Holidays, holidays, holidays. It’s all we can think about after the New Year,  and we all know it’s always best to be prepared. Everyone usually remembers sun cream and visas (we hope), but there are other ways to make sure that your holiday is as stress-free as possible.  Here are some simple tips that will save you time, stress and aggravation.

  1. Use your mobile phone to its full advantage:
    – Take a picture of all the items in your case laid out on your bed – that way, you have an immediate record of everything should things get lost or “not arrive”
    – Take a picture of the outside your suitcase – you’d be amazed how many people lose their bag in transit and then can’t remember anything about it (it’s black and has wheels, which is our usual response!)
    – Upload the pics to the cloud and/or send them to someone in case you lose your phone as well
    – Take pictures of passports and visas and leave sets with friends at home
  2. Switch on your “find your phone” function and add it to your laptop or a friend’s phone who is not travelling with you – it’s useful even if your phone only turns out to have been in another jacket pocket (we’ve all done it)
  3. Buy a stand-alone phone charger because you never know when you may need to make a call or check something if you have been out for a long day sightseeing
  4. Note down your insurer’s details for how to make a claim (the phone number is most important) followed by your policy number – as long as you have your insurer’s phone number they can usually find your policy
  5. Do you have medication that you need to take while traveling? It is worth checking with the relevant embassy whether your medication is legal in your destination country (for instance, countries in the Middle East are very restrictive) – if medication that you take is not legal in your destination country, bear in mind that if you lose your medication in that country, an insurer will not be able to send replacements
  6. If you are renting a villa for a fabulous relaxing break, take the time when you arrive to check that all the windows are shut and can be locked. A hotel room usually has one point of access; a villa may have 20 windows, so just be sure that none have been left open and all can securely shut. It’s often a scam by the cleaners to leave windows open
  7. Use the safe to lock up valuables and cash – that’s what it’s there for
  8. Hide your car keys – we all do it to avoid the hunt for the keys….we stick them by the door – thieves know that too
  9. Think twice before you take the good stuff – this one’s more controversial – we all like our favourite watches or pieces of jewellery, but they may not be covered by your policy and you may be in a country where even an average watch represents a few months’ income
  10. And of course, make sure you have proper travel insurance. Many bank accounts will give you “free” travel insurance and that may work for you. However, it’s often just European travel for yourself with very low limits. Emerald’s view is simple – check any caps and limits, check geography, and check you get the coverage you need. 
  11. And lastly, and most importantly, travel far and enjoy every moment!

You can see more top tips about looking after you, your family and your stuff on Emerald’s YouTube channel. Emerald’s CEO, Heidi McCormack, will soon be giving you some of her best ‘Heidi Hacks’ for travel, weddings, pet ownership and protecting your home.