The Last Minute Holidaymaker

Or what not to forget when you’re going away. Here’s some top tips:

1. If, like us, you’re going to Australia you can get your vistors visa for FREE now. You used to have to pay. Mine came through 30 minutes after applying from here. Don’t fall for the trap of paying for one when they cost nothing. Places like STA Travel charge you £20!

2. We collected two Travelex Prepay visa cards today from the branch near Shaun’s work. This will make things much easier. We can also change our PIN numbers at any Visa ATM which is handy as I don’t want to remember something new this late in the day.

3. We also realised our Nationwide Flex Account could be upgraded to a Flex Account Plus which gives us Worldwide Holiday Insurance as well as free ATM withdrawals throughout the world. We don’t have our new cards just yet so Travelex will cover things if our cards stop working while we’re away and the new ones haven’t arrived. The Flex Account Plus costs £10 a month, but also includes things like Breakdown Cover and phone insurance which we can amend our existing policies to reduce costs. Not allowing enough time for your new cards to arrive MAY be a problem….

4. Online check-in. Up to 48 hours before our flight we can check-in online. This is a big bonus – we’ve confirmed ourselves and chosen our seats, as closely as possible to the exits (thanks to our 50 minute stop in Singapore), meals are ordered so we just have check-in left. Some flights we’ve taken don’t offer it.

Purple Parking logo

5. Purple Parking. We’re lucky enough to be reviewing Purple Parking’s Meet and Greet service, so will report back once we’re home. I like that we can drop the car at the terminal, and that it is there to be picked up when we return – it feels nice and simple with no shuttle buses involved.

6. Keeping H entertained. We’ve put party bag sticker books into her YUUbag so we’re ready – this is the one thing we’ve been really organised with.

7. Overseas phone tariffs. Our networks suck! I’m with EE and Shaun is with Vodafone and both have rubbish tariffs in Australia. Only 3 seem to be any good, where you can use your own allowance overseas. I’m considering unlocking my phone and buying a SIM while I’m out there as it will be less hassle. 100MB of data for 7 days for £20. I think I’ll be looking for free Wifi! (or 500MB for 7 days for £40 – shocking).

8. Wifi on the plane. Of course I’m going to try it – if it doesn’t cost much. Also, we can connect our iPods/iPads to our in-flight entertainment system – that might be essential for H!

9.  Top tip from my friend Louise – if for some reason one of our suitcases should go astray, we should pack a few of each others clothes in each case. This would never have occurred to me had she not said – makes perfect sense anyway!

10. Make sure your suitcases still close….!

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