Click to get a quoteCall us on 0800 170 7704

Travel tips

free spirits travel checklist

Many of us have travel habits or even rituals we like to stick to when venturing overseas. From using your favourite trusty suitcase to leaving your passport by the front door the night before departure there are plenty of travel traditions. Some feel as much a part of going on holiday as the first poolside cocktail.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered some of the best travel tips you may not have heard of. Each will help you have your best holiday and, even more importantly, ensure your health and well-being are a top priority during your trip.


Download and save Free Spirit’s travel checklist.


When choosing a destination

Visit the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) website. The FCDO provides non-biased, straightforward travel advice and tips by country including extensive and up-to-date information about destinations.

Free Spirit works with the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) to help British travellers. Just one way we do so is by supporting Travel Aware – another great source of travel tips and advice to stay safe abroad.


As soon as you book your trip

Always buy suitable travel insurance ASAYB – As Soon As You Book. This way you are covered in case you need to cancel your trip straight away.

The most essential travel tip will always be to secure travel insurance for your unique health needs. Specialist travel insurance providers (like us) are dedicated to offering cover to people of all ages with a range of medical conditions and disabilities.

If this is you, we’re keen to show why Free Spirit is different. Our medical travel insurance is designed for all ages to ensure emergency healthcare and help – view its many benefits and features. View a summary of cover to see how it can fulfil your travel needs.


Passports and Entry Requirementspassport travel tips

Your passport/s must be in date. You can find information on passport validity, visa information, and entry requirements online at the FCDO travel advice country page.

Download and save Free Spirit’s infographic – 6 ways to travel with confidence – with your passport.


Three months before leaving home

  • Check with your GP if you need any vaccinations – visit the Fit for Travel NHS website for more information.
  • Plan to take enough money for emergencies.
  • Add your flight number to your car rental booking. If you’re flying to your destination and then renting a car, remember to include your flight number on your car rental booking. This way, if your flight is delayed or even cancelled, your car rental company will be aware.
  • Apply for your free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). That is if you don’t already have one or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with adequate time left on it to last your trip.
The EHIC allows you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. Your EHIC will be accepted for the remainder of its validity.

If you haven’t got a valid EHIC Card – apply for a GHIC. Although, the GHIC doesn’t cover Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.

For more information or to apply for your GHIC visit: or telephone 0845 606 2030.

Learn more about GHIC Cards and how to apply for one here.

Medicare – Australia

If you are travelling to Australia you can enroll in Medicare which will entitle you to subsidised hospital treatments and medicines. You can do this by contacting a local Medicare office in Australia. All claims for refunds under the Medicare scheme must be made before you leave Australia.

For more information on Medicare visit: or email:

travel tips in Australia


Travel Tips to follow three weeks before leaving home

Find a good guidebook and read up on your destination’s local laws and customs.

The world is always changing. While most foreign travel is perfectly safe, it’s always good to be aware of any events happening at your destination that might affect your holiday. This is especially important if you’re planning to travel somewhere far-flung or off the beaten track.

Also, if you’re driving abroad, make sure you’re aware of the local driving laws and requirements in the country you’re visiting. They may be very different to those in the UK.

Make copies of your travel documents and email them to yourself.

A travel insurance policy should include cover for the loss or theft of your passport. Plus, other travel documents. However, having electronic copies of them gives you peace of mind while you’re away. Also, it can help if they’re misplaced, ruined, or stolen.

Scan your passport and driver’s license. Then email them to yourself, so that you can access them from any connected device. Flag these email(s) or mark them as important so you can find them in your inbox.

Let your bank or credit card company know where you’re going.

This is usually just a case of ticking a box on your online banking portal or informing an assistant in your local branch. It is well worth it as it ensures you can use your debit and credit cards without arousing suspicion while overseas. Otherwise, the unusual activity on your cards while you are away may cause the bank to think it has been stolen and freeze it.

Also, it may be worth having a conversation with your bank about any potential foreign transaction fees they may impose on your account. Find out if there’s any way to avoid these – such as using cash machines connected to your bank.

travel banking


Travel tips to follow three days before leaving home

Tell a trusted friend or family where you’re going. Leave them your contact details, where you are staying, and your itinerary.

Review the weather regularly. Especially, if you’re travelling during hurricane season.

Check the HM Revenue & Customs travel website for information on duty-free allowances and banned goods etc.

Decant liquid toiletries into refillable travel-sized bottles. As we all know, flight hand luggage restrictions prevent you from taking containers with more than 100ml liquids in your cabin baggage. Although it can be fiddly, invest in some refillable 100ml bottles. You can then use them to carry small amounts of your favourite toiletries – a great way to ensure you can take everything you need with you on board.

Take a note of all important numbers you need to remember

  • Make sure you take note of the emergency number of the country(ies) you are visiting. EU emergency services are 112.
  • Your bank, debit and credit card customer services number and emergency cancellation number for use abroad.
  • Free Spirit’s 24/7 Medical Emergency contact number is +44 (0) 208 159 1702 (have your policy number to hand).

Mark your bag as fragile for a quick airport turnaround. Waiting for your bag to appear on the luggage carousel post-flight can be frustrating. Especially when all you want to do is reach your holiday accommodation. Get yourself a luggage belt or tag marked as ‘Fragile’. You should find that your bag is one of the first off the plane. Also, it should be handled with more care than usual.

When packing your case, use cloth boxes to keep your suitcase organised. These can then double as a handy way of staying organised when you reach your accommodation. Taking some collapsible cloth boxes can help keep clothes separated. Plus, they’ll be far easier to find. You can have a box each for tops, bottoms, underwear, and even a laundry bag for washing once you get home.

Visit the FCDO travel board. The information is updated regularly so select the country you’re travelling to and ensure you have all the up-to-date information about it.

travel tips


Any other travel tips?

If you’re unsure about anything contact the relevant Foreign Embassy in the UK for more information on things such as criminal convictions, and stamps from previous visits abroad which could affect travel to new countries and taking certain medicines into other countries.

See the list of Foreign Embassies in the UK for phone numbers and addresses.


For up-to-date travel tips – stay in touch

Sign up for the Free Spirit newsletter by filling in the form below to receive up-to-date travel tips from our knowledgeable team.

  • Testimonials

    I needed a Travel Policy that was going to cover me and the family for my recent trip to Turkey and also provide cover for my medical condition. I cho…
    C. TomsWorthing
Subscription added successfully!
Error: Subscription could not be added.

Stay in touch

Our newsletter gives you the freedom to travel with confidence. Tips, hints and guides – along with the occasional special offer – straight into your inbox. Sign up today!