7 Important “To-Do’s” Before You Travel
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Summer is finally here, and that means it’s summer vacation time! While it is an incredibly exciting time, it can be really stressful too. In this article, we’ll be looking at seven tips to make the process seamless. With Covid 19 still with us, we also include everything you need to know about health testing and visa requirements.
1. Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is one of the most important things you can get sorted out before you head off on vacation this summer, and you’ll almost definitely thank us for reminding you. While you won’t need travel insurance in most instances, we’d hate for you to be left in trouble because that wasn’t something you remembered to buy beforehand.
Your specific policy will depend on what you plan on doing whilst you’re away, but for most people, a standard policy will do the job. That being said, if you plan on doing any activities such as rock climbing and scuba diving, you’ll need to let your policy provider know as these things are often added extras because of the added risk they involve.
2. Check if you need a Covid-19 test
While things may seem like they’re close to being back to normal, that can’t be said for all countries around the world, and having a test before you jet off to your summer destination is a great way to avoid any problems when you arrive. Many countries have removed this requirement, but online information might be unclear, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As well as being obliged to have a test for some locations, it’s also a good idea to test abroad purely for peace of mind. In an increasingly connected world, viruses can spread fast, and by being responsible and ensuring you’re free from Covid-19 before you get on the flight, you can do your bit to help.
3. Get your documents in order
There’s nothing worse than getting to the gate only to realize you haven’t got your passport or boarding pass in the place that you last thought you left it. The good idea is to have your documents (plus scanned copies) in a folder where they’re all together, meaning you know exactly where they are when you need them most.
The kind of documents you’ll need for your trip includes things like your passport, driver’s license (if you’re planning on hiring a car), travel insurance policy document, and any other relevant paperwork such as visas or vaccination certificates.
4. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date
If you’re traveling to a country with a risk of contracting certain diseases, it’s important to ensure that your vaccinations are up to date. The best way to do this is by visiting your GP or travel clinic at least 8 weeks before you travel, as some vaccinations require a course of injections and can take some time to become effective.
While most of us have had our Covid-19 vaccinations, it’s definitely worth checking how recently they were done as some countries require your latest one to have been administered in the past 6 months. There isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to this, so we’d recommend taking some time and doing your own research.
5. Inform your bank of your travel plans
Another essential thing to do before traveling is to inform your bank of your travel plans – this is especially important if you’re using your credit or debit card while away. If you forget to do this and then use your credit or debit card abroad, there’s a chance that your bank may see the purchase as suspicious and block your card.
6. Pack smartly
Packing is a nightmare, especially if you’re traveling with children, but it’s important to remember that you’re unlikely to wear even half of the items you put in your suitcase. Try to pick items that are versatile and can be mixed and matched with other items you’re bringing in order to reduce how much you pack.
We’d recommend that you start packing well in advance so that you have plenty of time to plan what you need and don’t need to take with you. Once you’re done, make sure to weigh your bag, if you’re checking in your luggage, so you don’t have any shock charges applied.
7. Check for visa requirements
Before booking your flights, always check whether or not a visa is required for entry into the country/countries that you’ll be visiting. Some nationalities will be unable to enter specific countries due to political or social issues and you may not have been previously aware of this, so make sure to check first.
It’s really easy to check visa information. The UK government has lots of resources available for every possible country and while you’re there you can also check to see the latest safety, Covid-19, and social guidelines for potential visitors.