Getting prepared for your summer holidays

It's time to head off on holiday, but first make sure the pets are looked after, the car hire is booked and you're up-to-date on all your vaccinations.

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Organisation is an essential part of travel, so here are some tips to keep you on track.

If you need travel vaccinations, make appointments to get them done as soon as you book the trip to avoid last-minute issues.

To spread out the cost of travel, put a note in your diary as a reminder to book the car hire six to eight weeks before you travel, if possible. Do shop around online to get the best deal and do take out excess cover. It shouldn't be a huge amount - but if you do end up having even a minor scrape, you'll be glad for the coverage.

If you have pets that will need to be looked after when you're away, sort it out as soon as you book the holiday. If you need to check them into a cattery or the vets, places will be limited and will get completely booked up over peak holiday periods, so sort it out early. If you have fish, buy a feeding block so they won't starve while you're away - you can get them to last for up to 14 days.

When it comes to travel gear, here are the basics that apply to all or most trips: travel plugs, travel scales, luggage labels and padlocks.

From Simply Wonderwoman: A Survival Guide for Women with Too Much To Do (Kyle Books) by Joanna Gosling, Dh103,

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