Going away on holiday? Here’s our handy planner to help you get organised so that when you leave the house you can relax knowing that you’re as well prepared as possible.
So you have booked your holiday and are looking forward to getting away for some well deserved rest and relaxation. Our advice is that your holiday booking won’t be complete without travel insurance.
Don’t feel obliged to buy from your travel agent – most do offer standard insurance packages and these may not cover you for all the things you’re planning to do or may not leave much room for spontaneous adventures, such as having a go at parachuting. Speak to an expert so you get the right cover for you and your family.
If you are buying cover with us at Travel Insured we will tailor the insurance cover especially for you and as soon as it’s done we will send you a text message to your mobile phone with the policy number and emergency claims number so you can be sure you will have it to hand should you need to make a claim.
Should you have a specific requirement, for example you may need travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition or you may be a mature traveller, make sure you buy your travel insurance when you book your holiday! This is best advice for all travellers.
Photo Credit: Susana Fernandez
2 Months before you leave
At least 2 months before you go:
- Check regulations and advice for the country you are travelling to with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on their website, or use our widget here.
- Check that you and everyone who is travelling with you, has a passport and that it will be in date for when you’re planning to travel.
- This may seem obvious but a late realisation that your passport is out of date could ruin your trip before it’s even begun. Remember that some countries require you to have a passport that is valid for a certain amount of time after your arrival in the country – in order to travel to Kenya, Ghana and the UAE, for example, your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months from date of entry into the country.
- Check that you have all necessary visas and/or vaccinations.
- Check that your driving licence is in date, if you are planning to hire a car or motorbike, etc. while you are away.
- If you are travelling within Europe, apply for your free EHIC card here. The card will cover you if you need basic medical assistance within the EU. It is no substitute for travel insurance as it will not cover you for private medical assistance or things like mountain rescue or flying you home if you are unable to continue your holiday or too ill to travel on your booked transport. Needless to say, it also wouldn’t cover you if you found yourself unable to travel because of something unforeseen happening.
- Have you seen a doctor recently? You may need to tell your travel insurance provider so that you are covered if there are any health issues.
1 month before you go:
- Get organised and put all your documents into a plastic folder. This should contain:
Boarding Pass/ Tickets
Travel Insurance Documents
- Make suitcase tags to identify your baggage. For security reasons only put your names and holiday destination resort/address on the tags for the outgoing journey. Put your names and home address on the return tags.
- Make a list of useful numbers such as emergency contact details if your mobile phone or debit of credit card are stolen and the number you need to call if you have to claim on your travel insurance. Also make a note of your bank’s phone number, just in case.
- Take photos of your passport and debit/credit cards and print them out, along with copies or your confirmations. Keep them separate from your originals and put them in the hotel safe once you get to your destination.
- If you’re taking your car to travel to the airport, check your route and pre-book a parking space.
- If possible, ask a family member or a neighbour to check your house while you are away and remove any mail from behind your front door if this is visible from the outside. Alternatively, you could book the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which will keep your mail for up to 2 months.
1 week before you go:
- Sort out your travel money. If you leave this to the last minute, it could cost you and impact your travel budget. Some good exchange rates are available online and it pays to shop around. Consider using your debit card to top up your cash while you are abroad but find out how your bank will charge for this. Credit card companies normally apply huge charges but there are some cards which are specifically designed for overseas usage which do not charge any fees.
- Tell your bank that you are going abroad. Otherwise, your bank may not authorise a payment abroad because it does not fit in with normal activity on your card.
2 Days before you go:
- When you’re packing your case, make sure you know your luggage allowance. This does vary, so even if you have flown recently, it’s a good idea to double check and to weigh the case before you set off. If you do need to take extra luggage, it’s likely to be significantly cheaper if you pay for it in advance than it would be waiting until you get to the airport.
- Cancel any newspapers, milk, grocery deliveries, etc.
- If you have them, programme your light timer switches.
- Check that you have all the items on your packing list. We have some great holiday packing tips here! This helps you deal with lost baggage.
On the day:
- Make your home secure. Again, this may seem obvious, but nearly 15% of us go away on holiday without properly securing our homes. If you suffer a break-in while away on holiday because you haven’t secured your home properly, your contents insurance may well be invalid, so it’s worth taking time to make sure that all windows and doors are securely locked.
- Turn everything except your fridge freezer off at the socket. This will reduce the risk of fire as well as the cost of leaving things on standby unnecessarily.
- Turn your central heating timers off, so that you’re not heating an empty house while you’re away – unless you’re away in the winter months, in which case you may want to keep it on a low setting.
Have a great holiday and always travel insured!
Photo Credit: Craig Sunter