You’ve booked your holiday, you’ve booked the time off work and you’ve checked that your passport is in date. There’s nothing left to do but count down the days until you’ll be on the beach topping up your tan, right? Wrong. There are so many small details that people often forget to arrange until the last minute, so we’ve put together a handy guide of some things you may want to do before you reach the airport.

Buy Travel Insurance

It is reported that 15% of Brits travel without travel insurance, probably assuming that it is not necessary if the holiday is not that far from home or they will not be taking part in any risky activities. The fact is, disaster can strike at any time, and it pays to be covered in such an event. Rather than assuming that travel insurance is only for hospital expenses, you will usually also be covered for things like delayed flights, lost baggage, sickness, damage from natural disasters and even travel company bankruptcy. When you have saved all year for that family getaway, you won’t want a simple thing like not having travel insurance causing you to lose money.

Pre-book Your Airport Parking

You know the scenario, you leave home with plenty of time to beat the rush hour traffic so that you don’t miss your flight, but once you arrive at the airport, you spend a great deal of time circling the car park looking for a space and then trying to work out how long you will need to pay for on your ticket. To save time, there are Meet and Greet services available when using Birmingham airport parking, for example, which involves booking your parking online at Birmingham Parking. On arrival, you will simply head to the valet car park where a driver will meet you and you can then head straight to the check-in desk. When you are coming back from your holiday, you simply phone your chosen Meet and Greet service provider to let them know you have arrived and your car will be waiting for you.

Know Your Luggage Allowance

You will find that a lot of airlines differ in their guidelines for baggage limits, so it is wise to check the details carefully when you book your flight. It can then be a good idea to do a practice run of packing your suitcase so that you can weigh it at home with handheld digital scales. Relying on the scales at the check-in desk may mean that you will find yourself having to re-disperse some of the weight into your hand luggage or leaving some items behind. If you know that you are going to need more than the usual baggage limit, book the extra luggage online well in advance.

Arrange a House Sitter

If you are going away for more than a few days and have plants and pets to look after, it can be a good idea to arrange for somebody close to you to look after the house whilst you are away. This can cut out the cost of arranging dog kennels or a cattery and will save you from having to try and nurse your plants back to life when you get home. A house sitter can also help to prevent intruders who may have discovered that you are not home. If you cannot find anyone willing to move in for a week or two, ask somebody to at least check in each day to avoid the post from piling up and to turn the lights on now and again. It is always a good idea to have someone hold a spare key just in case you lose yours whilst on holiday too.

Sort Out Your Holiday Money

A lot of people will decide to wait until they arrive at the airport to exchange their holiday money into the currency of their destination. However, the exchange rates at airport kiosks can often be a lot more expensive than if you were to order your currency at the post office or via your local bank. Most banks will allow you to order a fixed amount online, which you can then collect in person or have delivered to your home. It is important that at the same time you inform your bank of when you will be away and that you may be using your debit card abroad. If they are not aware that you are out of the country and notice transactions from abroad, they could put a stop on your account leaving you with no access to your funds. If you are planning on using a credit card, make sure that there are no hidden fees for overseas usage.

Arriving at the airport stressed and in a panic is not the way you want to start your holiday. Make sure you prepare well in advance to ensure that your holiday goes without a hitch.

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