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Travel checklist

1. Shop around

Travel insurance policies vary to suit different needs so it’s essential to shop around, and know that the cheapest policy may not cover all that you need.

2. Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The EHIC is free and allows you to get treatment when travelling in Europe on the same basis (free or at a reduced cost) as people who live in the country you are travelling to. It’s not a substitute for travel insurance, and it will not cover any costs to bring you back home.


3. Check Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice

Check the advice provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for your destination. No destination is 100% safe and you should consider official advice before you decide to travel somewhere. Travel insurance is unlikely to cover you if you travel to destinations where the FCDO is advising against all or
all but essential travel.


4. Book travel with a reputable provider

Good travel agents and tour operators provide extra security and peace of mind. Look for an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL) which provides protection against travel firm failure, and for affiliation with organisations such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT), the Association of Independent Tour
Operators (AITO), or Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH).

ABTA abta.com
ATOL www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/About-ATOL
ABTOT www.abtot.com
AITO www.aito.com
BCH www.bch-uk.org

5. Apply for any visas and check your passport

Apply for any visas you may need in plenty of time before you travel and check that your passport will be valid for at least 6 months at the time you travel. Requirements will vary depending on the country that you are visiting. Most travel insurance policies will not cover you if you fail to obtain the correct visa or your visa does not arrive on time.

6. Get vaccinations

Talk to your doctor about any vaccinations or medications (e.g. antimalarial tablets) that you may require for your destination at least six weeks before you go. Your travel insurance may require you to take reasonable health precautions when recommended by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/43/medicines-abroad

7. Be up front about medical conditions

Tell your insurer about any medical conditions when you take out a travel insurance policy. It is also important to tell your insurer if your medical situation changes after you have taken out your travel insurance policy.

8. Take care and stay safe

Holidays should be fun and relaxing, but take care and act responsibly. Drink responsibly. Follow local laws and customs. Check safety before taking part in an activity. Take enough money for your trip and some back-up funds in different payment forms (eg additional debit card, traveller’s cheques or US dollars).

9. Leave information with family and friends

Tell your family or friends where you will be staying and what you plan to do. Make sure they have a way of contacting you. Leave them photocopies or scans of your passport, any visas, your travel insurance and your travel itinerary.

10. Call your insurer

Make sure you take note of your insurer’s emergency assistance phone number. If something happens when you’re on holiday and you need to make a claim, call your insurer or their emergency assistance company first – they are there to help you.