The ultimate family travel checklist
This is the time when many people book their summer holiday. When it seems to have been dull and grey for a ridiculously long time, and we need something to look forward to. Traveling with a family, especially one that includes young children, can be challenging, so the sooner you start preparing, the better. Start working through this checklist now, and you’ll be well organised and prepared when it’s time to get going.
If you already have passports, make sure they have at least six months left on the date of your return. If not, renew it. If you need to apply for your first passport, get started as soon as possible, and consider using the Post Office ‘Check and Send’ service, as any mistakes could delay your application. If the kids need passports, consider getting their photos taken at a photography shop instead of using a machine. It’s much easier, especially with very young children or babies.
Check to see whether you need any vaccinations before you travel. You can either visit your GP or a specialist like the London Travel Clinic for holiday vaccinations. Different destinations require different travel vaccinations.
Shop around for the best deals when it comes to currency, and if you have time, wait for a good exchange rate. Whatever you do, don’t wait until you get to the airport, as you’ll pay a huge premium for your exchange.
Around 130 countries require UK passport holders to have a valid visa to travel, so be sure to find out if you need one. You’ll also need to know the details. In some countries you pay for and collect your visa when you arrive; for others you’ll need it before you travel. The most popular destinations that require a visa include:
• Dominican Republic
Travel insurance is a must. Where possible, book it at the same time as booking your holiday. In this case, if for any reason your holiday gets cancelled, or something happens to your travel provider, you are covered. Medical insurance is also a must-have. If you are traveling within the EU, you will need a valid EHIC card. Outside of the EU and you’ll need to add medical cover to your travel insurance.
When you are traveling with a family, hiring a car at your destination can make everything much easier. Arranging this online before you travel will ensure the car is waiting for you, and can save you a lot of money.
If you are traveling with young children, be sure to include snacks and drinks, as well as things to keep them occupied, a bag for rubbish, and a pack of baby wipes. Older children may just need books, and a games console or tablet. Make sure all your travel documents and hotel booking confirmation stay with your passports in your hand luggage.
The best way to make sure you have everything is to write a list. Remember to include any medications you need, as well as sun screen, which can be much more expensive at your destination.
A summer holiday is wonderfully enjoyable and something to get excited about. Being well prepared and organised will only increase your enjoyment.