Summer is just around the corner, and many couples across the country will be planning their summer getaways, but before you head off, there are a few things you need to consider. We have put together our guide to help make your life easy, and to ensure you have everything prepared before you head to the airport. So sit back and let us do the work for you.
1. Check your passport!
This may sound like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up at the airport and then suddenly realise they haven’t renewed their passport or have left it behind. Make sure you check the date that it expires because, without a valid passport, you will not be able to board the plane.
Does your passport need renewing? If so then the process is a simple one. All you need to do is contact the Passport Office customer services team and they will be able to guide you on your next steps. If it is an emergency, and you need the passport quicker than normal, you can pay a little extra to be fast-tracked to the front of the queue.
2. Check the accommodation out before you book
Sometimes pictures can be deceiving, so before you book your accommodation, check more than just the carefully selected images that the hotel have provided. If you head to trusted sites like Booking.com and airbnb, they have customer reviews so you can see what previous tenants have thought of the place. This is a far better indication!
3. Holiday Money
Presumably, you’ll have spent the last year saving up as much money as possible for your holiday to make it as enjoyable as possible. It is always advisable to take any money with you in the countries currency whether that be in cash or on a travel card which you can get through places like the Royal Mail and some holiday companies.
Taking a travel card means you have all your money in one convenient place, and means you don’t have to carry cash with you whilst you are there. You also get far better exchange rates than using your bank card, because it is already transferred into the local currency.
4. Get travel insurance sorted
Travel insurance is incredibly important. It covers you for medical treatments if needed whilst you’re in a foreign country and gets you home in an emergency situation. Considering the potentially huge costs it can cover, travel insurance is remarkably cheap. Insurance can start from around £10 per person if you find the right place, so do your research to ensure you get the best deal out there.
5. Travelling to the airport
We would recommend you book the travel to the airport in the UK and also any transfers when you’re abroad before you actually head off. Some airports can be accessed by trains, whereas others you may need to book a taxi or look into bus travel in order to get there.
When you are abroad you may, of course, have rented a car which is the most independent way of getting around. Whereas some hotels and apartments run shuttle buses to and from the airport, or again you may need to look into getting a taxi.
6. Contact your bank
You will need to let your bank know that you are going away to ensure that your card doesn’t get blocked whilst you are out there. The bank will see a transaction from a foreign country and automatically assume it is a fraudulent transaction and they will block your card. Letting banks like NatWest and HSBC know you are heading away will stop this from happening, meaning you still have free access to your money.
7. Check the charges on your mobile phone
There’s nothing worse than the nasty shock when you return from your holiday and see the sky-high phone bill that you have been hit with from calling all your friends and relatives back home to let them know how much of a good time you are having. Some companies such as EE will offer good rates when you’re abroad for making calls, so make sure to check what the rates are to avoid the £100 phone bill when you return home.
8. Plan, plan and plan some more
Having everything booked and planned out before you head off can make your holiday far less stressful, and more organised. There’s nothing worse than arriving without a plan and trying to schedule everything into a small space of time. Book tours, plan what area you want to be in on what day and dedicate your time nicely.
If you’re heading on a beach break this is less important, but on city getaways, it’s incredibly important to plan so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing sights. Get an itinerary, and make sure that you stick to it.