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Holiday checklist: 11 things to remember before a family break


Getting everything in order beforehand can help you relax and enjoy your holiday. Here are a few things to consider before you leave.


We're here to help take the stress out of your holiday. Take a look at our top tips to prepare for your holiday so you can sit back and relax while you're away.

Home security

Your home is most at risk of damage or theft when you’re not around to protect it. 

So a few simple steps can keep your home secure while you’re away, and could also help support you if you need to make a claim later:

  • 1. Keep your holiday plans off social media

If the house is going to be unoccupied, broadcasting it online is ill-advised for pretty obvious reasons.

Advertising an empty home is an invitation to thieves, and could also invalidate some insurance claims.

  • 2. Have someone check on your home regularly

Having a friend or family member visit the house while you’re away can deter potential thieves. Essentially you’re letting them know that the house isn’t being ignored.

Regular checks could also help you catch unforeseen problems like leaking pipes before too much damage is caused.

  • 3. Pretend the house is still occupied

You can deter potential burglars by giving the impression that you’re at home.

Many people have radios and TVs set to come on intermittently, giving the impression that someone’s still around.

Also, consider how your house might look after itself. If you’re away during the colder months, have the heating come on for a while each day to stop your pipes from freezing.

Reduce energy consumption

Can you afford to pay premium prices for gas and electricity you’re not using? Maximise the savings and give your energy tariff that long-overdue review.

  • 4. Are you on the right energy tariff?

If you're going away for a long holiday, maybe even a few months, it makes sense to be on an energy tariff with no standing charge. There’s no point paying for what you’re not using.

You’ll find more useful information on switching energy in our energy questions and answers.

  • 5. Every penny counts

If you’re going to have lights connected to a timer to give the impression that you’re in, you may as well make sure that the bulbs are energy saving.

And it should go without saying, but don’t leave electrical equipment on standby. A TV on standby can still sap up to 85% of the power that it does while in use.

  • 6. How cool is too cool?

You can also safely turn down the temperature of your fridge by a few degrees and save some energy. It’ll store the cold better by not being regularly opened.

Get your car road fit

If you’re taking your car on holiday with you, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s ticking over nicely before you leave.

And even if you’re not driving, some simple, regular maintenance can make sure your car doesn’t disintegrate on your driveway.

  • 7. Check the law

Speed limits and other driving laws can vary massively from country to country. So it’s important to be clued-up before crossing any borders.

For example, in some countries you’re required to carry safety items like flares and spare bulbs by law. Check the rules before you go in our driving abroad guides.

And don’t forget to check with your insurer that you’re covered to drive abroad.

  • 8. Essential health checks

With just a few quick, regular checks, you can reduce your chances of ending up on the roadside, as well as prolonging the life of your car.

Check your oil levels as well as the condition and pressure of your tyres, and make sure you’ve got water and coolant in the reservoirs.

However, if you do grind to an unwanted halt, you’ll find some useful tips on what to do if you break down.

  • 9. Breakdown cover

No driver wants the headache of being stranded on the side of the road. Breakdown cover can offer a safety net and often saves a fortune over a regular tow truck.

Our guide to breakdown cover can help you understand what you’ll get for your money, as well as give you peace of mind. Many policies even come with European coverage.

And of course, remember your insurance

Both leaving your home unoccupied and travelling can pose a unique set of risks, which you should make sure you’re covered for.

  • 10. Home insurance

Most standard policies provide cover for homes unoccupied for up to 30 days, but this is an important detail which is worth checking.

If you’re going away for a long period of time, call your insurer and find out what kind of additional cover you’ll need.

You can find more information on what's covered in our home insurance articles and guides.

  • 11. Travel insurance

Travel cover is an essential part of any trip, and could be the only thing there to help you deal with lost luggage, injuries and missed flights abroad.

Leaving it until the last minute could be a mistake. If you or a member of your family have an accident or fall ill shortly before you’re holiday, you may find yourself unable to travel.

If you’re uninsured, you may not be able to recoup some costs if you don’t go on your holiday, especially for non-refundable things such as flight tickets.


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