Booking your first holiday abroad without your parents can be a really exciting prospect – but also a daunting one. Without the safety net of mum and dad sorting out the paperwork and telling you where to go when you get to the airport, it can leave some junior jetsetters in a bit of a spin.
So if you’re planning your first trip away with friends, take a look at some things to bear in mind…
Make sure your passport is valid for travel with your airline
It goes without saying, but making sure your passport is valid before you book everything is vital, and if you do need to apply for a new one, make sure you know how long the wait is and that you’ve given yourself enough time. Some airlines require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport when you travel, so double checking what each airline’s policy is will save you any unnecessary panic before you go away.
Make sure you have insurance
If you book through a travel agent like On the Beach, you will get prompted to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking. It’s important to make sure you have this documentation to cover you for things like baggage loss. Failing to protect yourself against accidents when abroad could ruin your holiday.
Get to the airport in good time
Most airlines require you to arrive at the airport and check-in 2 hours before your flight to avoid any delays due to queuing. Check with your airline when you’re expected to be at the airport for and stick to it; the stress of a mad dash through the airport is the worst way to start your holiday. Plus, it gives you plenty of time to browse duty-free!
Don’t exceed your baggage allowance
It may be something you’ve never had to worry about when travelling with your parents – maybe they even did your packing for you – but making sure you’ve not gone over the weight allowance of your airline could save you a fortune in airline fees. Weigh your bag before you go and always double check what allowance you’re entitled to with your airline.
Top tip: If you’re going away with a group of friends, sharing hold baggage will bring costs down, and deciding who takes what to avoid duplicate items will save some precious bag space.
Packing essentials checklist:
- Towels and swimwear
- Clothes, shoes and underwear
- Sun cream
- Beach bag to carry your essentials
- A good book or your iPod
- Currency for your destination
- Passport – obviously.
- Phone and phone charger
- Your travel insurance/travel details.
- Travel adaptors to be able to use and charge your appliances
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Shampoo and shower gel
- Shaving gel/razor
- Insect repellent