Getting ready for take-off – how to start your holiday the safe way

Heading away on holiday soon? Lucky you! The best kinds of holidays start long before your plane takes off, and getting a few things organised in advance might just be your ticket to a stress-free trip. Follow these five simple steps to get ready to fly and start your holiday the right way.

Sort out documents in advance

When trips go wrong, it’s usually because someone forgot to organise travel documents ahead of time. In a lot of cases you need special documentation to visit countries overseas, so it’s best to sort things out early so you can plan the rest of your stay.

Make sure your passport is up to date and won’t expire within six months of your intended trip (some countries won’t let you visit if your passport is expiring soon). If you’re travelling with others, double-check their passports too.

You’ll also need to research any travel visas required before you go away. Safe Travel is a great site to visit to learn more about visas and passports, or you can contact the embassy of the country you’re visiting and ask directly.

Look after your health

It’s no one’s favourite part of travelling, but depending on where you’re off to vaccinations could be an important step.

Different parts of the world are exposed to different diseases, and staying on top of the jabs you need could be life saving. Talk your GP about vaccinations and check The World Health Organization’s official site for updates on worldwide disease information.

It’s also a good idea to take out travel insurance before going away to help keep you covered from expensive, unwanted medical bills if things go wrong. Even if you don’t end up needing it, when you’re far away from home a little peace of mind goes a long way. By locking in travel insurance when you lock in your flights, you may also be covered for extra costs if your airline makes unexpected changes to your flight schedule –bonus!

Leave your home safe and sound

If you’re going away for an extended period of time, set up a few safeguards for your home. Tell trusted neighbours that you’re off on holiday so they can keep an eye on your place while you’re not there.

If you’ve got pets at home, check them into a kennel or even leave them with a patient family member so you know they’ll be looked after properly.

A lot of households also opt for a dynamic security system like Morepork to monitor their property while they’re away, meaning that any unexpected activity is recorded and appropriate alerts are set off. Morepork’s security camera is compatible too, letting you look into rooms in your house remotely to make sure everything’s running smoothly without you.

It’s also a great time to review your house insurance policy and remind yourself how things work if your home is left vacant. If you’re with AMI, your house is automatically covered for up to 60 consecutive days while you’re not there. If you’re planning on being away for longer, we recommend letting us know.

Pack smarter

The less you bring with you, the less chance you have of something important going missing. As a general rule, when you’re figuring out what to bring with you on holiday lay out everything you’d like to take out on your bed and halve it!

Anything valuable you’re taking should be safely stored in your hand luggage so it’s with you for the whole journey. Make sure all your luggage is clearly labeled, locked if possible, and easy to spot.

Finally, weigh your luggage carefully before you leave for the airport to make sure it meets your airline’s weight restrictions. Checking ahead of time might save you excess fees and means you won’t have to dump any of your belongings on the spot before your flight.

Make the flight kid-friendly

Flying with kids doesn’t have to be a chore, but it does take a wee bit of preparation to perfect.

Most airlines let you pre-arrange seating if you book well in advance, so if you’re travelling with the whole family consider what works best for all of you. Sitting near the back of the plane normally means easy access to bathrooms, but the very first row of the plane offers more legroom.

Long flights can get boring for young children, so make sure everything they might need immediately (like toys, nappies, colouring books or snacks) is easy to get to. If you’re travelling with more than one adult, you could even have a designated ‘kid’s bag’ as part of your hand luggage.

For overnight flights, a favourite blanket or soft toy may help kids settle quickly and quietly into sleep so you can enjoy some well deserved quiet time too.

Find out more about AMI travel insurance.