Your long-awaited holiday is less than a week away; so close in fact, you can practically feel the sand between your toes! ‘Get me on that beach!’ you exclaim excitedly to your envious colleagues, ‘and slap some sun lotion on my back while you take me there!’
Wait, have you bought suncream? When was the last time you saw your passport? Did your partner/ nominated friend book the hire car? The excitement turns to dread, as it slowly dawns on you, that yes, you only have a matter days, nay HOURS to sort out ordinary life’s messy schedule and find the time to organise all the basic holiday essentials before you leave – help!
Don’t pull your hair out in despair just yet, because we’ve recruited the knowledgeable people at Holiday Extras to create a handy, virtually tick-able last minute travel checklist to help you make it to your seat on the airplane in one piece, without suffering from a pre-holiday breakdown!
Passport and Boarding Passes
You’re not going anywhere without these, so best to make sure these are in safe, accessible place and ready to go when you are! Find your passport, check in (if you haven’t already) and print out your boarding pass. Printer run out of ink? Plenty of airlines – including easyJet, British Airways, Ryanair and Iberia – have mobile apps enabling you to check in and store boarding passes digitally in your smartphone, so you can forget the cos of cartridges and fly with minimal paper clutter. However, not all airports abroad support mobile boarding passes, so perhaps double check before your return flight, in case you need to borrow your hotel’s printer to get home!
What currency do you need if you’re planning on sipping mint tea in Morocco? Money is the second most essential thing you must consider before you depart. It is highly advised you take your credit card on holiday, so if anything takes an unexpected turn, you’ve got available cash for any unplanned expense.
Shopping around to find the best rate on foreign currency is advised, but Google your destination’s currency first, as it may be a closed currency ( such as the Morrocan Dirham) only available at your destination. Holiday Extras works with FairFX, to provide great rates and Next Day Delivery on 2o currencies. Order your FairFX Prepaid Mastercard Currency Card or travel cash online at Holiday Extras, and relax, knowing your money is taken of!
If you plan on using your bank card at your destination, check if you need to call your bank to inform them of your holiday. That way, they won’t block your card after you accidentally spend £50 on cocktails on the first night in the hotel bar!
When things take a turn for the unexpected, suddenly being stuck on the other side of the world doesn’t seem so wonderful. Don’t go unprepared, and buy comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your proposed holiday activities. Whether that’s skiing, diving, surfing or lying on a beach, make sure you’ve got comprehensive travel insurance to cover it. You can buy travel insurance online in a matter of minutes, with Holiday Extras offers online at vouchercloud.
It’s also wise to record your policy number – as well as a contact telephone number for the company you took out the insurance with – to have to hand at all times. You just don’t know when you might need it!
Travel to the airport can easily turn into the most stressful part of your holiday, so don’t rely on guessing how long it’ll take you to get there. If you’re still to make a concrete plan for travel arrangements, Holiday Extras have plenty of airport parking options to get you and your luggage to the airport on time for a budget price. If your flight leaves really early, an Airport Hotel room is a small price to pay to roll out of bed next to the runway with plenty of time to spare, so skip the stress of travelling early morning through the rush hour, and enjoy hassle-free pre-booking through Holiday Extras.
Medicine and First Aid Kits
Check if you’ve got enough of your prescription medication, and the find the documentation required to travel with it if applicable.
Now you can always grab your First Aid Kit in a Boots or Superdrug at the airport if you’re really stuck for time, but don’t brush off the importance of these life-saving holiday essentials! Don’t let burnt skin cramp your holiday style, and be savvy with your suncream to get the golden tan you’re really after, and steer clear of the lobster look. Keep the bugs at bay with insect repellent, or if you’re jet-setting to tropical regions where the bugs show no mercy, you could even pack some light long-sleeved tops and trousers to stay cool and clear of irritating bites.
Here’s a basic list of First Aid essentials you need:
- wound-cleaning gauze
- sterile dressings
- dehydration sachets
- insect repellent
- insect bite treatment
Pack these, and you’ll be able to tend to minor cuts, grazes, allergies, bites, sickness and sunburn without a fuss, and get on with enjoying your break away!
