Pre-holiday checklist: What to do before you leave

hometocuppalistWe’ve just arrived home from a holiday and I am thanking myself for a host of things I did before we left. Such as, make my quarterly tax payment. Such as, tidy up my office so I haven’t come home to a horrorshow of paper piles and unwashed tea cups.

Over at BritMums we’ve been running the #hometoacuppa Challenge, where we’re asking bloggers to share their pre-holiday checklists. Those who take part could win a year’s supply of milk. As a founder of BritMums I’m not eligible to take part in the competition, but the pre-holiday to-do list is a specialty of mine, often running to several pages.

It starts with the necessary grooming – spray tan, bikini wax, pediure (does this make me sound a little TOWIE? If only the results were so dramatic…). Then onto necessary household tasks – making sure all the old food is thrown out of the refrigerator and that we’ll have something to eat when we return. (This used to involve buying milk to freeze; since working with Cravendale I’ve found out it stays fresh 21 days unopened in the fridge.)

Of course, too long of a list and I end up so frazzled that I spend the first three days of holiday in a mild state of panic of having forgotten something. I’m trying to pare it down.

So here’s my pre-holiday checklist, somewhat abridged:


Get gorgeous

* pedicure

* spray tan

* haircut


Sort house

* go through papers on desk

* pay bills in advance

* clean fridge

* get milk, tea, dried pasta and tinned tomatoes for return


Get packed

* beachgear including googles

* shorts & t-shirts

* one fancy outfit

* cardigan and light pashmina for plane journey

* purse with foreign money


Staying connected

* US mifi

* US-compatible phone

* chargers for…everything

* laptop

* iPad


Make friends

* UK-themed items and food as gifts

* empty space (for bringing back US items as gifts)


I’m a journalist and blogger. Previously I was The Times’s online lifestyle editor and Alpha Mummy blogger. Now I’m co-founder of BritMums and BritMums Live! – our annual blogging conference that draws hundreds. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.



  1. August 7, 2012 / 3:35 pm

    Well, since I’m usually coming back to England I usually try to get a long range weather forecast and then pack for every occasion. I usually take too many warm weather clothes and end up having to buy sweatshirts, but this year i predicted cold and rain – which it was. I even packed my own umbrella!

    • August 7, 2012 / 10:55 pm

      Ah foresight – the most important thing to pack!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *