Top travel tips

If you're dreaming of sunnier climes, or have already booked a break this year, make sure you check out our travel tips before you jet off.

Now that the Christmas and New Year festivities are over, is bit any wonder the peak holiday booking season has hit us? Here's are a few things to consider before you go.

Insurance

Make sure you book your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday – and don’t just take the one offered by your holiday company either. This will almost always be more expensive than if you shopped around.

Planning ahead

You’ve hopefully got plenty of time before you leave on your holiday – so why not use some of it to research your destination, especially if you are travelling to a country you have never been to before.

Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? How will you get around? What are the local customs? Am I expected to tip and, if so who and how much? These are all questions that can be answered by a little online research and will help your trip run a lot more smoothly.

Do you need vaccinations?

Your tour or holiday operator should advise you of the requirements here when you book your holiday or you can always visit the NHS website which has comprehensive advice of what is required for each country. If you need vaccinations make sure that you have them well within the timeframe needed before you depart.

Also, whilst considering vaccinations, do you need to take any other medications with you? For example do you often suffer from an upset tummy, or do you need any insect repellents?

Check your passport

It might seem a simple question – but do you actually know when your passport expires? If not please do check. You will also need to make sure that you meet the regulations of the country you are visiting – for example some countries will require a minimum amount of unexpired time on your passport. The Foreign Office website has all the information that you need here.

Money

Always order your travel money in advance – try and avoid buying it on the day you depart direct from the airport. If you intend to use your debit or credit card whilst abroad then contact your card issuer and let them know the dates you will be out of the country and also the places you will be visiting.

Communicating

If you are visiting a country where English is not the main language then buy yourself a phrase book – this will not only help you understand and identify words on menus and street signs, but it might also help you to say the basics in the language of the country you are visiting.

You’d be amazed at how many times the service in a bar or restaurant improves if you simply say please or thank you in the local language!

And finally

Once you’ve done all the planning and you are actually there don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself – after all that’s what a holiday is all about!

Jetting off to somewhere exotic? Or holidaying at home? Let us know your travel top tips by email at editor@oddfellowstimes.com.