Check you’re baggage allowance; it differs for each airline, and a heavy bag is an expensive way to kick off your holiday. Likewise, double check your toiletries, and place anything greater than 100 ml in your main baggage. Put your hand luggage liquids in a clear bag for security. Light travellers getting by with hand luggage only can afford to grab a selection of miniatures at the airport if time is tight!
Holiday Packing Tips
Roll it, don’t fold it! Rolling your clothes will give you more space, and surprisingly, keep your clothes relatively crease-free. Don’t be that person who packs 5 pairs of shoes, and then despairs when they can’t squeeze in any souvenirs to bring home; leave space in your suitcase when packing. Save space by wearing your heavier or larger shoes and coats on the plane, and be ruthless to keep your selection of outfits to a minimum. Small accessories and jewellery can be a great way to jazz up outfits for the evening, therefore eliminating an extra set of clothes. Don’t forget the travel adapters for your appliances and technology!
Pack your hand luggage with:
- all your travel documents, hotel, car rental and flight details
- mobile phone
- glasses and/or sunglasses
- a book
- earplugs or earphones
- an eye-mask if you want to catch 40 winks while you travel!
A good read is essential, but you can download one to your eReader or tablet in the airport if you’re pressed for time, or even browse the selection of bestsellers at the airport to find a good travel companion to get stuck into.
Handy Video Travel Guides
Scanning your travel guide book for information on taxis, train prices, good restaurants is time-consuming, so why don’t you take a quick tour guide with Holiday Extras? Their Youtube channel hosts a number of travel guides packed with tourist-friendly tips, advice and essential information to help you experience your destination to the fullest. It’s the perfect way to swot up on your holiday destination on the journey to the airport or while you wait at the gate, so you can navigate your way around and get to grips with the culture with ease once you step off the plane.
Get a taste of Dutch living in Amsterdam in only one minute, with the Amsterdam 10 Quick Top Tips video to guide you through the city, or check out their other destination videos to find out more about your chosen paradise!
Useful Travel Apps
A personal assistant to your travels, Tripit collates flight, hotel, car rental and activity information into one slick itinerary. By using details from your email confirmations to create a plan with times, details and maps, Tripit makes travel a breeze. You can also share your trip with friends and family – perfect for keeping you or your group on track.
Free on iOS and Android
Want to get on the good side of the locals? Duolingo is a smart, seamless language app, mimicking the stages of a computer game to teach vocabulary and grammar from a choice of 24 different languages. This attractive app is a productive distraction from the long plane-journey, guiding you through each lesson to help you pick up a language in bitesize chunks. Keep your hearts and your streak count going by learning a little everyday!
Free on iOS and Android
The Timeout app puts bars, restaurants, events and attractions in hundreds of destinations at your fingertips. From Amsterdam to Sydney, it covers events and venues in every city, to guide you to popular night spots, highly-rated restaurants and numerous must-see attractions. With the Timeout app, you can search and create a custom travel guide for your holiday, and make sure you won’t miss out on one-night-only events, cultural festivals and concerts worth experiencing!
Free on iOS and Android
Travel to Olympics 2016
If you’re travelling to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, there are a few extra tips we’ve got for you!
- Direct flights to Rio fly from London, so book an airport hotel with parking for a budget price from Holiday Extras. You could save up to 60% on parking by pre-booking, and get a good night’s kip the night before you fly.
- Get in the spirit, by booking into an Airport Lounge. You’ll be able to check-in, pass security and kick back while you wait to board the plane with a beer in hand. Watch TV, enjoy a pre-flight meal and get the latest sporting updates while you relax
- Grab an Olympic Card to save on inter-city travel once you get there! This pass offers unlimited access to the city’s public transport; including buses, trains and the subway
- Heed the Zika Virus advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to keep you and your family safe and healthy during your visit
Holiday Extras have been ironing out bumps in the travel plans of thousands of customers for 32 years, parking in every car park and sleeping in every hotel room listed online, so they know can tell you exactly what to expect when you book with Holiday Extras. Start you holiday right, with the last minute travel checklist combined with the latest Holiday Extras vouchers to get you on your way!