip itself. Don’t waste an opportunity to eke out every bit of enjoyment!
Ps I’ll be running the Great Manchester 10k on May 11th in aid of The Wood Street Mission. They are a Manchester charity dedicated to supporting local families living in poverty. All of your support is massively appreciated by me and of course the 14,000 children affected by poverty in Manchester. If you’d like to contribute you can sponsor me here: https://www.justgiving.com/CatherineCantRun/