Common wisdom tells us that a death of a loved one and moving house are the two most stressful events a person can go through in the modern world. Not being an estate agent or a funeral director, I can not really comment on either of these – but I do feel qualified to discuss another stressful area – planning a trip and preparing to go on holiday.
It's ironic that a period of the year designed to promote rest and relaxation can actually be the cause of the most stress and strain present for the entire year. Things are usually completed in a rush, there is a lot to organize and there's packing time to consider – and that's not even taking into account the stress families will go through looking after the kids during all of this! For this reason, I've written a useful holiday check list to ensure you do not miss any of the small things which have a tendency to turn into bigger problems while you're away.
Simply work through my holiday check list and travel with peace of mind:
Before you go (planning your trip)
- Always make sure you have full travel insurance, fit for the purpose of your trip and if you have an annual policy – check that it is still valid. Sometimes people who have purchased annual travel insurance forget to renew it, and assume they are covered whenever they wish to leave the country. Checking your travel insurance is right for the task can save you a lot of stress and tears in the long run, should the worst happen. It is also essential that you make your travel insurance company aware of any pre-existing medical condition you have before you travel – although it may increase your costs in the short term, you may find yourself without cover on such an illness without having warned them of it!
- If you're traveling within the European economic region, or in Switzerland, you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It's a common misconception that this is as good as travel insurance for giving you free health care, but it can entitle you to reduced costs, meaning you are not left out of pocket while you wait to be reimbursed on your policy.
- When planning a trip, make sure the vaccinations for both you and your family are up to date – especially if you're traveling outside of Europe. Your health care provider can advise you of any additional vaccinations you'll need depending on where you're going.
- Fill in the contact details at the back of your passport for the next of kin, or the details of someone who can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Make sure you are aware of the immigration and custom laws of the country you are traveling to when planning a trip. A visa may take a little time to come through, so be prepared and allow enough time to complete this procedure.