Tips to have a trouble free trip abroad

Planning a trip abroad can be fun and exciting, but what about when it gets even closer to your departure date.

Here are 7 tips to help you have a stress and trouble-free trip:

  • Banks are currently under the spot light by the press because they charge more for currency exchange than lots of other Bureau de Change’s. Loyal customers go to their local bank to exchange their pounds for foreign currency but can come out with up to 5%* less than if they did their research. The tip here is to hunt around for the best exchange rate and do not leave it to the last minute. Some online companies can give really good rates but you will need to wait for delivery. Some have minimum orders for free deliveries so do check the details.
  • Check that your Annual Multi-trip travel insurance policy has not run out and that it covers you for the whole of your trip. If your policy has run out or isn’t sufficient enough for your travels, then search around and find a cheaper one. 24/7 travel insurance provides instant quotes and instant cover starting from £6.02* for a 3 day trip to Europe.
  • Are your passports valid and in date? Renewing a passport can take a good few weeks to come through and you don’t want to find yourself 3 days before departure wondering if you will be able to join the rest of your family or not.
  • If you are travelling by car, for example around Europe, then checking you are covered under your car insurance is a must. All UK car insurance policies give third party cover on the Continent, however if you feel you need comprehensive cover and to check your duration limits, call your provider and ensure you are covered. Also consider European breakdown cover which you can purchase as a standalone policy or add on to your existing cover.
  • A European Health Insurance Card also known as EHIC gives UK residents access to state-provided healthcare at reduced costs, or sometimes free when visiting an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. They are free to obtain and you can apply online at www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/home.do. It will take about 7 days to arrive so ensure you do this in advance. Remember the EHIC is not a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance.
  • If you will be using your debit or credit card when away then you need to advise your bank. If a transaction comes across as ‘suspicious’ then they may block your card until you get in contact. This can be annoying and stressful if you are in the middle of paying for something.
  • Write a list of the things you need to pack. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and realising you have left something behind.
  • When driving in Europe, make sure you have all key documents. Most EU countries require the driver to carry their driving license (including the paper counterpart), the original V5 and insurance documents. Drivers in France are also required to have one warning triangle and a reflective jacket for each passenger, fines can be enforced between €90 and €135. Visit http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/countrybycountry.html for more information depending on your destination.

Most importantly, plan ahead and enjoy your holiday.

* Source: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/257806/-Greedy-banks-rip-off-holidaymakers
** Premium £6.02 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged 18-54 taking out a ‘Standard’ Single trip 24/7 travel insurance policy excluding personal possessions cover in Europe. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (15 Aug 2011) and are subject to change. You must read the policy wording to ensure you are familiar with your cover.