9 holiday planning tips you shouldn’t forget

  • 9 July 2019
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9 holiday planning tips you shouldn’t forget
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It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s holiday season. If you’re doing some late planning for an overseas trip, there’s a lot to think about. So check out our tips below, and be fully prepared. Bon voyage!

1. Pre-book your parking and transfers to the airport

Airport parking can fill right up at this time of year, so it’s a good idea to pre-book it as far in advance as possible. And while you’re doing that, check if you need to book your transfer from the car park to the airport terminal. Most of the time you just need to hop on a bus, but it’s worth being sure – hanging around for ages in a car park isn’t a good way start to a holiday.

If you do need to pre-book your own transfer to the airport, go for a reputable company like, Uber or You can make bookings on their websites or through their free apps (although there doesn't seem to be an Android app for just yet).

2. Check if you need the two Vs (that’s visas and vaccines!)

Do you need a visa to visit the country you’re travelling to? If you don’t know, check as soon as possible (you can do this on the Visa Central website). Remember – if you need a visa, it can sometimes take a long time to get one (we’re talking months in some cases).

You might also need some vaccinations, especially if you’re travelling to a destination that’s classed as a high risk for health. The NHS Fit For Travel website has information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad, so check it out.

Some vaccinations need to be started a couple of months before departure, and require more than one shot spread out over a few weeks. So don’t delay!

3. Don’t forget the iD Mobile app – your perfect travel companion

The iD Mobile app lets you control your account anytime, anywhere. Yes, even overseas. And it doesn’t use up any of your precious data either.

Download it here if you haven’t got it already, and when you’re on holiday you can keep a close eye on your data usage, and buy add-ons if you’re running low. Our data add-ons start at just £1.50 for 100MB, and they’re much better value than running out of data and racking up out-of-plan charges!

You can also use the app to manage settings like roaming and voicemail. It’s a great little piece of kit, and it doesn’t take up an inch of space in your luggage. Get yours now!

4. Get your holiday money sorted, cash or card

Of course, you can exchange money before you travel. Having some local currency in your pocket when you arrive at your destination is never a bad thing.

But remember, currency exchange centres always charge a fee. So if you’ve got a cash card that comes with a 0% foreign transaction fee, you might want to use a cash machine at your destination instead.

Oh, and be sure to tell your bank and credit card companies that you’re going abroad. If you don’t, they might think that your overseas card usage is suspicious and deactivate it!

5. Be prepared for emergencies

Travel insurance is important, so make sure you’re covered. The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is free and valid until 31 October 2019. It’s not an alternative to travel insurance, but it does give you some rights to healthcare in EU countries. Find out more on the NHS website.

A lost phone is another emergency you should prepare for, just in case. You’ll find details of what you need to do in this iD Community article: What to do if you lose your phone.

6. Be prepared for delays

Use the Flightview app to see the status of all flights in your trips.

If your flight is delayed, make sure you’ve got enough stuff to keep yourself entertained. Buy all the snacks, games, books and magazines you need. Or do it all on your phone, and download your favourite eBooks, music and movies. Then when you get on your flight, you can enjoy them all when you’re offline in aeroplane mode.

There’s nothing worse than running out of power on your phone when you’re stuck in an airport lounge, so make sure it’s fully charged before you leave the home, and take a mobile charger as back-up.

7. Take some backup

Scan copies of all your important travel documents: passport, visa, airport parking, flight and hotel confirmations, travel insurance policy, emergency phone numbers and anything else you can think of. Then email them to yourself, so you’ve got easy access to all the info in case you lose the physical copies.

8. Make a list of the essentials

Don’t forget to pack the essentials. And the best way of remembering everything is to make a list before you travel (the Evernote app is a great way of creating lists and reminders on your phone).

It’s up to you what you pack, of course. If you’re on a long flight, make it a little more comfortable with a travel pillow, earplugs and eye-masks. And to keep yourself connected and powered up all through your hols, don’t forget things like phone chargers, leads and universal sockets.

Oh, and no matter where you’re travelling to, it’s always a good idea to pack some spare toilet paper. For obvious reasons.

9. Take a translator

Having the Google Translate (free on iOS and Android) on your phone makes chatting with non-English speakers a whole lot easier than it used to be. It can translate bilingual conversations in 32 languages, and 103 languages if you type in the phrases.

If it’s not a person you need to understand, but rather a menu or a street sign, you can hold up your camera and Google will magically translate the words in front of your eyes, as if by magic!

We hope you find these top holiday planning tips useful. We think we’ve covered everything, but if you’ve got anything you’d like to add, post a reply below and share it with the Community.

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