Planning your trip
Before you book your trip
Research, compare and compare some more. Research a whole range of destinations at different times of the season, compare the airlines’ prices and offers and even the hotel deals. You’ll be surprised at what you can save with a little bit of patience! The same goes for your car hire and airport parking, too!
Before you leave for your trip
- Be sure to confirm your flights, transfers and any other travel arrangements
- Notify the airport / airline of any special assistance or dietry requirements
- Concerned about security measures for the country you’re visiting? Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for any up-to-date issues
- Book in and get vaccinations if needed.
- Ensure your visa / ESTA / ETA is valid if required
- Check In and pre-book your seats on the plane
- Confirm with your airline if you’ll be carrying any additional medical or mobility equipment
Packing your bags
- Ensure that you have your passport, any necessary visas, tickets and boarding passes.
- Currency or travel cards
- Travel Insurance documents
- Driving License (if you have one)
- Phone / tablet and the respective chargers
- Magazines, books, games / music player*
- Change of clothes – just in case!
- Avoid packing any banned items or risk delays at security.
- If packing medicines, ensure that they are in their original packaging to avoid any delay or confiscation at customs.
- Don’t gift wrap presents as they may have to be unwrapped by security staff or customs.
- Travelling when ill? Check out the dedicated page of The Department of Health for help and advice for those travelling abroad.
*proven to be a great distraction for the children!
- Electrical adapters or extension cable
- Photocopies of all important documents (passport, insurance and visas) packed separately from the originals
- All liquid items bigger than 100ml
- All of your other holiday essentials – even the dodgy sunhat!
Getting to the Airport
- Being dropped off at the airport instead? Make sure you and te driver are aware of the Drop off / Pick up locations and prices.
- Taking a taxi? Double check the day before you leave to confirm pick up times in case these change due to traffic / roadworks
- Likewise if you’re taking a train or coach. Pre book your tickets and check that there are no major engineering or road works that could lengthen the journey.
At the Airport
- Give yourself enough time to get through check in and security. No one likes to rush!
- Be careful to keep all of your belongings on you at all times. If you are travelling with children, this can be a little more tricky, but if they are old enough, how about popping some of their things in a little back pack for them to carry?
- Keep a close eye on those flight display boards for gates and boarding times. Check live flight departures online for any delays.
In the Air
- Easier said then done sometimes, but try to relax and, if possible, sleep!
- On a long haul flight? be sure to move your feet around, or get up and walk around regularly if you can.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
- We’d advise to not eat too heavily before or during a long flight; you don’t want indegestion on the plane!
- Beat jetlag by getting some extra sleep before the trip as well as during the flight and try to synchronise mealtimes with the time it is at your destination.
- Wear flight socks, take a low dose of aspirin or move about every so often during the flight to help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Travelling with Children
- Pack extra snacks, drinks, colouring books, crayons and (if they’re young) their favourite cuddly toy.
- Ensure all of the children’s passports are valid and that you have a safe, yet easily accessible, bag to carry them in. It’s not adviseable to let young children carry their own passports..!
- Many airports have special children’s facilities. Have a look at the airport’s website or phone their information number.