It’s been a tough few years with lots of people having to forgo holidays abroad because of Covid-19, but many are aiming to make up for lost time by embarking on a longer trip overseas this year.
Here the team at Adrian Flux offer some timely advice on how to take the stress out of planning an extended holiday abroad.
Photo by Ethan Wilkinson.
Ensure your passport is valid
Keeping your passport up to date is one of those life admin jobs that is easy to forget.
As a general rule of thumb, you will need at least six months on your passport before you travel abroad. That means, if you are going on a three month holiday, your passport will need to have nine months’ validity.
However, the actual length of validity varies from country to country, so check the government website for the latest passport advice.
Get a friend to check your home regularly
Arrange for someone to check your home regularly. They should collect the mail and make sure there are no tell-tale signs that you are not at home, such as junk mail left on the doorstep or protruding from the letter box.
If they are a very close friend you could even get them to cut the grass, deadhead the roses and ensure the rest of the garden is in good order.
Get the right home insurance cover
Even though you are getting a friend to check on your property, your insurer will probably still deem it unoccupied if you are away from it for 30 days or more.
In those circumstances, they will view your home as being at a greater risk of burglary, vandalism and accidental damage and you will need to arrange unoccupied insurance cover.
Read our blog to find out how to protect your home while you are away and in which other circumstances you may need to get unoccupied insurance cover.
Set an automatic timer so lights come on regularly
You can buy a plug socket timer for under a tenner. Invest in a couple of them and position them in different parts of the house. You can set them so different lights come on at different times and it will give the impression that the home is being lived in as normal. Make sure that if it’s winter, you programme your lights so they come on when it starts getting dark.
Read our blog to discover other ways to protect your home if it is to be left empty for an extended period.
Don’t forget green card motor insurance
If you are taking your car on your extended holiday abroad, it’s a good idea to get a green card motor insurance document which proves you have the necessary insurance cover for the countries you are driving in. It’s no longer compulsory to have a green card but you may find it simplifies the process if you have to produce your documents for any reason. Read our blog to find out more about current green card regulations.
Picture by Gustavo Fring.
Get a health card for your holiday
If you are travelling abroad, you should carry a UK Global Health Insurance Card. The card ensures the rights of UK residents to access free emergency and necessary medical care when travelling within the EU.
Get the right holiday insurance
When you are travelling independently, it’s quite easy to forget something like travel insurance. That would be a big mistake.
Adrian Flux’s flexible travel insurance is great value for money and can cover you for up to £15,000,000 worth of emergency medical treatment, depending on the level of cover taken out. There are also special provisions for trips affected by Covid-19.
Check bank cards are up to date
It will be pretty disastrous on your extended break if you are left high and dry with no access to your cash. Ensure all your bank and credit cards are up to date. Order new cards now if they will expire before the scheduled end of your holiday.
Keep in touch while on your extended holiday
Leave an emergency phone number and email address with at least one neighbour so they can contact and alert you if something goes wrong at home. The call, if it comes, doesn’t need to ruin your holiday but it will mean you can stay in control when it comes to putting things right.
Don’t forget your pet at holiday time
Remember, there are different rules for travelling with your pet to an EU country or Northern Ireland and for taking your pet to a non-EU country.
If Fido is going to miss out on the trip, you’ll have to get him booked into a recommended dog kennel, or billeted with a friend or family member.
Photo by Hilary Halliwell.
Ensure you have all the medication you will need
Most doctors will only prescribe medication to cover you for a fortnight or one month at the most. That’s no good if you will be abroad for three months!
Explain your plans to your GP so you can take extra prescription medication away with you to keep you fit and healthy.
While you’re at it, top up your first aid box. We hope you won’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Use the eyes and ears of your neighbours
Let your local Neighbourhood Watch group know you will be away for an extended period and others will keep an eye on your home. You can use this link to find your local neighbourhood watch.