Your Holiday Checklist
Planning a little holiday this year? After a long time in limbo, the easing of restrictions means many of us are rushing to book that little trip we’ve been set on ever since the start of the pandemic. But before you jet off, are you sure you have everything you’ll need?
Many big changes have happened since we were last freely able to travel to wherever takes our fancy. Among them are the UK’s covid restrictions, the restrictions and rules of the country you’re heading to, and the fact that UK passport holders no longer queue at passport control with EU passport holders. However, there are quite a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind before you put your out-of-office on and skip to the airport! Here they are…
Roam like at home:
Don’t worry about relying on dodgy café Wi-Fi or keeping your phone in airplane mode. iD Mobile still offer Inclusive Roaming in 50 destinations, and we have no plans to change our policy. That means you can use all the data, minutes and texts already included in your allowance, in any of these countries, at no extra cost.
Not only will your allowances come in handy when checking in with the news back home, but it also means you can use Google Maps or Citymapper to navigate like a native wherever you go! No oversized folding maps, no payphones and no add-ons needed…
Sidenote: don’t start your holiday off with the customary signal struggle. Instead, make sure you’ve got roaming turned on before you leave the UK. That way, your phone should be able to find and settle on a network with good signal the moment you land and take your phone out of airplane mode. Simply head to the iD Mobile app, tap on Services, then toggle Roaming to ‘on’. Now you’re ready to roam. And don’t forget iD Mobile have no current plans to alter or change the current roaming policy.
Make sure your passport is valid!
It may sound super basic, but it’s very easy to forget important things like when your passport expires, especially if you’re an infrequent traveller. Remember, you need at least six months remaining before your passport expiry date to be able to travel to other countries. If your passport’s set to expire within six months, you’ll need to get it renewed before you travel. You’ll need it to check in online and download your boarding pass anyway, so it’s good to be prepared!
And if you’re cutting it close to your holiday, it may be worth paying to get your passport renewed urgently. That way, you can be sure it’ll arrive before you’re set to go.
Need a visa?
Certain countries don’t require you to have a visa if you’re just going for a week’s break, or maybe even longer. If you’re holidaying to an EU destination, all you’ll need is your passport and all your COVID compliance stuff (we’ll get to that later) and you’re set. However, some countries, like the USA, require you to obtain a visa waiver to enter as a visitor.
Wherever you’re going, and however you plan to get there, it’s vital to check the entry requirements on gov.uk and leaving yourself plenty of time to make sure you’ve got everything in order. The last thing you want after a long-haul (or even short-haul) trip is to spend even longer at the security desk. The sooner everything’s sorted, the sooner you can get into relaxation mode.
COVID-19 Vaccine Pass, tests and exemptions
Here’s where things get a little complicated. Whatever country you’re visiting will have its own rules and restrictions around COVID-19. For instance, if you’re soaking up the sun in Spain, you’ll need proof of your vaccination status and you’ll need to complete a Health Control Form before you arrive. In France, you’ll need to present a negative COVID test result and a sworn declaration that you don’t have any symptoms. Even then, without proof of your vaccination status, you’ll need to isolate for 10 days upon arrival. If you’re not vaccinated, it may be a lot trickier finding a holiday destination Be sure to check out foreign travel advice before you book your trip, so you’re already one step ahead.
And don’t forget, there are also further rules when the time comes to return to the UK. You’ll need to complete a Passenger Locator Form, and if you’re going on holiday before 11th February, the chances are that you’ll have to book a PCR or lateral flow test to be done once you return. You may also be required to do a fit-to-fly test before going to the airport, so check before you travel!
Top tip: Because of the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, particularly from country to country, these rules are subject to frequent and fast changes. Book your private tests nearer to your holiday to avoid any unnecessary expense.
Don’t forget insurance
According to the stats in 2020, 30% of British people didn’t book travel insurance when they booked their most recent trip. While travel insurance isn’t a legal necessity, when it comes to real peace of mind, we’d argue it’s an essential.
With a good travel insurance policy you’re protected against the things that could potentially spoil your holiday. We’re talking about lost suitcases upon arrival, misplaced money, flight cancellations, medical bills should you become ill when you’re away, or even accommodation cover if you test positive for COVID-19 while you’re away and need to isolate beyond your planned trip dates. All these things are easier to deal with when you’re backed by a great insurance policy. Plus, with good cover, you’re way more likely to embrace your adventurous side while you’re away!
Be sure to add insurance shopping to your holiday prep. Head to one of the many comparison websites out there and compare insurance policies on the level of cover, customer satisfaction, and how much excess you’ll need to pay should the worst happen.
You’ll want to take some snaps while you’re basking in the unique architecture, stunning scenery and wonderful weather. But if your camera’s no good, you probably won’t ever look back on the pictures you take, let alone share them. For photos you’ll want to share on your socials, and for memories that you’ll never want to lose, you’ll need a good camera.
Luckily, smartphone cameras are only getting better. So, you don’t need to dedicate a chunk of your hand luggage space to a bulky digital camera. If you’re not a pro photographer, it doesn’t matter. Most new phones have incredible AI that recognises the scene you’re tying to capture and automatically adjusts the settings for the best result. That’s the quickest way to shoot a winning photo when you’re away. However, if you like to delve a little deeper and express your photographic style, the pro settings are the way to go.
Disclaimer: All information presented in this article was correct at the date and time of writing.
There you have it. Those are the essentials that are worth remembering when the time comes to prepare for that holiday. Have we missed anything out? What things do you consider essential when you book a holiday? Let your fellow Community members know in the comments below!
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