Planning your holiday

When planning your holiday there are a few things to think about.

You have consumer rights when things go wrong with your holiday. However, you have additional protections on a package holiday, and your consumer rights are far greater within the EU than if you travel further away.

Package holidays
Travel insurance
Notify your bank and mobile operator
Foreign currency
Copies of important documents

Package holidays

If you book a package holiday, your travel agent or tour operator is responsible for making sure your holiday goes to plan. They must give you specific information about your holiday before you travel and if something goes wrong, it is up to them to sort it out.

If you book each element of your trip separately, you can read about what you can do if you have problems with your:

Travel insurance

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.

Tell your bank and mobile operator

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. You can use your debit and credit cards abroad, but you should be aware of additional charges.

You should also 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.

Foreign currency

If you are travelling outside the Eurozone, you may want to buy some local currency before you go. You will usually pay a commission for buying foreign currency. Commission and exchange rates can vary significantly between banks, post offices and bureau de change outlets so it’s worth shopping around.

Another option is to buy a prepaid foreign exchange card. This works the same way as a debit card, but you preload the local currency on to it before you travel. The benefit of these include having the protections offered by a debit card, but also being able to choose when you lodge money to the card beforehand to get the best exchange rate.

Take copies of important documents

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:

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence
  • Bank and credit cards
  • Travel insurance policy