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Going on holiday can be as stressful as it is a brilliant and memorable time. Here’s some tips to do before you get going to minimise your stress levels:
1. Get travel insurance
The biggest gripes of holiday-makers circle around missed flights or lost luggage. Not only can this be ridiculously frustrating in general, the financial cost of having to book another flight or replace a suitcase full of clothes is a nightmare. It’s certainly not something that travellers will have counted on and it’s unlikely (with the holiday costs) there’ll be any spare change left to deal with it.
Travel insurance is the best way to deal with this. It can start out pretty cheap for the most part and get more expensive the more you decide to cover. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it and it’ll just be a few quid down the drain, but should the worst happen then it’s a godsend to know you won’t be out of pocket too long.
2. Try to get an European Health Insurance Card (if you’re heading to Europe)
An European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides you with health cover throughout the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) thanks to the NHS. It just means that if you should hurt yourself and need treatment, you’ll be able to get away without massive holiday bills.
You only need to look at the horror stories from people hurt abroad to know how much costs can escalate, but this card can help with the cover and make sure that you have financial peace of mind. You can pay £2 at your local post office to submit an application, or you can do it online with a processing fee of £14.99.
Either way, you get your card in the post about 21 days later and it’ll cover you against everything except the worst damage.
3. Get the Local Currency/Get a Roaming SIM Card and a Holiday Phone (3 Tips in 1!)
This section was just going to be ‘get the local currency’, but that’s a pretty obvious one that I think most people will have covered. If not, be sure to check out your bank’s policy on using your debit/credit cards abroad. Some building societies, such as Nationwide, will let you use your card free of charge overseas.
An important idea for the mobile generation is getting a mobile phone SIM that won’t charge you extra roaming tariffs for receiving or making calls back home. Vodafone are incredibly helpful and will set you up with travel-SIM card that charges a regular tariff. This is a great idea to use with a cheap phone that you can use to keep in touch with family and friends back home and whoever you’re on holiday is.
Not only will it be cheaper, but you can leave your more expensive mobile/smart phone at home and not worry about breaking or losing it. Chances are you’ll only be texting or calling the occasional person anyway.
4. Check the Weather Before You Pack
You’ll have to be doing this. It’s all well and good assuming that your break down to the Spanish Islands will be blisteringly hot and nothing but blue skies, and most of the time it will, but it’s good just to check and make sure that you won’t need a raincoat or a pair of legwarmers just in case a cold or storm front blows in from somewhere.
It happens, it’s happened to me in Majorca when it rained for two whole days. It’s good to make sure you have contingency plans for when lounging on the beach isn’t going to cut it. Plus, knowing whether or not there’ll be nothing but sun or overcast days may change your decision on the strength of your sunscreen.
5. Wear Sunscreen
This doesn’t just apply to hot countries, it applies to most places when you’ll be out in the sun for a long time. Recent studies have shown that young people are taking less and less care when they go holiday and sunbathe, some only putting on sunscreen after they burn.
Not only will sunburn ruin your holiday and lead to innumerable bouts of teasing, but as I’m sure you’re aware there are much more harmful side-effects of prolonged UV radiation.
Sunbathing is the biggest cause of skin cancer, whether on a beach, in the garden or in a tanning bed, the sun is incredibly bad for you if you spend too much time unprotected in it. If you avoid the larger health risks, it’s still a nightmare for your skin that can become leathery, wrinkled and look old before it’s time.
Hopefully you’ll have a beautiful and stress-free break, but it’s always best to be prepared. Don’t let disorganisation ruin your week off from the real world.