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Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means – holiday time! Whether you’re jetting off on a beach holiday or a city break, a summer holiday is always an exciting time.

But to make your trip goes off without a hitch, there are some key things you need to plan and prepare for.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you plan the perfect summer holiday and make sure you don’t forget any of the essentials.

Here’s our top 10 tips on what not to forget when planning your next summer getaway!

1. Book your flights and accommodation

This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people leave booking flights and hotels to the last minute. Prices can skyrocket close to departure, so get organized early.

Search around for flight comparison websites to find the best airfares. And for accommodation, book any hotels or apartments you need as far in advance as possible.

Popular destinations book out quickly over peak season. So take the time to lock in your bookings nice and early. That way, you can relax knowing everything is organized ahead of time.

Image: Deposit Photos

2. Renew your passport

It’s a rookie mistake – getting ready to go on holiday only to realize your passport has expired. Avoid disaster by checking your passport validity now.

Most countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel. If you need to renew your passport, it can take 4-6 weeks to process.

So don’t leave it until the last minute. Renew your passport with plenty of time to spare. That way, your summer vacation won’t be ruined by an invalid travel document.

3. Get travel insurance

No one expects disasters or emergencies to happen on holidays. But travel insurance gives you peace of mind if the unthinkable occurs.

Comprehensive travel insurance can cover you for trip cancellation, lost luggage, medical expenses, theft and more. Take the time to compare policies and levels of coverage.

And make sure you’re aware of policy exclusions. With good travel insurance, you can enjoy your summer vacation stress-free knowing you have protection in place.

4. Research your destination

The more prepared you are, the better your trip will be. Take some time beforehand to thoroughly research your holiday destination. Learn about the weather, culture, customs, currency, public transport, best attractions, safety information and more.

Being clued up on your destination means you can navigate it like a pro. Check government travel advisories and be aware of any entry requirements or restrictions. The more you know before you go, the smoother your travels will be.

Image: Deposit Photos

5. Make a packing list

Don’t be that person who forgets their toothbrush or other essentials! Make a detailed packing list to avoid any embarrassing mishaps.

Tailor your list to your specific destination and the activities you’ll be doing. As a general guide, ensure you pack medications, first aid kit, toiletries, electronics and chargers, copies of documents, comfortable clothing suitable for the climate, and any specialty items needed for activities like hiking or swimming.

Tick items off your list as you pack to stay organized.

Bonus tip: start packing a few days early, so you have time to grab anything missing.

6. Arrange someone to watch your home

Coming home from a fabulous vacation to find your house plants all dead or your mail overflowing isn’t ideal. Before you go, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to help watch your home.

Give them a spare key so they can bring in your mail, water plants and check everything is okay. It’s also a good idea to have someone mow your lawn if you’ll be away for an extended time.

And let your local police station know your home will be vacant, so they can keep an eye on things. Taking these steps gives you peace of mind while you’re off on your summer escape.

7. Get Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection

One important thing to consider is getting trip cancellation and interruption protection as part of your travel insurance.

This provides coverage if you need to cancel your trip before departure or cut it short while you’re away. Reasons could include illness, severe weather, or other unforeseen events.

Having this protection means you can get reimbursement for lost expenses like prepaid accommodation, tours and flights. It gives you peace of mind that you won’t be left out of pocket if plans unexpectedly change.

Be sure to read the policy details as terms and exclusions apply. But having cancellation and interruption coverage can be invaluable if disaster strikes before or during your holiday.

8. Notify your bank and credit card company

The last thing you want is your bank or credit card company suspending your cards while you’re travelling due to suspicious charges.

A few weeks before you leave, notify your bank and credit card provider of your upcoming trip dates and destinations. This way, they will expect foreign transactions during your travels so there are no issues. Also useful is setting a travel notification on your cards through your bank’s app.

This provides an extra layer of fraud protection. And have the international phone number to call your bank in case cards are lost or stolen. A bit of pre-planning keeps your money secure while travelling.

9. Organize transportation

Don’t get caught waiting around for taxis or trains when you first arrive at your destination. Book any airport transfers, local transportation and car rentals you need in advance for a seamless start to your trip.

For airport transfers, look for shuttle or private car services you can pre-book. Or arrange for a rental car to pick up right at the terminal.

If you need local taxis or tours while away, look into booking these ahead of time too where possible. Sorting transport early means you save time once you arrive.

10. Tell family and friends your itinerary

To round out your pre-trip planning, don’t forget this final step – share your travel itinerary with loved ones back home.

Give them details of your flight times, accommodation addresses and a rough schedule for your holiday. You should also scan important travel documents to email to yourself or family, in case any get lost or stolen. Knowing your plans keeps your family informed and gives you a backup during an emergency.

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