Be covered in minutes - Freephone Our UK Call Centre
0800 848 8608
Home » Blog » Travel Tips » Holiday planner and packing checklist

Holiday planner and packing checklist

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 21 May 2024 | Created: 18 March 2024
Grandparents holiday with the grandchildren

More than 1 in 51 (21%) of those we surveyed hope to have 4 or more holidays in 2024. Preparation and planning are key if you’re one of the many hoping to make the most of your travel opportunities this year!

Travelling abroad?

When it comes to travelling abroad – there is plenty to think about. For a stress-free trip, download our holiday planner and packing checklist.

Going on a cruise?

Cruises offer breathtaking ocean views, transportation and accommodation. You’ll have the chance to visit several destinations on one great trip, all while enjoying incredible service.

For a carefree cruise, download our UK holiday planner and packing checklist.

Enjoying a staycation?

Staycations are increasing in popularity, at least 1 in 101 hope to have a UK-based holiday this year. Although often considered simpler to plan than breaks abroad – there is still plenty to consider.

For peace of mind, download our UK holiday planner and packing checklist.

Six important things to think about when planning a holiday

Your passport

If you’re travelling abroad, make sure your passport is in date.  Following Brexit, new passport rules have come into place. Brits will need to have at least six months left on their passport to be able to go on holiday to any EU country.  Some countries outside of the EU may require longer, so it’s always best to check the validity of your passport before you travel.

Travel documents

You’ll likely need to apply for a number of essential travel documents once your holiday is booked including travel insurance, Global Health Insurance Cards (GHICs) and visas depending on your destination.

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will provide you with the same to access emergency medical care when travelling in the EU. GHIC is free via the official website.

You’ll need to make copies and take photos of important documents including:

  • Travel tickets
  • ID and driving licence
  • Passport
  • Visas – for all visa enquiries, contact the consulate or embassy of that country
  • GHIC (the replacement of the EHIC health card)
  • Travel insurance cover details

Before travelling, you’ll also need to check if the entry requirements of your chosen destination – a country may require you to have:

Keep the originals of all documents with you and leave the copies with a friend or relative in the UK.

It’s also a good idea to write down emergency contact details for your travel insurer, bank and credit card providers and travel company and take them with you.

If you’re looking for Travel Insurance, you can get a quote online in minutes.

Mobile phone provider and bank

Following Brexit, roaming charges are back. Be aware to avoid large phone bills. If you are taking a mobile phone or tablet that uses mobile data with you, contact your provider to ensure you can get coverage in your destination and check international call charges. Make sure you have enough credit if your phone is pay as you go.

Call your bank and credit card provider and tell them when and where you’re travelling. Most banks will block your card if they suspect suspicious or fraudulent activity, such as purchases abroad.


Make sure you’ve sorted any foreign currency you’ll need whether it be pre-paid currency cards, cash, credit or debit cards. While Euros and dollars are easier to get hold of, you’ll need to order some currencies in advance.


Arrange transport to and from the airport, or if you plan to drive, book car parking and hotels if you’re getting to the airport the night before you fly. If you’re getting picked up, make sure your lift has your flight details and number so they can check if there are delays.

Contact your tour operator or airline if you need assistance at the airport, and they can make the necessary arrangements – most airlines now ask you to provide a disabled badge or a doctor’s certificate confirming you need assistance.

Book your hire car hire before you travel to avoid additional stress when you land and make sure you have your driving licence, booking information and the credit card you used to make the booking in your hand luggage.

More travel advice

Visit the Foreign Office website and click on your destination for more information, travel tips and details on visa requirements, money and health.

Author notes

1 Based on 4358 responses. AllClear Annual Survey, February 2024.