You’ve picked your destination, you’ve booked your flights, and you’ve organised your accommodation – what’s next?
Before setting off into the sunset, it’s a good idea to make some simple preparations to avoid your trip going off course. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a checklist of things to take care of before you leave these shores.
A camera is the easiest way to capture your memories of a trip and share them with others, but you need to make sure it and all the data inside stay protected. Here are some tips to make sure your photos make it home with you. Find out more
Climate and weather
Before setting off on your travels, it’s wise to prepare for what the elements might throw at you. More often than not, a change of scenery also involves a change of climate. By following these simple tips, you can make sure your trip is a triumph, come rain or shine. Find out more
Hiring a car abroad, or taking your own, lets you meet the country on your own terms. But remember that when travelling on foreign roads different rules may apply. Read on to find out how to make the most of your driving experience. Find out more
Emergency contact numbers abroad
When something goes wrong while abroad, being in unfamiliar surroundings, operating under different rules and using a foreign language adds to the stress of the situation, and can leave you feeling helpless or frustrated. We can’t prevent the worst, but we can ensure we’re ready for it. Being prepared will help you focus on solving the problem and keep you safer. Find out more
Before you leave, it’s crucial to double-check that you’re fully covered under your overseas medical insurance policy. If you’re not yet insured, buy Travel Insurance that suits the location and nature of your trip. And if you’re travelling to another EU country, don’t forget to bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
If you take medication, you should ensure that you have enough to last the duration of your stay and ensure that you bring a copy of your prescription along with you. It might be necessary for you to have vaccinations before travelling to some places; make sure to check with your GP at least 6 weeks before you set off. For more information on taking care of your health whilst away, see our guide to health and travel.
Keep people informed
In the event you end up in a bit of a pickle on your travels, it’s always useful to have people at home who can help. Let your friends and family know where you’re going and when. Give them your itinerary, contact details and insurance details in paper form, or on a secure data storage site.
Taking your laptop away with you can bring an extra element of last-minute flexibility, and be a handy store for information and photos. Here’s our advice to help you look after your laptop abroad. Find out more
Read up on the local customs and laws of the place you’re visiting. There are some behaviours we take for granted in Britain that may be frowned upon in other countries. Err on the side of caution by becoming familiar with local practices. Brush up on your local knowledge with our cultural tips.
Locate your embassy
It’s a good idea to know where the nearest British embassy is to the place you’re going. Make a note of their contact details, service details and opening times and always have this information handy. For a list of British embassies around the world, visit the Worldwide Organisations page.
Malaria is a common tropical disease that can be fatal if not treated promptly. The disease is spread through mosquito bites, with symptoms usually developing between 10 and 15 days later. Symptoms most commonly include a high fever, headaches, vomiting, cold sweats, muscle pain and diarrhoea. Find out more
Nobody wants to come home to an enormous mobile phone bill after an enjoyable trip away, but it’s easy to be caught out by charges. Here’s some advice to help limit the cost of using your mobile phone while travelling. Find out more
Money and currency
Between credit cards, debit cards, travellers’ cheques, prepaid currency cards and cash, there are plenty of options to choose from when spending abroad. An important factor to consider is getting a good deal on the exchange rate. But you should also bear in mind how convenient your chosen option will be – for example, traveller’s cheques are not accepted in all countries – and how safe it is from theft and fraud. Find out more
Packing always takes longer than expected. Picking between your favourite shoes, shorts and shirts can be tough, and sometimes it seems easier just to pack as much as your case can handle. But squeezing in that second spare pair of tennis shoes might tip you over the luggage limit and leaves little room for souvenirs. So to help you travel light, we’ve put together some tips for precise packing. Find out more
Packing for backpack holidays
Backpacking turns a holiday into an adventure – there’s no freedom like carrying everything you need in just one bag and seeing where the journey takes you. But the freedom and excitement will soon lose their edge if your belongings weigh you down. Here’s some advice to help your life on the move feel free and easy. Find out more
Pets are a big part of the family for many of us. Usually, we’re able to make provisions for them at home for when we travel, but sometimes the close attachment to our four-legged companions means they also get to tag along for the ride. Find out more
Protecting your home
Setting off on your travels can be quite an exciting moment – especially if you’ve been looking forward to your trip for a long time. But it’s crucial to protect your home while you’re away. The last thing you need after a successful trip is to come back to a burgled house. For some extra peace of mind, follow our tips on how to keep your castle secure when you’re not there. Find out more
Make sure that all travel documents and identification you carry are up to date. To find out more about which papers you should be carrying, see our travel document advice page.
Whether you’re an adventurous backpacker or looking to unwind in laid-back luxury, it’s a good idea to take a travel guide on your trip. But with so many to choose from, how do you find the right one to match your style of travel? Here are some tips to help you decide. Find out more
Falling seriously ill abroad might not just spoil your trip, it could harm your health into the future. Minimise the risks to your health by making sure you’ve received the vaccinations you need well before your departure date. Find out more
A trip away might be a chance for you to leave your watch at home and ignore the passage of time. But, as with all technology, watches now come with more functions than simple time-keeping. Here’s some advice for watch-wearing abroad. Find out more