Heading off on a trip? From practical tips to insurance advice, here are some things to think about...
- Know your travel times and leave plenty of time to get to the airport, station or port
- Check restrictions, FCDO advice and entry requirements before you go
- Store liquids in sealed plastic bags to prevent spills (and save time at the airport!)
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Travel habits changed a lot during the pandemic, but now that UK travel restrictions have been lifted and things are returning to normal, some of us might be considering heading off on a new adventure.
In March 2022, Grant Shapps confirmed that all remaining Covid travel measures would be scrapped and new travel rules were announced. As of Friday 18th March, no-one entering the UK will need to take a COVID-19 test or complete a passenger locator form on arrival. All hotel quarantine was officially scrapped, making the UK one of the first countries to lift all COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Airlines have begun to remove requirements for passengers to wear a face mask when on board a flight, including British Airways, Virgin Airlines, EasyJet and Jet2. However, this varies per airline and depends on the destination you are travelling to, so it’s important to double check with your airline before you head to the airport.
London Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and Stansted Airport have dropped their face mask requirement for all passengers and staff, however, regional airports including Manchester and Leeds Bradford still require passengers to wear a face mask.
If you're planning to travel this year, be sure to check all the latest information on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website, as some countries still have COVID-19 restrictions in place.
When choosing a destination remember to:
- Check you meet the entry requirements - some countries may require you to isolate, take tests or provide proof of vaccination before you can enter
- Book with a provider offering ATOL or ABTA protection for extra peace of mind
- Choose a flexible booking so your dates and/or destination can be changed if necessary
How to check your destination is safe
It's not just COVID that we need to be wary of when travelling. Political unrest can also be a threat to safety, so it's important you check your destination is safe for tourists during the period you plan to travel.
You can check this by visiting the government's foreign travel advice page, which will tell you whether the place you're visiting is safe, or whether the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has issued any guidance or restrictions.
Remember, your travel insurance may not cover you for any destinations the FCDO advises you avoid.
FCDO email alerts
One useful tip is to turn on email alerts for your destination. To do this, simply go on to the government's foreign travel advice page and click on the country you're visiting. Each country has its own page with advice and rules about travelling there. On the country's page, you'll see an option at the top saying 'Get email alerts'. Click on this. You'll then be able to select how often you want to receive email updates about travel to that destination.
Doing this will keep you in the loop and help make sure you don't miss any important rule changes.
Sudden changes like this can't be predicted, but by checking news websites and keeping yourself informed, you'll put yourself in a good position.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to catch your flight, train or ship
It's important you know your travel times and leave plenty of time to get to the airport, station or port. Think about traffic and what time of day you're travelling. If you give yourself enough time to get there, you'll be a lot more relaxed before you travel.
LV= Premier travel insurance does cover you if you miss your pre-booked transport (for example, your flight or train journey). We cover additional costs up to £1,000 for each insured person named on your schedule, if you have to pay out for transport or accommodation to reach your destination or get back home. Some of the covered reasons are listed below
- The public transport (including scheduled flights) doesn’t run to its timetable
- An incident occurs on the road you're travelling on to get to the airport, port or station your pre-booked transport is due to leave from, which results in a severe delay that isn't possible to avoid
- The vehicle you’re travelling in is involved in an accident or breaks down
- Severe adverse weather conditions
If you do break down, we will need evidence of this from your breakdown provider. If your train is delayed, please get a letter from the station to confirm the delay.
There are some examples of when you claim from your airline directly if your flight is delayed. More information is available on The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website.
Only taking hand luggage? Don't forget a small bag for valuables
Did you know if you put valuables in your checked-in hand luggage and it's lost or stolen, your valuables aren't covered? If you're jetting off for a weekend away, you may decide to just take hand luggage on the plane with you. But if the overhead lockers are full, you may be asked to store your bag in the hold.
It's a good idea to take a small bag as well as your hand luggage, so you can keep your valuable belongings, like your laptop, electricals and jewellery with you at all times.
Pack suntan lotion or bottles in a plastic bag
Those clear plastic bags they give you at airports aren't just useful for the cosmetics in your hand luggage.
Pack any bottles, liquids or suntan lotions into sealed plastic bags to stop unwanted spills or leaks into your suitcase.
If a leaking bottle causes damage to any of the contents of your case, you won't be covered.
Keep your bags with you at all times
It's important that you don't leave your bags unattended.
- Keep bags locked away in your holiday accommodation, out of sight in the boot of a locked car, or however your transport provider's security policy requires you to store them
- If something's stolen, you need to report the loss to the local police within 24 hours of discovery of the incident and obtain a written report from them. We won't be able to cover any theft if you don't
- Loss also needs to be reported, within 24 hours, to the appropriate person at your travel or accommodation. For example, if on a flight, this will be the airline carrier or if at a hotel, to the concierge or hotel manager
Before you travel, check that your gadgets, valuables and other high value items are covered by your home insurance. If you have selected baggage/personal belongings cover, the maximum we pay out on your Essential travel insurance for valuables is £300 and on your Premier travel insurance, it's £500.
Any questions? Call our travel advice line on 0800 707 6971 before you go. You can talk to someone, at any time of day, for information about the medical facilities, visas, vaccinations and the health care availability in the country you're travelling to.
For more information, visit the government website Travel Aware.
For Text Phone, please dial 18001 first. Please have your policy number to hand when you call. Calls will be recorded.
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