Before you travel

So you're holiday’s booked and depending on the type of person you are you might be dreaming of a relaxing break on the beach or looking forward to an adrenaline fuelled Winter Sports adventure.

Whoever you are, there are a few basic things to consider before you go away to make sure that your holiday goes as smoothly as possible.

Check the Travel AdviceFCO

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides reports and advice for countries throughout the world. It gives good advice on many aspects of travel to a country including culture, crime levels, areas to avoid and laws to be aware of. The FCO also gives a clear indication on whether it is safe for holidaymakers to travel to that country. This is particularly worth checking, because if the FCO is advising tourists against travelling to a country, this can often invalidate your Travel Insurance policies from many providers.

Check your Passport

You need a passport to travel between the UK and all other countries, so make sure that your passport is in date, and valid or you might not be going very far. If you find out that your passport is invalid then all is not lost. If you’re travelling in less than 2 weeks then you can make an appointment with your Regional Passport Office and take advantage of the Fast-Track (one week) service or Premium (one-day) service that they offer. For more information visit

Do you need a Visa

You will need a Visa to travel to certain countries. It’s best to check this before travelling to avoid any problems at the end of your journey. Your travel agent/operator or the embassy for that particular country will be able to give you the correct information. It’s worth giving yourself some time before you travel to check this, as some Visa applications can take some time.

Get adequate Travel Insurance

There are many reasons to get Travel Insurance such as to have cover in case your baggage or possessions are lost or stolen, or if you’re trip has to be cancelled for some unexpected reason. The main reason though to have a good Travel Insurance policy in place is in case you get ill or have an accident while you’re abroard. Medical Treatment abroad can cost thousands of pounds and in the worst cases, if you had to be repatriated by Air Ambulance it could cost 10’s of thousands of pounds.

Do you need any Vaccinations

Vaccinations are compulsory if you’re travelling to certain countries and recommended in many more. You can find general health advice for most destinations at Fit for Travel, which is a website provided by the NHS. It’s recommended though that you contact your doctor around 6 weeks before travelling to find out which vaccinations they recommend for you personally, based on you travel destination(s).

Make copies of your Travel Documents

Just in case your essential travel documents are lost or stolen while you’re away it’s a good idea to make copies of these documents (including the photo page of your Passport and your Travel Insurance Schedule) and pack them in a different place to the originals. These days many people also scan their important travel documents and email them to their own Webmail accounts, such as Hotmail, so that they can easily get to them if they need to while they’re away.