There are many different types of holidays and travel experiences you can choose from. From a weekend camping, package holidays abroad, Inter-railing around Europe to backpacking across Australia.
Depending on where you are going there can be varying amounts of planning, packing and preparation before your trip. Different countries often have different laws, rules and regulations, and visa requirements regarding travellers, so you should always check before you go.
This section will give you advice and information on the different types of travelling, how to plan, what to take, how to manage your money and what arrangements you might need to make. This section will also give you advice and guidance on living and working abroad.
If you want to travel abroad you will need to have a passport. Everyone, including babies, must have their own passport if they are travelling overseas.
- To apply for a passport you can pick up a form at your local post office and apply by post. You can also apply online through the Passport Office’s website
- From the time they receive your application, the passport office tries to get your new passport to you within three weeks, but at busy times, such as the summer holidays, it may take longer. Therefore it is important you make sure your passport is up to date with plenty of time before you go on holiday
- In emergencies (if you need to travel in less than two weeks) you can go to a passport office near you and queue to get a passport on the same day. There is a passport office in Newport, south Wales, and also one in Liverpool
- Some countries will not allow you entry if your passport runs out within six months of the date you are travelling, or if you only have a few blank pages left in it for visas. You should check before you go away if this is the case with the country you are travelling to
- Your passport is a very important document. If you have an accident or something happens to you when you are on holiday you will need your passport to get help from a hospital or the police – keep your passport in a safe place or with you at all times while you are away
- If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, you should contact the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate immediately for advice
- It is a good idea to make a photocopy of the photo pages of your passport and keep it in a safe place separate to your passport when you go on holiday
Visas For Travel
A visa is an official document that allows you to travel to certain countries. Any visas you are issued with will be attached to one of the pages in your passport.
- Following the Brexit vote, it remains unclear whether free movement of the continent will continue after the EU leaving terms are finalised. However, as it stands if you travel in the European Union and you are a British Citizen you will not need a visa, but in other countries you probably will need one
- It is more difficult to get a visa to enter some countries than it is for others. You may also have to pay for some visas
- You must make sure you have got the right type of visa for the trip you want to take. Most tourist visas will last three months, but if you want to work when you are away, you will need a different kind of visa (see the working visas section)
- You will have to get a visa before you travel, so make sure you leave enough time before you go away to get one. There are companies who can organise a visa for you, but this may cost
- You can check what you need to visit each country with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s directory
It is really important to organise your money before you go away. Having access to enough money will ensure you can do the things you want to on your travels and can cover you in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure you are aware of the currency of the country(ies) you’re travelling to
- Visit your local post office, bank or travel agent to exchange your currency before you leave. Most large supermarkets also have foreign exchange facilities. Some facilities offer better rates than others, so shop around and research online to make sure you get the most for your money.
How Much Money Will I Need To Take?
- Before you leave, make sure you have planned carefully for what you can spend while you are away. It is a good idea to work out a budget which will help you ensure you do not run out of money
- The amount of money you take with you will depend on where you are visiting, how much you can afford, the duration of your trip and what you would like to do while on your travels
- Some countries are more expensive than others, so it is best to research how much accommodation, food and activities will cost before you go away
- Remember to leave yourself enough money to travel back home!
- If you have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) you may be entitled to discounts on travel, goods and services. You can obtain a card from the International Student Travel Confederation
- You can also join the Youth Hostel Association which entitles you to save money on hostel accommodation
Health And Safety
You may find it difficult or expensive to get health treatment in some countries, so it is extremely important to protect yourself against health risks in the country you are going to.
- Before you leave, make sure you take out reliable travel insurance to cover yourself against injury, this can be something you take out with a travel agent or a separate company. See our Travel Insurance section (link)
- Check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s directory about the country you are travelling to:uk
- If you are taking any medication, make sure you have enough supplies to take with you and find out if you can get hold of the medication abroad
- Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to ensure you are covered for any accident or illness is covered while you are away.
- You may need to have vaccinations to protect you against diseases in other countries. Contact your doctor for advice on the injections you will need
- It is important to consider your safety when in a foreign country. Take advice and be sensible while you are away. Use your common sense and don’t take risks if it involves putting yourself in danger
- Do as much research as you can before you go. Get a good guidebook to the country, research its laws and customs and speak to others who have stayed in that country
- Road accidents are one of the greatest health hazards to travellers. The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) produces comprehensive Road Travel Reports on over 130 countries:Asirt. It might be worth checking the site if you plan on hiring a car or driving during your trip.
- Be careful with what you eat and drink, particularly in hot countries. If you are in a country where the tap water is unsuitable for drinking, you should always buy bottled water
- See the Health and Safety section in Living Abroad [link to 3d1 Health and Safety] for more information
When on holiday or travelling it is vital you’re covered by travel insurance so that if anything happens to you while you are away, you will not have to pay for medical treatment. If you don’t have insurance and have an accident, then depending upon which country you are in, your hospital treatment could cost you anything from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands
- Make sure you apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to ensure you are covered for any accident or illness if travelling within the European Union. You can either apply at your local post office or online
- It’s very easy to get travel insurance, either on the internet, the Post Office or at many high-street shops and banks. It often doesn’t cost very much and can be bought for as little as £5 for a single journey
- Check the small print in your insurance document to make sure the company has all the information they need about you and to check exactly what you are covered for. For instance you must make sure you tell your insurer of any previous medical conditions or illnesses that may affect any treatment you are given
- Always keep the phone number of your insurance company to hand so that you can quickly contact it in case of an emergency
A basic policy should cover you for the following:
- Cancellation – in case you have to cancel or cut short your holiday
- Delays – you should receive compensation if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours
- Baggage and belongings – you should have cover of up to £1500 in case your bag is lost, stolen or damaged
- Personal liability (if say for example you injure someone, you should have cover for a minimum of £1 million if you are visiting Europe, and £2 million worldwide)
- Emergency assistance – many insurance companies offer 24 hour emergency help-lines
- Medical cover
Make sure your insurance covers you for the entire duration of your trip and for any activities you will be doing. Some activities like jet skiing are not covered in general policies.