We’re booking a summer holiday to Spain. It’s been a while since we’ve gone on holiday and we really don’t want anything to go wrong. What can we do to protect ourselves and prepare for the unexpected?

The chances are you’ll have the relaxing holiday you deserve, but there are a few things you can do in advance to help your holiday go smoothly.

The first thing to do is check if your passport is in date.

This is especially important if you’re flying to Europe as EU countries no longer accept passports that are more than 10 years old.

If your passport was issued pre-Brexit then the expiry date might be more than 10 years from the issue date, but if it’s older than 10 years, you’ll need to get it renewed for EU travel - even if it’s still in date. (check our blog for more info on this! https://northhertscab.org.uk/blog/renewing-your-passport/)

Flight delays and cancellations could happen to any of us, so it’s worth knowing what your rights are if this happens.

If your flight is delayed long enough, your airline has to give you access to food and drink vouchers, phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight. If your flight is cancelled, you have a legal right to a full refund or replacement flight to help you get to your destination.

Bags going missing is another classic holiday nightmare. But you do have a right to compensation if your airline delays, loses or damages your checked-in luggage. 

You might also get compensation for other things, like a day trip getting cancelled, or if you paid for a deluxe room but only got a standard one.

This will depend on whether you booked a package holiday, made ‘linked travel arrangements’ or organised the holiday yourself as an independent traveller, so it’s worth checking to see what compensation you can get.

Finally, you should get travel insurance, as it can cover many of the things already mentioned, like flight delays and lost luggage, but also things like a holiday cancellation and medical emergencies.

You should get insurance as soon as you book a holiday to make sure you're covered from the get go, but check first to see if you’re covered for what you need through an existing insurance policy or through your bank account.

Hopefully you won’t face any problems while on holiday, but early planning and preparations can go a long way.