Many of us are keen to get away on an overseas trip this year to make up for the holidays we missed out on during the pandemic and to see family and friends abroad. 

If it’s been a while since you travelled or you’d like some helpful reminders of the steps to take, ABTA has prepared a handy checklist to help you get ready for your next trip.

As always, if there is something you are unsure about, speak to your ABTA member travel provider. They will be able to offer further guidance and the most up-to-date information so you can travel with confidence. 

1.    Read the Foreign Office travel advice 
Visit to find the latest advice for the country you’re visiting. This includes if there are any entry requirements related to COVID-19, other entry requirements like applying for a visa, and further advice on health such as recommended travel vaccinations. You can sign up to receive country specific email alerts to get important updates. 

2.    Check your passport
Check your passport to see if it’s nearing its expiry date and allow plenty of time to renew it if needed – this can take up to 10 weeks. 

Many countries require you to have at least six months left on your passport from your date of departure. If you’re travelling to the EU, your passport can’t be more than 10 years old when you enter and most places require you to have at least three months left on your passport on the day you depart from your destination.  Make sure you know what applies for the country you’re visiting.  

More guidance can be found at

3.    Take out travel insurance
Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. Many insurance policies, including ABTA Travel Insurance, include different types of cover for COVID-19, such as medical expenses while on holiday or cancellation if you’re unable to travel, so read the policy details carefully to ensure it covers your specific needs.

4.    Make sure you have a valid EHIC or GHIC
If you’re travelling to Europe, make sure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still in date (cards are valid for five years when issued) and if not, apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Both cards entitle you to state-priced emergency healthcare and some insurers won’t cover all your medical costs if you don’t have an EHIC or GHIC.

5.    Check the rules for travelling to Europe now that the UK has left the EU
There are some changes to travel to Europe now that the UK has left the EU, including passport validity, the documents needed for taking your pet and mobile data roaming. While you don’t yet need a visa for short trips to Europe, you will need a visa if you plan to stay more than 90 days in any 180-day period. Full details can be found at

6.    Get your COVID-19 documents in order 
Having read the Foreign Office advice, you'll know if there are any COVID-related travel requirements for your destination. Give yourself plenty of time if you need to get any documentation in order. ABTA’s blog has lots of helpful advice.

You may find it helpful to have paper version of your documents in case your phone/device has a problem/runs out of battery and they can also make it easier if you are travelling as a group.

7.    Plan ahead
If you know you’ll need to hire a car or there’s a particular attraction you definitely want to visit, make sure you book in advance to secure your preferences. If you think your plans may change, check to see if there are flexible booking conditions which will allow you to make changes closer to your departure date. 

8.    Review the rules around hand luggage
Don’t forget, there are still rules around what you can and can’t carry in your hand luggage e.g. any liquids you’re taking must be in containers of 100ml or less and placed inside a 20cm x 20cm plastic bag. 

When going through security, these liquids and large electrical items like laptops and tablets will need to be taken out and placed in the security tray alongside your hand luggage, and you’ll need to remove certain items of clothing, like coats, belts and boots. Check what rules apply to the airport you’ll be travelling through and read more about the restrictions on

9.    Final check before you head off
Make sure you revisit the latest advice for your destination and your return to the UK as your departure date nears.  

Be sure to also check if there are any COVID rules such as wearing a face covering in public spaces, which may be required on your journey and at times during your holiday.