Alcohol, sharps, tablets, liquids and other items such as food substances, tobacco and souvenirs all ring alarm bells with those flying across the globe, and most countries have strict rules about the amount of these items they allow in. Customs dictate what you are and what you aren’t allowed to bring in to any country, so we’ve provided a handy guide below for you and your holiday:
Liquids – should be in your hand luggage, and should be in its own 100ml container, and carried in a single transparent re-sealable plastic bag of up to 20cm x 20cm.
Baby food or milk – You are allowed to carry as much baby milk, powdered formula, sterilised water and baby food as required for your trip, even if this exceeds the usual liquid limit.
Wheelchairs – Most airlines can accommodate all types of battery-powered wheelchairs. In order for the airline to be prepared for your arrival, provide them with advanced notification of your needs and follow their safety guidance on travelling with a wheelchair.
Liquid medicine – You are allowed to carry as much liquid medicine as is required for your trip, even if this exceeds the usual limit on liquids, provided you have a supporting prescription or doctor’s note.
Tablets and capsules – can be carried in either hand luggage or your main baggage.
Epi-pens and hypodermic needles – can be carried in your luggage as long as they are provided for inspection with a doctor’s note.
Oxygen and other small cylinders – require the airline’s specific approval. Contact your airline or travel provider to ask how to gain approval for this medical equipment.
Portable medical electronic devices (e.g defibrillators, nebulizers, CPAP machines with lithium batteries, portable oxygen concentrators) – also need the airline’s special approval. Contact your airline or travel provider for further advice on gaining approval for this medical equipment.
Small personal thermometers containing mercury – Can be carried on board provided they are in a protective case.
Flying with a child can lead to many dirty looks from fellow passengers when they start to get overtired, kick up a fuss, throw a tantrum or start kicking the back of the seat belonging to the person sat in front of them. Ideally, bring more than enough things to keep your child entertained in order to avoid being stared at by the entire passenger list.
Sticker books, colouring sheets, playing cards, movies, games on a tablet or portable device, are all good toys to bring with you. (You don’t particularly want anything that can cause a mess or be thrown to great distance by your little one, in order to help make your flight as hassle-free as possible)
Make sure you bring some snacks with you too, so you can curb your child’s hunger long before it starts to affect their mood. This should come in useful when you’re queuing at check-in, security, or to board the plane.
There’s nothing worse than packing to go away a few days before your holiday and finding that you, or your child’s passport is out of date or invalid.
If you’re still in the UK and need to get a passport urgently, you have to book an appointment with the Passport Customer Service Centre. After the appointment, you can get your passport the same day or even within a week.
The Passports Office have an urgent passport application service for anyone who wants to renew a passport quickly or for those who are travelling in less than 4 weeks. Urgent services are usually only available for passport renewals, lost stolen or damaged passports and first time child passports.
Bear in mind that your appointment with the Passport Customer Service Centre can be up to three weeks in advance from the date that you book it. A premium 1-day service is available for appointments on certain days, at certain times and at certain locations, all of which are listed on the Foreign Office website.
Please note that passport offices can get quite busy at peak times, especially in the months April, August and September. To avoid disappointment, we recommend calling and booking your passport appointment as soon as possible. We also recommend not booking a holiday until you’re sure your passport is valid or will arrive before your departure date.
Below are the prices of a fast-track new passport service from the Foreign Office:
||Fast track service cost (1 week)
|Renew a standard adult 32-page passport
|Change or amend a standard adult 32-page passport
|Replace a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport
|First child passport
|Renew or amend a child passport
|Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child passport
If you have found that either you or your child’s passport is out of date, lost, stolen or damaged, but you do not need a replacement urgently, then you can apply online, through the Post Office’s Check and Send service, by completing the form in an application pack and sending it through by post, or at a regional passport office.
It usually takes up to 3 weeks to receive your new passport in the post.
Travelling with children means bringing a lot more things on holiday with you than you normally would, which also means a lot more things to forget about. InsuranceWith have created this family travel checklist to give you a helping hand:
- Research your location thoroughly – the destination and the place you are staying. Make sure it’s suitable for you and your family. For example, if there are 100 steps leading up to your hotel and you plan on leaving the hotel on a regular basis, it might not be ideal to carry pushchairs, buggies and bags up and down everyday.
- The key to family holiday organisation is to make lists – write an original one then update it every time you go away or think of something else, and keep it somewhere safe!
- Check the travel alerts from the FCO of the country you intend on visiting. Follow @FCOtravel on Twitter to get the latest travel updates and advice
- Find out where the nearest embassy will be
- Sort out travel insurance – insurancewith provide cover for customers with pre-existing medical conditions, allowing you to go on holiday without having to pay excessive premiums.
- If you’re travelling within the European Economic Area, get a free EHIC (European Health Insurance card) for free or subsidised emergency medical attention. However, you still need full travel insurance, as the EHIC won’t cover costs such as delayed departure, cancellation or repatriation costs.
- Check with your doctor whether you or your family will need any vaccinations before you travel
- Make sure you’ve got the correct visas for the country you intend to visit
- Most importantly, check your and your family’s passport is valid at the time you intend to travel – it takes up to six weeks to apply for or renew a passport, so checking well in advance might save time later on. Please note: children are no longer included on their parent’s passports, so if necessary apply for a new individual one for your children.
- Tell friends and extended family where you’re travelling to and leave them your contact details, travel insurance policy details and your itinerary as this will make it easy for them in case of an emergency
- Make sure you have enough money to cover emergencies
- If you intend on driving abroad, make sure your licence is current and valid. Make sure you’re aware of the driving laws in the country you intend on visiting.
- Sort out your hand luggage – packing any toys, books, snacks and drinks to prevent the kids from being bored, hungry or fed up whilst you’re travelling can make it a lot easier.
- Check with your airline for flight delays
- Keep all tickets, visas, foreign exchange and passports safely in a travel belt or bag and keep these with you at all times.
- Check your house is safe before you leave – check all switches are off, water is turned off to prevent pipes from freezing, and securely lock all windows and doors.