Before you travel
When planning your holiday there are a few things to think about.
If you book a package holiday your travel agent or tour operator is responsible for making sure your holiday goes to plan. They have to give you specific information about your holiday before you travel and if something goes wrong, it is up to them to sort it out. Find out more in our information on package holidays.
You should consider taking out travel insurance before you go on holidays. Travel insurance can cover you for things like:
- delayed or missed flights
- lost luggage
- stolen or lost passport or money
- injury or illness on holiday
You should take out travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday, so that you are covered if something happens and you’re unable to travel. You can shop around to find the best value travel insurance to suit your needs. Find out more about travel insurance.
Before you go on holiday you should let your bank know so they don’t cancel your cards while you are away. If they see unusual transactions on your account they may think it is fraudulent and put a freeze on it. Likewise, you may want to check with your mobile phone provider to make sure that roaming is set up for the country you are travelling to if you plan to use your phone while you’re away.
If you are travelling in the Eurozone the currency will be the same. If you are travelling to a country with a different currency it is worth having a rough idea of what the exchange rate is. You may want to buy some local currency before you go. You will usually be charged commission for buying foreign currency. Commission rates can vary significantly between banks, post offices and bureau de change outlets so it’s worth shopping around.
You can also use your debit or credit card to pay for things when you travel abroad, or take money out at ATMs. If you are travelling outside the Eurozone, you will be charged for each transaction using your debit card, usually a percentage of the withdrawal, so bear that in mind, especially if you are making a lot of withdrawals. Cash advance fees are often charged when you make a withdrawal using a credit card, along with currency conversion rates.
Our current account Money Tool has more details of charges that apply when you use your cards abroad.
Another option is to buy a prepaid foreign exchange card. This works the same way as a credit card, but you preload the local currency on to it before you travel. The benefit of these include having the protections offered by a credit card, but also being able to choose when you lodge money to the card beforehand to get the best exchange rate.
It’s a good idea to take photocopies of important documents and bring a copy with you, and maybe leave a copy at home with someone you trust. Important travel documents include:
- Drivers licence
- Bank and credit cards
- Travel insurance policy
This means if your luggage goes missing or a bag is stolen containing these important documents, you will have a copy with you, including information on what to do if something goes wrong, for example contact details for your bank or travel insurance company.