10 Top Tips on Preparing to Travel
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10 top tips on preparing to travel

AA guide to pre-travel planning

Whether you’re a hyper organised traveller, who books every aspect of your trip down to the airport shuttle, accommodation, excursions and restaurants in advance or you’re a more spontaneous holidaymaker who is more likely to throw caution to the wind, we’ve put together a shortlist of practical travel tips to help you prepare for your trip.

Travel Visas & Passports

Run through your travel itinerary and check whether or not you need a travel visa for each one.  Then find out how and when you can buy them.  This will also help you to factor in their cost into your overall travel budget.  You should also leave coloured copies of all your travel visas and passport at home as a backup.  It’s also important to check the date on your passport.  The recommended rule of thumb when travelling is to ensure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned return date.  Some countries refuse entry on arrival and some airlines will not allow passengers to board flights if this requirement is not met.   

Leave a copy of your travel itinerary

It’s good practice to also leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone at home.  You should also keep in touch with them regularly to let them know if your travel plans change.

Foreign Travel Vaccination Requirements

Stay healthy while abroad!  Before you head off on your trip, go through your travel itinerary and check what travel vaccinations are recommended.  You should also check how far in advance of travel you’ll need to get them.  

Read up on health concerns

To avoid illness on your trip, it’s important to read up on the health concerns that you might be exposed to on your travels.  For example is it safe to drink the tap water?  

Booking Connecting Flights

When it comes to booking interconnecting flights, think Murphy’s Law!  “What can go wrong will go wrong!”  It’s best to air on the side of caution and leave plenty of time between your flights.   An unbudgeted for long haul flight could have a disastrous effect on your travel plans.

Purchase the right travel insurance cover

It’s important to take out the correct travel insurance when you travel.  There’s a wealth of travel insurance options to choose from and not all are equal in price or policy.  So it’s a good idea to take some time to think about what you want from your travel insurance policy.  To help you do this, we’ve put together a quick and easy check list of questions you should ask yourself:

Travel Insurance Check list

  • What is the duration of my trip/holiday?  This will help you decide whether you require multi trip or single trip travel insurance cover.
  • Does the travel insurance policy cover medical care? All AA Travel Insurance policies cover medical expenses up to €11 million. For further details click here.
  • Does the policy cover offer 24 hour emergency assistance? All AA Travel Insurance policies cover this as a standard however this is not always the case with other travel insurance providers so it’s important to know the right questions to ask.
  • Am I covered for loss or theft of my personal belongs? All AA Travel Insurance policies cover loss or theft of personal belongs and luggage up to €3000.  For further details click here.
  • What happens if I am forced to cut my trip short due to illness or other emergency? All AA Travel Insurance policies offer cancellation cover of up to €6000.
  • What activities will I be doing?  If extreme sports are on your travel agenda, you’ll need to take out the correct travel insurance for example if you’re planning on snowboarding you may want to consider, AA Winter Sports Cover

Remember, what you pay for is what you get with travel insurance.   What use is cheap travel insurance if it doesn’t actually provide the insurance cover that you need? It’s also worth noting that geographic regions are likely to affect the price and terms of your travel insurance policy.

And of course bring your travel insurance policy number with you when you travel.  You should also leave a copy of your travel insurance details with both your travel companion and someone reliable back home.  

Keep receipts

If anything goes wrong on your trip, such as theft of your belongings, you should do everything by the book when it comes to making a travel insurance claim, including contacting your travel insurance provider and the local police immediately. To allow you to do this, before you travel, make a list of everything you buy for your trip and keep the receipts. In most cases no receipts means no travel insurance claim!

Inform your bank of your travel plans

It’s a good idea to let your bank know that you’ll be using your credit card abroad. Let them know the countries that you will be travelling to and the dates of your trip.  Otherwise you could find your card frozen which can be massively disruptive to your trip.

Packing for your trip 

Don’t get stung by excess baggage fees

When you’ve finished packing your luggage take it to the weighing scales to be sure it’s under the allocated baggage allowance. Your back and arms will be better served by lighter luggage too.  And don’t forget to store liquids in excess of 500ml in your check in luggage.  

Keep yourself entertained 

If you know that there’ll be tedious bus journeys or some hanging about in airports throughout your trip, bring some easy to pack travel entertainment to keep yourself and your fellow travellers occupied. Books, a deck of cards, handheld games, portable DVD players and games consoles can be your best friends while travelling.  

TheAA.ie provides great value travel insurance for all types of holiday and business travel.  To get an AA Travel Insurance quote click here.

AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.