Your ultimate summer holiday checklist

Harvey Jones

Now is the time to start planning your long-awaited getaway. As well as packing your suncream and shades, you also need to remember the more practical items. The following checklist should help.

Book it

If you haven't already booked your holiday, don’t leave it any longer.

Traditional European destinations such as Spain, France, Portugal and Italy are heavily booked this year as the terror threat scares holidaymakers away from Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and even Greece. Check out what's still available online.


Order your EHIC

If travelling to Europe, order your European Health Insurance Card for free online. The card lets you claims state healthcare in the EU for free or at a reduced cost.




Take cover

Every foreign holidaymaker needs travel insurance, which covers private medical treatment abroad and emergency medical repatriation in case of serious illness, vital if heading to countries with sky-high medical bills such as the US.

It will also cover your possessions, including money, if lost or stolen, within specified limits. Take cover soon as you book your holiday as this ensures your booking is protected should illness force you to cancel.


Don't forget your passport

Check everybody's passport is still valid, otherwise, you could get a shock at your departure point. Renewing takes at least three weeks and costs £72.50 or £82.25 through the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service.

Everything you need to know about urgent renewals


floating sea


Check entry requirements

Make sure you have the right visas and other documentation prepared for the country you are visiting.

Since April, British citizens need to hold an e-passport if visiting the States under the US Visa Waiver Programme. Look out for the gold camera symbol on the lower front of your passport.

For trips to Asia or the Middle East and other far-flung destinations, your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of your visa application.


Drive time

If you're planning on taking your car to the continent, check what cover your UK motor insurance policy offers.

Under EU rules, it must offer basic minimum cover at no extra cost, but this could fall short of the comprehensive cover you get in the UK and you may need to pay an extra premium to play it safe. Be sure to also check whether your motor breakdown cover extends overseas.

If hiring a car, don't forget your driving licence.


holiday yacht


Get packing

Round up all the essential documents you need, including booking slips, hotel details, airport transfers, tour operator contact details and any pre-booked trips such as shows and theme parks.

Don't forget to take the small essentials, such as credit and debit cards, foreign currency, spectacles or contact lenses, leads and chargers for your smartphone or tablet, and overseas adapter plugs.

Remember that liquids in containers larger than 100ml will be seized by airport security, even if half empty.

Check out our ultimate guide to packing hacks


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