Top tips to get you ready for summer

by Leeds Building Society

Getting ready for summer

At this time of year it’s exciting to make summer plans, but it is easy to forget the small details that could potentially spell disaster for your holidays. Take a look at our top tips on how to make sure you’re ready for summer.

Preparation is key

Planning your holiday is an exciting time but there are a lot of things to organise before you travel. If you are travelling in Europe it is a good idea to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card means you can access state-provided healthcare in European countries, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free.

Find out more information about the EHIC.

There are plenty of online checklists and mobile apps to make sure you don’t forget anything and have packed all of the essentials. You can find a really useful checklist on the Travel Supermarket website.

Money matters

When holidaying abroad, cash and currency are vital particularly in case of emergencies. Recent events in Greece highlight the importance of having access to the currency you need. To ensure you can access your money when you need it and without restriction, make sure you have a mix of cash and credit or debit cards.

Making sure your money is safe whilst away from home should be a top priority. Hotels often have safety deposit boxes to store spare cash and valuables – however watch out for charges for this facility. Always keep your money in a secure bag or wallet while on the move to make sure it isn’t an easy target for thieves. Check your insurance policy before you go to make sure you are covered for any loss of cash.

Protect what matters most

Nobody wants to think about losing their purse or wallet, or damaging their phone when on their travels but sometimes these things happen. To help prepare for the unexpected it is worth checking your home and contents insurance before you go. Many insurers offer extra cover for personal belongings abroad. Check with your provider to see if you have the right level of cover for your needs.

Where’s my passport?

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – losing your passport whilst abroad and not knowing how you’ll get home. Fear not!

Preparing copies of important documents before you travel, such as your passport, driving licence and insurance documents can come in handy should you lose any of these items. If you have copies with you, then you can speak to the relevant official body to make alternative arrangements and organise replacements. It’s always handy to leave one copy at home with a family member or friend and keep the other in a safe place with you.

Before you travel make sure you take a note of the contact details of the British embassy wherever you are travelling, or alternatively if you are travelling with a travel agent find out the contact details of your onsite rep. They will be able to help should the worst happen.

Taking your mobile on the move

How many times have you heard horror stories of people coming back from holiday to a £500 bill for their mobile phone?

Before travelling to a different country check with your phone provider that you are on the right tariff and won’t incur extra charges for using your mobile abroad. If you have a smartphone turn off data roaming to reduce costs and keep an eye out for free Wi-Fi hotspot areas.

As with any public Wi-Fi network, it pays to take care whenever you’re logging in.  Always verify the link you’re about to use with whoever’s providing the service and if possible go through a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s also best not to access sites that contain personal information, such as email, social media or banking services.  

New European regulation that comes into force in 2017 means you may be able to use your phone in EU countries at no extra cost. When visiting anywhere in the EU, you may be able to pay the same price for calls, text messages and data as in your home country. Check with your phone provider before traveling

Staying safe in summer at home

With the lighter nights and longer days, summer brings with it an increase in burglaries. After using your garden furniture and children’s toys it is a good idea to lock them away safely to reduce the chance of them being stolen.

Most insurers offer garden cover as standard, as well as providing extra cover on higher value outdoor items. To learn more about how we and our insurance partner Aviva could help cover these items take a look at our Insurance page.

If you are going on holiday or will be away from home for a longer period of time don’t forget to check your windows are locked and your burglar alarm is set. Putting lights on timers can be a good way of making your home look lived in while you are on holiday. It’s also a good idea to ask a relative or neighbour to ensure your post doesn’t build up in your letterbox.

Summer spending

Planning activities, days out and holidays can be expensive and before you know it the costs are piling up. It’s useful to set a budget of what you can afford to spend on days out and activities before you make any plans.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

Buildings and contents insurance arranged by Leeds Building Society is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited. Registered in Scotland, number 2116. Registered Office: Pitheavlis, Perth PH2 0NH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Registration number 202153. Aviva Insurance Limited may decline to quote in some circumstances.