Preparing for your summer holiday

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

If you're going abroad this summer make sure you are fully prepared by checking our travel advice.

You can find our travel advice by country, plus all of our information on passports, entry requirements, insurance and staying safe and healthy abroad on our travel and living abroad pages.

How to keep up to date with the latest travel advice

Get real-time updates on events likely to affect your holiday by:

Read our essential travel checklist

Full of tips and advice on things you need to know before and during your holiday, our travel checklist includes key tips such as finding your nearest British Embassy.

Passports and visas

Make sure all your passports are valid and you know the entry requirements for the places you intend to visit. You must have a certain amount of validity left on your passport to travel to some countries.

If you’re travelling to the USA, remember you will need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).

Make sure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance

An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. If you need to be returned to the UK it could cost you thousands of pounds if you aren’t adequately insured - an air ambulance from the Canary Islands could cost you up to £16,000, from some destinations it can be even more.

You should ensure your policy covers all the activities you want to do, for example scuba diving or jet skiing, and check other common exclusions like drink-related incidents.

If you’re travelling to Europe, you can get reduced or sometimes free emergency medical treatment if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You still need travel insurance too, as the EHIC does not cover you for all medical treatment.

Driving abroad

Be prepared before driving abroad - find out the local regulations and what documents you need. For example, it’s compulsory to carry a warning triangle and a reflective jacket when driving in France, and single use breathalysers will be obligatory in all motorised vehicles as of 1 July 2012.

Make sure your car and travel insurance covers you to drive abroad, including breakdown recovery and medical expenses resulting from an accident.

If you’re driving your own vehicle, make sure you have the right documents with you, like your log book, and whether you need a Green Card or International Driving Permit.