Holiday Planning Checklist: 18 Essential Steps
Sep 11, 2023 By Juliana Daniel

Trip preparation may be fun and exhausting. Before taking that much-needed vacation, you must determine where to go and gather everything. A detailed holiday plan ensures you don't have to worry and can enjoy your vacation.

Following this checklist will guide you and guarantee nothing crucial is missing. Many things must be done before a holiday may be stress-free and pleasurable. These include reserving a hotel and transport, completing travel paperwork, and bringing essentials. This travel plan will remind you that you've thought of everything, whether this is your first vacation or you've traveled often. Stop wasting time and start the 18 steps to organize your perfect holiday and create lifelong memories. Off we go.

Before you book:

Choose a recommended holiday company:

The most important thing is how and who to book with. When it's possible, Which? Suggests a holiday plan that includes flights. After a disaster like the Rhodes fire, packages offer legal and financial safety, help, and return. You don't have to buy a plan to travel with a top company. The best and worst places to book flights and hotels are looked at.

Check strike dates:

Attacks were common on holidays. Airport workers, air traffic management, and border police have struck in recent months. We've listed UK strike dates and popular destinations to avoid difficulties. Stay away from strikes by knowing the dates. Flights are significantly delayed when air traffic controllers strike.

Consider when to book to avoid disruption:

We all agree that school hours are the cheapest and greatest for travel. Travel is better in the morning. Morning flights are less likely to be canceled or late. According to OAG statistics, 11 a.m. is the ideal time to decrease interruptions by 25%. Late-day short-haul journeys cover a lot of land, making an issue more likely to delay your aircraft or personnel.

Check your passport validity and visa requirements:

British visitors to Schengen will require passports after Brexit. It would be best if you did this to board the aircraft. Check your passport before leaving. Passports take ten weeks at the Passport Office. The EU does not need visas for visitors, unlike the US. The FCDO's advisory sections explain national entry restrictions.

Check which medication you can take abroad:

If you need to take medicine, you should know the rules of each country you visit or pass through. In Japan, the UAE, and Singapore, many drugs are against the law.

Two months before the trip, you need a note from a doctor. Since the NHS doesn't pay for it, it may cost money to write this letter. Take this letter and the medicine your doctor gave you with you on your trip.

Find out what vaccinations you need:

NHS Fit for Travel can help you determine the health risks in the area. Tourists all over Europe could be in danger. Encephalitis that is spread by ticks may need to be vaccinated against. If you need needles, visit a doctor or nurse eight weeks before you leave because some shots and vitamins need time to work.

Avoid fees overseas with a sound travel credit card:

If you don't already have one, get a top-tier vacation credit card with no fees for transactions made outside of the country and a reasonable exchange rate. International credit cards are ranked by Which? Below, you can compare the best credit cards for travel.

Book airport parking early:

When parking spots are reserved ahead of time, they cost less. At Manchester Airport, the turn-up cost for a week's holiday was £406. The price of a four-month reservation (£95) multiplied by four is £450. We've compiled a list of the best airport parking choices for your convenience.

Check your EHIC and apply for a GHIC:

A GHIC is needed to go to Europe. Most European countries offer healthcare at the same prices across the country. In many countries, like Spain, public hospitals and doctor visits are free.

It takes the place of the EHIC. Check the date on the EHIC to find out what to do next. If NHS GHIC stocks run out, people can apply right away. The GHIC does not entirely protect you from dangers. It would be best if you still got travel insurance. Details about the GHIC are listed below.

Buy travel insurance straight away:

When you plan your trip, make sure you have insurance. Things that happen before you leave that stop you from going are more likely to get paid. Don't get insurance from a travel agent or flight. It's rarely both cheap and good. We looked at a lot of options to help you decide. Spend money on good trip insurance.

Reserve a hire car early:

If you plan, you can get the best deals on vacation car rentals. Check out our reviews of the best car rental companies before you book. If prices go down, as in some places this summer, you can cancel your appointment with a reputable company 48 hours before your rental starts and make a new one at a lower price.

Don’t take car hire insurance from the car hire firm:

The booth is where most car rental companies sell insurance. Pricey and not very good. A good example is Avis. A week of protection for a hire car in Spain costs £168. 54% of people don't like the idea.

The best thing to do is buy online from a trustworthy provider. Our research showed that a whole deal cost £23 a week and that 76% of people were happy with it. By analyzing plans, we found the best car rental insurance for 2023.

Before you go:

Buy foreign currency:

Even if you have a great travel credit card, you may need cash elsewhere. You'll need money for a car, bus, or tube to get to your hotel.

It's risky to change money at the airport. The worst prices ever. Our recent research shows that you can save €115 by switching £500 at the airport instead of shopping or online.

Check your luggage allowance:

Don't think that planes' shipping rules are constantly changing. Check the airline's rules about bags before you fly. Airlines with strict cargo limits charge the most expensive fees for extra bags. We talked to people who buy bags and found a lot of good, cheap carry-on options.

Pack a decent sun cream:

Ensure your sunscreen works and hasn't gone wrong before you leave. Most sun care goods fail Ultraviolet or UVB tests, so they don't block the sun's harmful rays. Comprehensive reviews of sunscreens say which ones are the best and which ones you should avoid.

Sort out your mobile roaming:

Plan your spending carefully since most significant networks have brought back European roaming rates and put high prices elsewhere. Americans paying for O2's "travel bolt-on" pay $6 daily. The phone bills for a two-week trip cost £84.

Whether you switch entirely to Wi-Fi, buy a package, switch companies, or get an e-SIM card depends on where and how often you use your phone abroad.

Consider easing your airport experience:

Is it worth it to pay more for faster airport security at a time when things are often late? Every so often. With our airport speed guide, you can bet on when and how.

You could also pay $25–$40 for a room at the airport. Depending on when your trip leaves, the result could be very different. Check out our list of the best and worst airport bars before you spend any money.

Check for disruption before you leave - and never cancel:

Rioting and flames cut short people's summer trips. Check the airport and company websites to see if your flight is late. Give yourself more time if there are likely to be delays or changes.

The flight strike took longer than the lines to check in and drop off bags. Call your airline before you leave to see if you can switch your flight for free if you miss it while waiting.

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office's guidance should be considered. You can claim your travel insurance even if the FCDO tells you not to.


A stress-free vacation may be guaranteed by a well-thought-out list of things to do. With these 18 suggestions, your trip will be more relaxing and enjoyable. You must make reservations for rooms, transportation, packing, and papers when planning a trip. Your trip might be better if you plan for cost, safety, and fun.

To maximize your vacation, plan to visit numerous local sites. Ensure everything on your detailed schedule is checked off to relax and enjoy your trip without worrying about missing anything. Enjoy your next trip, knowing you've done all the essential steps to make it the best of your life.