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Your ultimate checklist for a stress free holiday

Your holiday is a time to relax and concentrate on enjoying yourself, so let us help take the stress out of preparing for your trip. Here's everything you need to do before you jet off.

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For all your travel essentials in one place, visit our Travel Hub.

Holiday checklist

  • Sort your travel insurance ASAP

  • Check your passport

  • Arrange your visas

  • Protect your driving

  • Get your vaccinations

  • Get your travel money

  • Check your GHIC (formerly an EHIC)

  • Check your phone provider

  • Tell your bank

Here's more on the holiday essentials you need for your travel wallet.

What you need to check

Months before you go:

  • Buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday to get the most from your cancellation cover. Knowing you're covered if something goes wrong can make your trip a lot less stressful; here's how to get the right cover for your holiday.

  • Check your passport will be valid when you travel - with some countries asking for there to be at least 6 months left on it. If it won't be, apply for a new one ASAP because it can take up to six weeks to renew.

  • Get your visas if the country you're visiting asks for them. Check the entry requirements of where you're going on the Foreign Office travel advice website.

  • Cover your driving if you're taking your car, or renting a vehicle when you get there. Make sure you're protected if you break down, or if you have an accident. And check the rules on whether you need to tell your insurer or not.

Weeks before you go:

  • Sort your travel money because if you choose to get a prepaid travel card, a new current account or a credit card designed for foreign use, they can take a couple of weeks to arrive.

  • Get any vaccinations or medication you need for your destination. You can find out what protection you might need here.

  • Order a Global Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you don't already have one, or your details need updating. It should arrive within seven days, and lasts for five years.

  • Check your travel information, including your flight details and hotel bookings, so you have time to amend any errors. Also check your airline's baggage weight restrictions so you know how much you can pack.

Days before you go:

  • Tell your bank where you're going, especially if you plan to use your cards. This will prevent them from putting a block on your account if they see unusual spending.

  • Weigh your bags to make sure they meet your airline's restrictions. Use your bathroom scales by weighing yourself, then weighing yourself again carrying your bag and working out the difference.

  • Go through the checklist again to make sure you've got all the essentials before you leave for the airport.

Top packing tips

What you take with you is ultimately up to you, but if you're struggling for room these tips could help you squeeze a few more things in your suitcase:

  • Check your hotel provides towels or toiletries so you can leave yours at home

  • If you're only taking hand luggage, check the liquid restrictions

  • Fill any extra space like the inside of your shoes with small items like socks

  • Rolling your clothes rather than folding them can save space and reduce creases

  • Pack anything you might need quick access to on top, like travel documents

Find the right cover for your travels by comparing our best travel insurance deals.

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