Travel has changed a lot over the last year or so. Travellers must now be aware of vaccination passports, PCR testing prior to flights and UK travel restrictions when leaving and returning from their holidays. With so much to organise, it can become easy to forget the little things. With our handy travel planner and packing checklist, it’s easy to organise your holiday and tick off all the essential tasks you need to complete before you travel.
Six important things to think about when planning a holiday
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.
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.
Just as passports changed following Brexit, so has access to medical care for Brits abroad. Previously the EHIC enabled UK citizens travelling to a country within the EU to seek emergency treatment or necessary medical care for the same cost as a resident in the visiting country before returning home. As of January 2021, brits will need to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) once their EHIC has expired. This 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
- 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 chose 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
If you are taking a mobile phone or table 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, travellers cheques and 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.
Wherever you choose to go, you’ll need to take with you a few items that’ll help keep you and those around you safe in a post covid travel era.
- A Face covering for when you enter any public spaces. For more information on face masks, click here.
- Antibacterial gel that’s at least 60% alcohol concentration. For further information, click here.
More travel advice
Visit the Foreign Office website and click on your destination for more information, travel tips and details in visa requirements, money and health.