10 Tips for Expats going home during the holiday season

Here’s 10 tips to help you plan for your trip to your home country.
As the holiday season draws closer, many expats are getting ready to travel home to celebrate the festivities with their friends and family. With lots to think about, here’s 10 tips to help you plan for your trip to your home country.

  1. The most important thing is to ensure that your passport has the correct validity, avoid heartbreak by doing this prior to the day before leaving.
  2. Think about your finances – Check the exchange rates in your host and home country, as it might be better for you to take cash and exchange when you arrive. Do you need to apply for a new credit card to use in a different country? Make sure you let your bank know you’ll be spending in another country.
  3. Mobile roaming charges can be expensive if you haven’t made arrangement with your cell phone provider before leaving the country. The holiday season usually means lots of communication to friends and family, so be sure to organize cell phone “bolt-ons” allowing you to use the internet, send text messages and make international calls, if necessary.
  4. The holiday season means presents! If you’re taking them with you in your hand luggage, make sure you don’t wrap them before you go. Doing so could cause problems when going through airport customs. Think about sending gifts before you go.
  5. Check the status of your travel and allow for extra travel time during this period.
  6. Do you need to book any travel insurance? Getting caught out at this time of year would be a real frustration.
  7. Being back home for a certain amount of time means it is precious. Plan ahead, is there a time and place you can arrange for lots of people to meet you? If so, this could save you many hours traveling to different places. There’s only so much you can do, so don’t feel guilty if you can’t fit everyone in.
  8. If you’re not going to be back in your home country for a while, think about if there’s any admin you need to take care. Do you need to close a bank account or renew your driving license? Plan ahead!
  9. Don’t forget your camera to capture those magical moments.
  10. Make sure you’re not on the naughty list!

It may not be a completely relaxing trip as you try to squeeze in as much as you can, but it will certainly be enjoyable. Catching up with friends and family will be very satisfying. Enjoy the traditions you miss and have fun.
Happy holidays!