According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, each year approximately 50 million British people make trips abroad and almost all of these are trouble-free! We have put together our top 10 tips to make sure even more of these trips are hassle free!
1. Always book travel insurance when you book your trip. Many people don’t know this and in the unfortunate circumstances that something happens, the costs can soon mount up.
2. Make sure you know how exactly what your insurance covers. Pre-existing medical conditions must be disclosed. Withholding this information can invalidate your travel insurance. There are specialist providers that can be contacted if you find it difficult to find cover (https://www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance/) Always check your NHS summary care record or speak to your GP practice team to ensure that you are aware of all of your active health conditions as it is your GP record that your insurer will use to determine whether a condition is ‘pre-exisiting’ should you need to make a claim.
3. If you are travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland make sure you have a valid EHIC card. Almost 5.4 million expire this year without travellers realising – check it now! EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare but it does not replace travel insurance. You should always travel with both.
4. If you are travelling regularly then consider an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy. If you are only having one holiday per year then a single trip policy may be better value for money but always read the small print.
5. Make sure you get the right kind of cover for your holiday. Certain activities may require a top-up or a specialist policy. Typically, winter sports, bungee jumping, jet skiing, skydiving and quad biking are not usually covered. Whilst cruise ships typically have excellent medical facilities on board, they can require additional cover too due to the difficulty of getting a traveller to a hospital.
6. Booked a package holiday? Package holiday is defined as a combination of 2 or more travel services, e.g flight and hotel or hotel and car hire. Make sure your provider has protection through ATOL. This protects you in case the travel company become insolvent.
7. We aren’t just talking travel insurance. We want to protect your pocket too! If part of your holiday costs over £100 then paying by credit card gives you extra protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means if for example you booked directly with the airline and it becomes insolvent, you can get your money back from your credit card company.
8. If you are visiting the USA you will need an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). Always apply via the official ESTA webpage (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/) as some web pages often found through Google charge a fee for processing your application. The ESTA costs $14 each so be wary if it costs more as it is very difficult to get a refund in these situations.
9. Check credit and debit card exchange rates. Some retailers abroad will offer you the opportunity to pay in GBP. If you choose to pay in sterling the retailer will often do their own conversion. They can choose the rate of this so it will likely be a worse rate than your own card provider.
10. Most importantly, enjoy your holiday!
For government backed advise please check the FCO before you travel (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance)
For more hints and tips for travelling see Money Saving Expert (https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/travel-tips/)
The information provided here is provided in good faith and to the best of our knowledge, is correct at the time of publishing. The author nor Flight Medic UK Ltd. can be responsible for any errors contained within this content & content of any external links. Always make your own choice of insurance.