In collaboration with Medical Travel Compared
Sometimes it’s easy to get swept away with the excitement of being able to book a holiday to somewhere exciting. It’s important to make sure you have really done your research before pressing the book button though. Here are some things you should consider before booking your next holiday.
Check your passport
If you are planning on going somewhere abroad then the most important thing to do is to check your passport. Some countries require you to have a certain length of time remaining on your passport before you can enter the country. Without checking, you might end up finding that you have problems. This could result in costly emergency appointments to get a new passport at short notice.
Another thing to check for is damage to your passport. These should be in good condition when you travel and any damage, whether that be rips, marks or water damage, could mean your passport is no longer valid. Don’t be caught out because you haven’t checked beforehand.
Look into visa requirements
Depending on the country you’re planning to visit, you might need a visa to enter. For example, all visitors to the USA need an ESTA before they travel, and this includes children. The application and payment for this one can be done online and it’s a really simple process. Other countries may have different requirements though so be sure to do some research before booking anything.
Buy the right travel insurance
Travel insurance is something you should have in place before booking any holiday but getting the right policy is so important. While annual insurance is a good idea if you’re a regular traveller, there are some holidays which may require a more specialised kind of travel insurance. As a multi-generational family, we need to have different cover depending on who is travelling. Now over a certain age, my Mum will need holiday insurance for over 60s. Cover is a bit more flexible for me, John and Erin though.
It’s worth putting in some time to do research for travel insurance to make sure you’re covered properly!
Find out what currency you’ll need
Although I generally use a card abroad now, it’s also nice to take some cash as well. Before booking a recent holiday to Turkey, I didn’t realise that you could use either Euros or Turkish Lira for currency. Many of the prices while there were in Euros but everyone was also happy to accept Lira. Look into exchange rates beforehand and work out which is better value if you’re travelling to a multi-currency country.
Consider the luggage allowance
I love looking at holidays online and sometimes, they can seem like a real bargain. However, many times this is because flights are with a budget airline and often luggage is not included in the price. You might think you’re getting a bargain at the time but once you add additional luggage it could end up costing a small fortune.
Cabin sized luggage can hold a surprising amount and if you’re planning a short break, this might be the way to go instead. Think carefully about what you definitely need to pack and what you can cope without!
Think about your pets
When we go on holiday we use a cat sitting service. This ensures that Jinx and Kirin and looked after well while we’re away. Once we have dates in mind for our next holiday we need to check that our cat sitter is available. It hasn’t ever been a problem up to this point but I would hate to book something then realise we had no one to care for our cats.
The same goes for if you usually use a kennel or cattery service while you’re away. It might be that there isn’t availability for certain dates, the prices have increased or it might be closed for a period of time. It’s always best to check in advance!
Read the small print
Something far too many of us are guilty of is not reading the terms and conditions when we book a holiday. Considering we spend a lot of money on holidays, it’s often something we don’t pay enough attention to. During Covid, so many people lost money because of non-refundable bookings or clauses in the terms and conditions. The meant a refund might not have been possible.
Be sure to read any fine print and terms and conditions before you book. This way you will know exactly what you’re entitled to if something goes wrong.