According to Aviation ADR, 4.7 million Brits plan to travel abroad during the 2023 Christmas season. Before you hit the road and hop on that flight, check out our Christmas travel preparation list, gathered from Byrd Bergeron, travel enthusiast and founder of The Travel Byrds, to ensure you are prepared and can enjoy peace of mind that your home is taken care of while you are away.
Take Measures to Secure Your Home
According to the Office of National Statistics, robbery and larceny increases by around 17% every December. This increase is because criminals know that people are more likely to have computers and expensive Christmas gifts lying around, and obviously vacant homes are an easy target.
To prevent break-ins while you are away:
Put some of your lights on timers so your house isn’t sitting dark every night,
Ask a neighbour to get your mail while you are away,
Ensure all of your windows and doors are shut and locked,
Park a spare car in your driveway to make it look like someone is home, and
Consider investing in a security system.
There are security systems that will monitor for break-ins and fires, but if you can’t afford one, do a sweep of your home before you leave to make sure you take care of fire hazards like non-used appliances being plugged in.
Make a Packing List and Pack Ahead of Time
Making a list helps anytime you leave town, but it is especially helpful during Christmas. Ensure you have outfits for any Christmas gatherings you plan to attend as well as any seasonal activities. If you are planning to participate in outdoor activities, check the weather because you may need to throw some snow boots in that bag.
Wrap Gifts and Pack or Ship Them
Packing gifts ahead of time is a game changer, even better if you can just ship them directly and not lug them to your location. Check out cloth bags and reusable materials that will hold up as you travel and can be used again later.
Stop Grocery Shopping & Clean Out Your Fridge
No one wants to come home to a refrigerator full of rotten foods. Spend the week or so before you leave eating what you have on hand and make sure everything is cleared out before you leave. If you can throw together a freezer meal for the night you get back even better!
Email Final Travel Plans to Hosts
Hosting is often just as stressful as travelling to your destination. Part of being a good guest is including them on your itinerary so they know when you will get in, and keep them informed about any delays.
If you have never cleaned your home before leaving town, we highly recommend it! There is nothing like coming home to a clean home after a long day of travel.
Though the average cost of natural gas is expected to decrease this winter, the average yearly cost for a household in the UK to heat their home is £453.24. To decrease these costs while you are away, program your thermostat to a lower setting before you leave.
Become a Registered Traveller
If you are a UK resident, becoming a Registered Traveller will help you get through the UK border faster. You can use UK Passport entry lanes at some airports and train stations, and ePassport gates if your passport has a chip.
Ensure You Have the Proper Documentation Especially for Underage Travellers
If travelling locally, ensure you have a photographic ID such as a valid passport, or a valid drivers licence, provisional or full, and if travelling abroad make sure you have an updated passport. If you are planning to take a child abroad without their biological parents or have a child travelling alone, make sure you have a letter from the person with parental responsibility giving permission to take the child abroad.
Download Some Christmas Entertainment
Get into the Christmas spirit! Download a Christmas movie, podcast, or pick up a Christmas book to enjoy during your travel downtime. If you have kids, Netflix and Disney+ have some excellent movies you can download onto your device and watch on the go.
Follow these expert tips to decrease stress this Christmas season.