How to Avoid a Disaster on Holiday

Everyone loves a holiday. There is nothing quite like the feeling that takes over when your case disappears behind the check in and you head off for the departure lounge. But the saying ‘travelling hopefully is better than arriving’ is often too true and stories of disaster holidays are always rife. Taking a few simple precautions can avoid your dream week turning into a nightmare.

1. Insurance
It’s quite simple; never travel without it. Holiday insurance is available from multiple outlets and can be purchased annually or for just a week. Packages can be tailored to fit the needs of your party and also the type of holiday you are going on; you will need greater cover for a week skiing or scuba diving than for just a week in the sun. Many holiday companies offer insurance included in the package, but still read the terms and make sure you have adequate cover. Even those travelling flight only should have insurance, as lost luggage is a frequent thing in busy airports. No one wants to think of an accident occurring whilst abroad, but they do and medical bills can be expensive. If you are travelling in Europe, the EHIC card (European Health Insurance Cover) is invaluable. Many bank accounts include holiday insurance as part of the package benefits; if yours does, give them a call and let them know where you are travelling and what you are covered for.

2. Research
If you are travelling to a completely new destination, then it pays to read up on where you are going and what to expect before you leave. The images in a travel brochure are always appealing, but if you intend to venture outside your hotel, you need to know what you will be walking into. There are many excellent websites offering holiday reviews by other travellers. Read these and while you should bear in mind that the same things don’t suit everyone, they can give you a real insight into what to expect. Know what currency you will need when you are there and if you whether or not you can obtain it before you leave.

3. Transport
Not only to and from the airport at this end, but also at the other side. Make sure you have all your car parks and hotel transfers booked before you leave unless you are a regular visitor and know you will be able to summon a taxi quickly and safely. Print off all the right paperwork and keep the contact numbers to hand. A piece of paper can easily become lost, so make a note of the reference numbers of your bookings as well.

4. At the Airport
Always arrive with plenty of time to check in and read the conditions for hand luggage. Nothing puts a damper on a holiday like having to repack before check in; remember, the security standards are there for a reason and you will be asked to remove any illegal items from your hand luggage. Weigh your bags and don’t get lumbered with an excess baggage charge before you leave.

5. At the resort
Take the advice of your local holiday rep, the welcome meetings provide useful information. Safes are available at all hotels and it really does pay to lock away your valuables particularly your cards, passports and documentation. Above all, be sensible in the amount of time you spend in the sun over the first few days and take it easy. You are after all on holiday, so relax and enjoy it safely.

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