If you’ve already decided where you are going next year, and have already booked the flights and accommodation, there is still much to organise. If you are at this stage, and are looking forward to the annual battery recharge, here are some essential things to add to your list of things left to do.
- Take Out Suitable Travel Insurance – If you booked a package holiday in the UK and it included flights and accommodation, you will also receive a very basic form of insurance. This will cover you in the event of an accident or illness that is caused by the tour operator’s negligence, but very little else, so to be sure, it is wise to take out additional cover that is comprehensive and tailored to your needs. There are reputable online brokers, such as medicaltravelcompared.co.uk/, who can source an affordable policy for any worldwide destination, and the online process is quick and easy to complete. If you, or anyone in your family has an existing medical condition, you must inform the broker, otherwise you will not be covered in the event you require medical treatment as a result of that pre-existing medical condition. This does not mean a person with a history of heart disease cannot obtain medical insurance while abroad, but you must inform the insurer in order to be sure you are covered.
Personal Possession Cover
If you plan on taking expensive devices like smartphones, laptops and cameras, you should check with your broker that they are included in the policy, and some policies will have a claim limit on these items, so expect to have to pay a small percentage of the cost of a replacement. If you think you can do without the Internet for a few weeks, it might be better to leave your devices at home, which is a safer option. A large family might have several computers, and by only taking one, the risks are reduced, not to mention the added weight, which might result in an excess baggage charge.
- Visas and Vaccinations – You may or may not require visas for your holiday, and the Internet is the best tool to find this out. Some countries will issue certain nationalities with a short term visa on arrival, which usually last for two or three weeks. If you are planning on an extended stay, you might need a tourist visa, and this can be obtained by visiting the website of the embassy concerned. The same website would also tell you if a vaccination was required, and it is wise to check this out months in advance, as some vaccinations must be administered well in advance of the travel date. Some Asian and African countries are prone to malaria, typhoid, or dengue fever, and it might depend on the region or even the time of year you plan to travel. The type of holiday might also have a bearing, as staying in a hotel would be considered a safer option than home staying with locals in a region where certain disease are recorded.
- The Right Clothing – If you are going to a warm climate, avoid taking too many pairs of shorts and T shirts, as the chances are, they will be cheaper to buy in your destination country, and besides, this leaves you more room for souvenirs. Check out the climate conditions for that time of year, and pack accordingly. If you are a person who likes to be well prepared, you may have to reluctantly leave some things behind, and you won’t regret that decision.
- Research your Destination – By spending a few hours online, you can find out about the history and culture of your holiday venue, and this will greatly enhance the experience. You will be more aware of cultural differences, and by learning some basic words of the local language, you will be warmly received by the locals. Often, a tourist destination has some less well known attractions, and by discovering these for yourself, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding available tours. If you are planning to hire a vehicle, this should be booked in advance, and if you can arrange for the car to be at the airport when you arrive, even better. A little planning goes a long way, especially if the destination is somewhat exotic, and with a firm schedule in mind, you won’t waste any of your valuable downtime. An enjoyable holiday does wonders for your physical and mental well-being, and here is some interesting information that confirms the health benefits of a well-earned break in the sun.
- Secure the Family Home – If you are going away for any length of time, you should leave a set of house keys with a trusted neighbour, and in the event there is a fire or a burst water pipe, the emergency services can gain quick access. Turn off the water at the mains, and if you have a home security system, activate it as you leave. If you have a CCTV system, this means you can remotely view your home at any time, even when abroad, which gives you peace of mind.
- Medication and Essential Items – If you are currently taking any medication, make sure you have an adequate supply for the duration of the trip, and if that includes prescribed drugs, it is a good idea to take the prescription, or a letter from your doctor. The embassy website would have details of restricted drugs, so check before you arrive, and this could cause a delay and might even result in your medication being confiscated. At least one member of the group should pack a comprehensive first aid kit, just in case, and it also works to nominate a responsible family member to carry the tickets, passports, and any other essential documentation. Don’t forget an ample supply of sunscreen, along with essentials like shampoo and toothpaste, which tends to be expensive in resorts.
Your annual holiday is a time for rest and relaxation, and with some careful planning, everything will go as it should. The right insurance cover is essential, and with online solutions, this is not an issue.