How to prepare for your holiday
Now that your plane tickets are booked and you’ve picked the perfect hotel, it’s time to get all your other travel items sorted so you can have a relaxing and stress-free holiday. Here are some quick tips for what you should do before you fly.
Make sure your passport is in date
It may seem obvious but this is important to tick off your checklist. So once you’ve remembered where you left your passport after your last holiday, check its expiry date. You’ll want to do this as soon as you can, as the standard waiting time to get a new passport is three weeks. Some countries will also require your passport to be valid for at least six months after your return date – you can check the regulations at https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad
If you’re travelling within the EU, make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Check you have all essential documents
As well as your passport, you’ll have other essential information that’ll you’ll need to prepare.
If you’re travelling within the EU, make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This allows you to receive state-provided health care when on holiday.
Read more about the EHIC and apply at: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/
If you’re travelling outside the EU, find out if you need a visa to travel to your holiday destination. Make sure you allow plenty of time to arrange this as it will take time to process.
It will also be handy to have photocopies of your passport and travel documents with you.
Check luggage allowances and restrictions
Before you start filling your suitcase with swimming costumes and sun lotion, you’ll need to confirm the luggage weights and sizes with your airline – all airlines will be different.
When it comes to hand luggage, make sure you keep to the strict restrictions that are set in place at the time you travel. These rules are ever-changing – you may have recently read about the recent laptop and tablet ban.
To see what you can and can’t take onboard with you visit: https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/overview
Make your home secure
To give yourself peace of mind whilst you’re away, make sure you securely lock all windows and doors and switch off any electrical items, such as irons and hair straighteners.
You could also leave your house keys and contact details with a trusted friend or relative. If your house has an alarm, ensure they have the details of the alarm company, too. It may also be worth considering investing in light timers, you can buy these at www.argos.co.uk
Take out travel insurance
According to a recent Swinton survey, 13% of holidaymakers didn’t take out travel insurance for their last break abroad or weren’t planning on taking it out for their upcoming holiday.
Travel insurance provides cover if things don't go to plan when you’re on holiday. It can cover for emergency medical expenses or cover for any sports you will be taking part in. Before you fly, it’s best that you ask your doctor or medical specialist if you will need any vaccinations or medications.
If you’re thinking about getting covered, but not sure where to start, Swinton Travel Insurance, underwritten by AXA Insurance, caters for a range of holiday needs.
Sort out your travel money
To make sure you’re covered for any unexpected costs, it will be handy to take different methods of payment with you – including local currency. You can search for the cheapest rates online, and then pick your money up in store or at the airport.
If you plan on using a credit card abroad, be aware of the charges credit card companies apply. But there are credit cards that won’t charge you when you’re overseas.
Find out more information on using credit cards on holiday at: https://www.moneysupermarket.com/travel-money/using-credit-cards-abroad/
Don’t forget to tell your bank that you’re going abroad, too, so that they don’t mistake your transactions.
Pre-book your car hire
If you’re planning to drive when you’re on holiday, you can compare hire companies online. Pre-booking will save you money, especially as we approach peak holiday season.
Before you get behind the wheel, get clued up on the rules of the road, as different countries have different laws for drivers.
You may also want to book transport to and from the airport. Booking an airport taxi or your own parking space in advance will help you save too.