Make sure that your next holiday
runs as smoothly as possible and that you are covered for any hiccups in our smart holiday checklist guide. Here we will cover everything that you need to check and look out for before booking your next overseas holiday…
1. Check Your Passport Is Valid
Perhaps the most important thing that most people forget to check is that their passport is valid (or where their passport is). Usually, passports are valid for ten years so people tend to forget about checking this part and assume that their passports are valid and in date.
However, for a lot of people, they haven’t had the chance to use their passport since at least 2019 so there is the possibility that in that time that your passport might have expired or might be close to expiring.
For most countries, they will require that your passport be valid for at least six months after you arrive in the country, so anything less than this and you may be facing issues. It usually takes around six weeks to get your passport renewed by post but can be a little quicker if you use an alternative such as your local Post Office that might be able to help out.
If you are travelling to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City but excluding Ireland, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
have stated your passport must be...
- issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
If your passport was issued before 1st October 2018, extra months may have been added, however, these additional months are NOT included within the 10 years validity.
Here is an example scenario. A passport issued on 1st July 2015 with an expiry date of 1st October 2025 (10 years & 3 months total), the actual expiry date of this passport would now be 1st July 2025, as your passport has to be issued for less than 10 years with the last date of valid travel within the EU would become 1st April 2025.
2. Understand the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Travel Advice
The next step that you should take is to take a look at the FCDO Travel Advice website. Scroll down and click on the country that you are travelling to and you will find out everything that you need to know prior to flying there.
The travel advice page for your destination will have everything you need to know including the latest requirements regarding the Coronavirus for that country. Some countries require Fit To Fly antigen tests whilst others don’t. There is also information about passenger locator forms, staying safe, travel money limits, what is generally considered bad practice or illegal that may not be the case in the UK and much more. It is essential that you read your destination country’s information to avoid any hiccups.
3. Check the Travel Advice of your Destination
It is also possible and advisable to check what the travel advice is on your destination country’s website. Generally speaking, the FCDO Travel Advice has everything that you need to know but sometimes it will forward you on to that specific country’s website.
Here you can often find more specific guidelines for flying into the country and even for flying to specific cities. This is where you will usually find the most up-to-date situation and requirements regarding your holiday destination.
4. Check the Consumer Protection
If you have booked through a travel company like ourselves, you will have Consumer Protection in the event that something goes wrong while you are abroad. With Consumer Protection, your protection can cover denied boarding, cancellations, delay compensation, and many other aspects. Generally, it covers that you get what you booked for and covers your back if you don’t. The Consumer Protection standards and how they relate to different companies can vary a little bit so make sure you know how you are covered in the event that something doesn’t go to plan with your holiday. An example is ATOL which primarily protects package holidays. All advertisers selling overseas holidays on Cheekytrip are ATOL protected.
5. Check your Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is essential and it is not just important to know if you have it, it is also important to know exactly what it covers. Usually travel insurance is sold as an added extra when booking a holiday but there are also ways of getting travel insurance that covers all of your holidays within a set period (usually 1 year or a few years).
Travel Insurance tends to cover most of the other things that can go wrong. Consumer Protection is to ensure that the company sells you the correct holiday that you paid for but Travel Insurance covers you for all of the things that can go wrong that are outside of the holiday company’s control. For example, medical costs for emergencies and contracting coronavirus abroad, natural disaster or war cover and even cover in the event of death. They usually cover the costs of flying you back home in the case of an emergency too.
Travel Insurance is essential to give you the peace of mind knowing that in the event that something unexpected happens, you are going to be covered for it. It is important to know exactly what you are covered for before you fly.
6. Check your EHIC/GHIC is Valid
Your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) are important to have whenever you fly abroad, particularly to European countries. These cards tend to cover medical emergencies and even routine medical care for pre-existing conditions which is not always covered by regular travel insurance.
Both cards allow for reduced healthcare or even free healthcare costs when travelling in the EU and its countries. The GHIC is the latest version after the UK left the European Union, but the EHIC is often still valid and accepted in EU countries providing that it is in-date.
7. Pay with a Credit Card
One of the simplest but most effective things that you can do to ensure that your holiday is covered to some degree is to pay for it on a Credit Card rather than a Debit Card. Paying on a Debit Card, your money is immediately taken and it can be very difficult to reclaim the money in the event that something happens. However, booking on a Credit Card you are usually covered for things going wrong with your purchase and sometimes can even cancel the transaction completely so no money is ever taken out. It is always worth checking exactly what your Credit Card covers when booking a holiday, but it is a lot more secure and flexible than paying with a Debit Card.