Checklist: Your guide to getting holiday ready

By Monica McInnes

The lead up to any holiday can be hectic – there’s much to organise before you can even think about packing! Here’s the ultimate guide to get you holiday-ready without the stress.


  • Book your leave – it sounds obvious but even before you book your holiday, remember to have your leave approved. You don’t want to have forked out big dollars for your holiday only to find you can’t get the time off!
  • Tasks – schedule meetings with whoever will be handling your jobs while you’re away. Remember to provide detailed notes too – just in case they miss something in the meeting.
  • Out-of-office – remember to put your out-of-office email notification on your emails. Include details of who to contact in your absence and the date you will be returning to work.
  • Write your back-at-work to-do list – when you return to work relaxed and well rested, there’s a good chance you won’t even remember all those little tasks and projects that were on your radar pre-trip. Make life easier for yourself and jot down a to-do list before you go on leave.


  • Get your passports in order – before you book an overseas trip, locate your passports (if you’re travelling overseas) and check they’re valid with at least six months until expiry. Some countries require a certain amount of validity on your passport to grant entry. If you don’t have passports, make sure you allow enough time to have the applications processed.
  • Travel documents – copy of all your travel documents including flights, accommodation, tours, travel insurance, and even a photocopy of the photo page of your passports and give them to a family member in case of an emergency. Ensure all your documents are on email too so you can access online if required.
  • Money matters – if you’re travelling overseas let your financial institution know details of your trip. It could avoid your cards being accidently cancelled if the bank suspects fraudulent activity on your account. Also find out costs for accessing your money overseas – you don’t want your spending money to go in bank fees! Purchasing a foreign currency EFTPOS card and even some foreign currency before you go may mean more in your pocket at the end of the trip.
  • Health checks – visit the doctor and dentist for check-ups. Ensure your teeth are in good order and vaccinations are up to date. Request a letter from your doctor outlining the prescriptions you require while away.


  • Get your clean on – there’s nothing more of a holiday high kill-joy than coming home to a dirty house so make time to do a good clean, and change the sheets while you’re at it. You will have enough unpacking, laundry and photo organising to worry about when you get home.
  • Don’t forget the fridge – get rid of anything that will expire; either consume or donate to a neighbour or friend of all the perishables you won’t finish before you leave.
  • Put out the bins – ask a neighbour or a nearby friend to put your bins kerbside while you’re away. You don’t want to come home to a smelly wheelie bin and if they’re left out, nothing screams ‘I’m not home’ louder.
  • Hold your mail – visit the post office and organise a mail hold, or ask a neighbour or friend to collect it for you. An empty letterbox will also help make your home look ‘lived’ in too.
  • Mow the lawn – shortly before you leave give the grass a trim so you don’t come home to a jungle. Depending on the length of your trip, you may even need to consider arranging someone to visit every few days to water your plants and keep an eye on things.

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