You’re a week out from your big worldwide adventure: the adrenaline is kicking in and you’re getting a tad stressed about how you’re going to get everything done before you set off. Sound familiar? Thought so. Let me try and help you make things a lot less stressful with a straightforward holiday to-do list before you set off. Sound good? Thought so. Hopefully, by now you’ve organised the basics like your flights, travel insurance, vaccinations and passport – if you haven’t, well, you better get cracking. Whether you’re feeling stressed or buzzing with excitement, I’m going to make sure you’ve ticked every box before jumping on the plane.
Prepare your eyes for the only holiday to-do list you’ll ever need, covering all the fundamentals and when to do them. I’ve pimped out a 7-day countdown, so you’re set for a trip to remember.
7 days to go: organize your social life
Things are getting real now, you’ve got a week to go before you head off but instead of feeling frazzled, let’s make this as fun as possible. First things first, get those goodbyes or ‘catch you laters’ out of the way as early as possible. Pull out your diary and schedule when you’re going for a smoothie with your best mate, dinner with the family or a movie with your romantic interest. Once you’ve got all this locked in, you’ll be able to plot out the rest of the week and won’t find yourself packing at 2 am (we’ve all been there) the night before you fly.
6 days and counting: paper day
You’ve organized the fun stuff with friends and now it’s time to knock out the tedious. Get your papers out the way, both physical and digital. Let’s have a look at what you need to do: scan your passport and create a few copies to leave at home with family or friends – better safe than sorry right? The same goes for your awesome travel itinerary, insurance documents, warranties for your valuables and anything else you deem valuable. This is in case you leave your bag on the bus because you’re too mesmerized by a new city and its culture or lose that valuable little thing called a passport on a big night out. Basically, have a copy (save a digital version of this too) of anything that will get you in or out of a country. Now that you’ve sorted that, go and get your cash. If you need it exchanged, do that too. Finally, find yourself a funky little journal & pen. Being able to read back on your adventures in years to come is absolutely golden.
Flying in 5
Let everyone know across the board that you’re flying in five days. If you’re heading away for a while, save yourself some cash and cancel any gym memberships or subscriptions that you’re not going to be using any time soon. Also, make sure the bank knows you’re spending your money elsewhere, there’s nothing worse than an unexpected cut to cash flow.
4 days till take off
4 days out and you’ve already knocked off all the biggies (can I get a ‘ye boiiiiii’). You’re in cruise control now, and the last thing you need is to get sick last minute – or worse, while you’re away. With that being said you had better pop in and see your local doc, stop by the chemist to grab any medical necessities and gather up all your toiletries. If you’re heading to Asia, South America or Africa, just assume that you won’t be able to get any specifics easily. Here are a few to consider: insect repellent containing DEET, low potency hydrocortisone cream for bites, electrolyte tablets and some diarrhoea medicine and an awesome water bottle, because, as we know – dehydration is a ‘yeah, nah’ type of thing when travelling.
3 days, woo!
Electronics are next on the list. Get yourself a little Bluetooth speaker so that you can be a DJ wherever you go. You’ll need an adapter to charge your camera after a crazy day of taking awesome photos. Memory cards, hard-drives, headphones and all those charging cords – it’s time to find them. International sims are going to be your best friend, so make sure your phone is unlocked and able to get along with them. Lastly and most importantly, use this day to make a banger of a playlist for the plane and don’t forget to sync it offline.
Time to pack – 2 days to go
The packing rule: the more versatile the clothing, the better. This applies to colour combos that you can mix and match, fitness clothing that merges into casual and shoes that you can basically do everything in.
Lay out everything you think you need/want – and then pack half. It’s a human tendency to overpack, but chances are you won’t use or wear half of what you think you will. So why bother lugging it around the globe with you? Use your hand luggage to carry anything that you deem crucial, i.e. your passport, camera, laptop and headphones – of course. If you’re really on the ball (or just a bit OCD) you can get yourself some packing cells to separate electronics, toiletries, shoes and outfits. Oh – and don’t forget to grab yourself a lock, after all the effort you’ve put into packing the last thing you want is for your luggage to be lost and stolen (another ‘yeah, nah’).
1 day till fly time
You’re one day out and the flight is in sight, which means… you better start hydrating. Yes, I know I sound like your mum but… flying zaps you, dries you out and airports are a really easy place to catch a virus, so keep yourself as hydrated as possible. Early check-in should be open by now so sign in and print your tickets. You’re now ready to roll! If you’re anything like me, plane food is a tad too plain (good joke, I know) for me… so muster up your favourite snacks. On the topic of food, you now have the whole day to eat all your favourite foods and chill out. You’ve made it through the holiday to-do list. The only thing left to do now is to create lifelong memories on your travel adventure – bon voyage!
P.S Pleaseeeeeeee make sure to arrive at the airport early. You wouldn’t want all this effort to go to waste because you missed your flight now, would you?
About the author
Joshua Lynott, originally from Australia, is a sunset loving millennial, photographer and author. From remote tiny islands to big bustling cities Josh photographs everyday life across the globe in a captivating manner. In doing so, Josh discovered a life of absolute passion and boundless energy. His infectious spirit underpins every encounter, every photograph and every word. Follow his adventures on his blog and Instagram.