Looking for an excursion a little further afield? Whether you’re taking time out from work to explore the Azores, or visiting friends and family in Florida, there are a few extra things to consider when planning a long trip away.
We’ve put together this checklist to help you prepare for your next adventure.
Check your destination and documents
Going somewhere off the beaten track? It’s a good idea to check with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and any local government services for any particular travel or safety advice before you travel.
You’ll also likely need a long-stay travel insurance policy - as most annual policies set limits for the number of days you’re covered. So double-check your policy document to make sure you have the right level of cover.
Do you need visas and vaccinations?
To visit some countries (often those outside of the EU), you’ll need a visa document to enter the country (or even just to travel there).
Depending on your destination, these can take some time to apply for – so make sure you check with both the Passport Office and your airline (as well as any travel agent or booking service) in advance of your trip.
For far-flung destinations such as China or South Africa, you might need vaccinations before you travel. Check with your GP before you travel about what you might need – and when you might need to arrange an appointment. For example,, anti-malaria medication can take a few weeks to take effect, so it’s important to make sure you’ve left enough time for this.
Looking after home while you’re away
If you’re going to be away for a while, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or relative to regularly check on your home and cancel any regular deliveries that might make it obvious you’re away (eg the milkman).
Also, make sure you have Direct Debits set up to cover any bills that need to be paid while you’re out of the country.
Check your passport
Everyone knows to pack their passport, but for longer trips, make sure you check it’ll still be in date when you return. Some countries won’t let you enter if your passport’s within 6 months of its expiry date, so it’s often worth getting this renewed if you think this could happen.
And while you’re away, remember to keep your passport (as well as money, tickets or insurance documents) in a safe place. It’s a good idea to take photos or store a digital copy of things like passport details or policy documents too, so if you do lose them, it’ll be easier to replace them.
Keep in touch
Make sure your friends and family know your plans and can contact you in an emergency.
You can buy a global SIM card, or purchase a new mobile phone locally to save you money on call charges. Though many travellers prefer to stay in touch by email as phone signals can be patchy in some more remote locations.
Buy the right travel insurance
Finally, if you’re planning to stay away for an extended period, then long-stay travel insurance is often more suitable than standard cover.
Make sure your policy covers:
- Emergency medical treatment and expenses
- Repatriation (emergency flight costs)
- Personal liability and accidents
- Cancellation if you're ill or injured before you go
- Travel delays
- Delayed baggage
- Legal expenses and assistance
We cover up to 120 days on our Single-trip Travel Insurance policy and can provide an extension of up to 90 days on our Annual Multi-trip policy.