Tips for travelling abroad

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, there’s a lot to think about when planning a trip abroad. We’ve got some tips for what to consider before booking, before going away and during your trip.


Travel insurance

We offer worldwide travel insurance, UK and European breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance, all for £15 a month with our Everyday Extra account.

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Credit card

Want peace of mind that your bookings will be covered, or don’t like carrying cash on holiday? Read about our credit cards.

Before booking your trip

Here are some important steps to remember when planning and booking your trip abroad.

Start planning your trip

Planning a holiday can be exciting. When deciding where and when you’ll go, you might want to think about things that could affect your trip, including:

  • Cost of travel there and back at different times of the year
  • National and religious holidays - such as Ramadan
  • Local climate at different times of the year - such as extreme weather
  • Political situation - such as war (always check the latest Foreign Office guidance).

Decide what you need

Each trip abroad is different but in general, you may want to get:

  • Travel to and from your destination - such as coach, train, plane or pre-booked taxi
  • Travel during your trip - such as for day trips
  • Accommodation - such as hotel, hostel, campsite or rented apartment
  • Activities - such as guided tours, sporting activities or entertainment
  • Insurance cover - such as for travel, health or valuables.

Check you can get the essentials in time

You should make sure that by the time you leave for your trip you can get the right travel documents (such as an up-to-date passport or national identity card and a visa) and public health measures (such as vaccinations or passenger locator forms).

Processing times for UK passports have been longer recently. For the latest estimates, check the HM Passport Office website.

Shop around

You can search online for different providers for whatever you need for your trip. There are many price comparison websites that could help you choose.

Price is an important factor for everyone but remember to also consider:

  • Location - for example, the location of a car rental pickup point
  • Timings - for example, the check-in and check-out times of a hotel
  • Terms and conditions - for example, age limits for a theme park
  • Hidden costs and fees - for example, a high penalty charge for returning a rental car late.

Check you can trust the vendor

There’s a lot of choice and it can be hard to know who to trust. You should try to avoid some vendors, such as:

  • Fake vendors – don’t provide any service or steal your financial information
  • Rogue vendors – provide a service not as advertised or of very poor quality or charge you for extra services you don’t want
  • Parasite vendors – charge you for services you could have had for free or charge extreme prices, without offering any extra services to normal
  • Vendors at risk of bankruptcy – might go out of business and you might not get your money back even if you didn’t get the full service.

To find trustworthy vendors, you could use vendors recommended to you by people you trust and search for reviews for vendors on websites such as TripAdvisor and TrustPilot. You can also search online for more information about vendors.

Consider using a payment method which is protected

Some forms of payment will protect you if anything goes wrong with a service you’ve booked. Purchases with a credit card between £100 and £30,000 could be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This makes the credit card provider jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier if you don’t get the service you were promised or the retailer or supplier breach their contract with you. In some circumstances a credit card provider will try to fix the situation for you or will give you a refund if they can’t. Read more about section 75 protection.

Before going on your trip

Prepare what you need

It’s great to get away and see different cultures. Different countries have different customs and requirements, so it’s a good idea to check the travel advice for your destination and make sure you have the right:

  • Travel documents - passport, ID card or visa
  • Public health measures - vaccinations, medicines or forms
  • Clothes - for the weather or to respect other cultures
  • Protection - against the sun or insects
  • Money - cash in an accepted currency or card.

Check whether you need to tell your bank you're going away

Some banks ask that you let them know if you’re planning to use your debit or credit card abroad.

Read about how to let us know you’re travelling outside of the EU or Turkey.

During your trip

Using your card abroad

If you use your debit or credit card abroad, check whether there are any extra fees or charges. How much you’ll have to pay will vary depending on how you use your card and your provider.

Read about using your Co-operative Bank card abroad.

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