The hours are ticking by, you’re nearly ready to head off to the airport, happily jetting off to your holiday destination of choice. There are things you need to do before you go, and you might have a list ready, totally prepared for your jaunt overseas, but there are certain things you definitely shouldn’t forget.

In case you’re too focused on sun, sea and sangria, let me refresh your memory.

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Travel insurance

Have you booked it yet? If not, why not? Never be tempted to skip this step, and always book it at the same time you book your holiday. If you’re ill, your holiday is cancelled, you lose your baggage, or a meteor falls from the sky, you’ll be pleased you took the time to remember this step. Strictly speaking however, the meteor theory probably falls under the category of an ‘Act of God’, so you might not be covered for this, but let’s not think about Armageddon-type occurrences. If you’re worried about getting travel insurance, don’t worry! There are numerous over 50 travel insurance deals but you might need some time to hunt out the best price.

Travel markers

If you’re planning on taking your bank card or credit card overseas, either to use regularly or in the case of an emergency, then make sure you’ve told your bank of your intentions, where you’re going, when and how long for. This doesn’t totally eliminate the chances of your card being blocked for overseas use and suspected fraud, but it does knock the chances down quite dramatically.

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Health issues

Check in good time that you don’t need any vaccinations for your destination, and also check that your general vaccinations are up to date, such as tetanus and polio. You may need anti-malaria medication if you’re travelling to an area that is particularly high risk, and you’ll need to take this in good time before you leave, so make this a priority in the weeks leading up to your departure.

Visa issues

This is strictly speaking something you should do well before you’re planning on leaving, or at least check what the rules are for your particular destination. You may only need to buy a visa stamp at the airport when you arrive, in which case you need to know how much you’re looking at; you might not need a visa at all, or you might have to apply at the consulate. Get reliable information in good time and act appropriately.

As you can see, it’s not all about buying new bikinis, checking out sun-cream SPFs, and pre-holiday haircuts!