Wednesday, 26 February 2014
1. Always let someone know where you are going, along with the details of your itinerary – so in case of an incident they will know where to find you. Do not use social media for this!
2. Make at least 2 copies of your passport and leave one at home where it can be accessed in an emergency and take the other with you in case you lose your passport. You can also make an electronic copy and save it in your emails. Last but not least, remember to bring your EHIC – European Heath Insurance card if you have one and you’re going to EU country.
3. Ensure your passport has sufficient validity left on it; most countries will require at least 6 months outside of your proposed return date. Apply for your visa before you leave as sometimes you can be left queuing for ages at the arrival airport after a long flight which is never a welcome experience, especially as queuing abroad is nothing like the orderly queues we are used to here.
4. As soon as you book your holiday, take out the appropriate travel insurance. You can never tell what can happen even before you start the holiday. Never assume that the insurances offered as part of the standard personal banking incentives these days, offer sufficient cover for your holiday.
5. See your GP and dentist before you decide to travel as this can help you avoid costly mistakes with insurances or even booking a holiday only to find out you are not fit to travel. It’s also wise to ensure you see the doctor before going not only for vaccines but also to ensure medicines are sufficient for the time you are going to be away.
6. Always pack a spare set of clothes in your hand luggage, so you don’t get caught out if the airline loses your luggage. Bring snacks as these can prove to be life savers during your journey or even whilst on holiday.
7. If you can try to arrange for someone to visit your home whilst you are way to avoid domestic incidents going unnoticed and to ward of potential intruders. Also ensure your home insurance is in order if you have one. They will have a set of keys to let you in should you lose your own. If you can leave keys at home with a neighbour you trust even better.
8. For money let your bank or credit card company know you are travelling. It helps them monitor your accounts and prevent any possible fraudulent activity. If you are going to withdraw cash do so at an ATM. Avoid using the currency shops at the airport as this is a very expensive option. Always have some local currency for airport trolleys, tipping and taxis so bring some currency from here. Never change money from street vendors offering you a higher exchange rate as there is usually a big catch! Check out our next blog article on knowing what you’re buying abroad. Get an idea of the exchange rates are from the Post Office.
9. For electronic devices, check the voltage and ensure you bring the correct adapter and or batteries for places where there is no power. It would be a shame to miss out on those perfect shots!
10. Read up on the local traditions and customs of the destination you are visiting. And if need to get in touch with family back home then ensure your Skype is set up and working.