Heading off on holiday is an exciting time, but it is also a time when you have so many things to remember (like replacing your E111 with an EHIC Card) so it’s quite easy to become stressed!
Packing is hard enough, without having to remember the vitally important things, but forget one of these items and, well, you could be putting yourself in a rather difficult position.
New rules and regulations in relation to travel are always ever-changing, and if you don’t stay abreast of developments, you could be missing out on something important. Flight security regulations are something which you certainly need to know about, to avoid problems at the security desk – the 100ml liquid rule is still in operation, and you now need to have enough charge on all electrical items to be able to turn them on and off if asked by security staff. Checking any updates or new rules before you fly is imperative.
On top of this you also need to think about your passport. Many destinations require you have to a minimum of six months’ validity left on your passport after the day you return home. If you find you are going to have less than this time, you can easily renew your passport early, to avoid problems. Obviously, check online with your particular destination to see if this rule applies to you, but it is the general guideline these days. You also need to think about whether you need a visa – more things to check out!
Many destinations don’t require a visa, however many also do. Sometimes you can head online and purchase your online visa, always ensuring you are using the correct and official website, and some destinations will allow you to purchase a tourist stamp at the arrival desk when you fly in. It’s worth mentioning however that some destinations also require a much more formal visa application process, and if this is the case then you will need to do this ahead of time, to avoid delays. Put simply, check out what you need for your particular destination in good time, and you should be fine.
One of the most important factors to also consider is your health. Do you need any extra immunisations for the place you’re visiting? Have you organised your travel insurance? Have you ordered your EHIC?
If you have no idea what a EHIC is, it stands for European Health Insurance Card, and it covers travellers from eligible countries, travelling to other EEU countries and Switzerland in terms of healthcare. If you have this card and you are eligible then you will receive healthcare to the same standard that you would back at home, thanks to a reciprocal agreement. Private treatment is not covered with this arrangement, however for emergencies and illness, this is a godsend in many ways. The EHIC replaced the old E111, which is no longer valid or in circulation, and you can easily head online and order your card for free. Every single person in your party will need a card, including children.
Once these important factors are organised, and your packing is done, the stress is then over and you can look forward to a happy and healthy holiday.