Hassle-free Travel: 
 A step-by-step guide 


Overseas travel resumed on May 17! Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure your first post-covid holiday goes off without a hitch.


Step 1:
Plan your trip


Step 2:
Check your documents


Step 3:
Insure your trip


Step 4:
Book required tests


Step 5:
Follow destination requirements


Step 6:
Follow return to UK procedure

Take this information with you...

Plan your trip and take all the latest travel information with you with HEHA!


Step 1:
Plan your trip

The holiday really starts with the planning! The most important decision you can make is where to go. If you're planning to travel this summer then this decision is likely going to be shaped by the traffic light status of the countries you are interested in visiting.

This is likely to change throughout the summer, and we anticipate the green list will grow as the summer progresses - we'll keep you up to date with what makes our Green Green Green list here.

For a destination to be truly hassle-free we think it has to meet 3 requirements: on the UK Government Green List, allowing entry to UK residents and flights are available.


Step 2:
Check your documents

Firstly, to travel anywhere you will need to make sure you have a valid UK (or equivalent if you're a non-UK national) passport. In most instances you will need to make sure you have at least 6 months left on your current passport - if you need to renew your passport there are a few options:

  1. Renew your passport online for £75.50
  2. Renew via post for £85
  3. At a passport office for 1 week FastTrack (£142) or same-day premium service (£177)

Check the government passport page for more information.

Once your passport is sorted you need to ensure you have any visas required for your destination country - we know we've gotten so used to talking about covid entry requirements but it's important to also remember standard entry requirements. These vary from country to country, for example to visit the USA you need to make sure you have a valid ESTA. The best place to find this information is the UK Government website..

If you are planning on hiring a car abroad you also need to ensure you have the right paperwork for that.

  1. Check your driving license is up to date
  2. Check to see whether you need an International Driving Permit (these cost £5.50 from the Post Office and they have a handy checker to see if you need one!)
  3. Get a 'check code' to share your driving details with your car hire company - these last for 21 days.


Step 3:
Insure your trip

We know it's no fun thinking about worst case scenarios when you'd rather think about the beach - but we are here to say as soon as you've booked your flights then it's important to get your travel insurance. It may be tempting to leave this until the day before you fly as you may not think you need it until you actually go away, but the sooner your trip is insured the more likely it is you'll be covered for any eventuality. If this year has taught us anything, it's be prepared.


Step 4:
Book required tests

Most destinations now require some form of negative covid test to allow entry to the country.

The type of test required, and the time scale for testing varies depending on which country you are travelling to - though the most common requirement is a negative PCR test max 72 hours before arrival.

You can find out the type of test required for our most popular destinations here.

There are a few options for testing:

  • Get a test delivered to your home
  • Book a private test
  • Book to get tested at the airport

You can book all of those options through our trusted testing partners

Tell me more about...

Covid Testing for Travel

Join Us In | Portugal - Top Tips

We recently travelled to Portugal on the first day international travel resumed - so if you're planning a trip to this Green List country here's what we learned about Covid testing for Portugal. To travel to Portugal you will need to get a negative PCR test and this must be within 72 hours of your departure. We opted to pick up our test at a local pharmacy which we booked with MedicSpot - you then complete the test at home and send off the swab. The whole process was incredibly easy - we were sent our Fit To Fly certificate and this was checked at the airport.


Step 5:
Follow destination requirements

In addition to making sure you have the required testing on your arrival some countries will have other protocols you will need to follow. This may be simple things such as completing health forms, downloading an app or undergoing a health check. Or you may also have to follow arrival quarantine requirements. You can check all these requirements on the Governments Travel Advice pages.

You should also research any covid protection measures in place in your destination, so you know you have everything you need with you. You may be required to wear a mask, or follow certain social distancing requirements and it's important not to fall foul of these whilst you are on holiday. You can find much of this information online - we also include this information on our relevant travel guides. Look out for our 'Be Holiday Ready' guides:

Join Us In | Portugal - Top Tips

As well as the PCR test mentioned above for our trip to Portugal we had to fill out a Passenger Locator Card - to do this simply have your flight details and your accomodation details on hand. We completed ours before we got to the airport, and we did see a numbr of people caught out at the airport without it. This will hold up the security process for you if you have forgotten.

Whilst out and about in Portugal you need to wear a mask any time you are not socially distanced - this could be in a shop, on public transport or any crowded place. You don't need to wear a mask whilst sat at the beach as long as you are socially distanced. We expected most places to want contactless payment, but actually lots of them wanted cash instead. So make sure you have both options handy when you go to buy your souvenirs! There's currently a 10:30 curfew in place - so no bars or restuarants will be able to seat you for dinner if you arrive too late.


Step 6:
Follow return to UK procedure

When your tan is complete and you are ready to return home there's a few steps you will need to take and these vary depending on the country you are travelling froms traffic light status.

  • Everyone returning to the UK must ensure they have a negative covid test pre-departure (this must be taken in the origin country no more than 72 hours before travel)
  • If returning from Green List - pre-book your day 2 covid test required on your return to UK.
  • If returning from Amber List - pre-book your day 2 and 8 tests required on return to UK.
  • If returning from a Red List - pre-book and pay for your quarantine hotel (note price includes all testing required, room and food.)
  • You must complete the Passenger Locator Form online before you travel (more details below).

Here's the information you will need to provide on the passenger locator form:

  1. Your passport details or the travel document you'll use when you arrive at the UK border
  2. Your travel details, including times and dates
  3. The address where you will stay in the UK (if applicable)
  4. ooking reference numbers for the 2 COVID-19 tests you must take after arriving in the UK
  5. The invoice number for your quarantine hotel booking if you need one

Tell me more about...

The Traffic Light System

Join Us In | Portugal - Top Tips

Before returning to the UK you will have to take a further Covid test - there are a few options available and this will vary depending on where you are staying. As we were flying from Faro we opted to use their airport testing option, you simply turn up at the airport and the test costs 30EUR. This was fine, except on the day we went there were computer issues which meant long queues, so leave yourself plenty of time before the flight - remembering results take around 1 hour to be recieved. You can also find local testing facilities and get tested in the few days leading up to your departure (has to be within 72 hours). For the Algarve there is a list of approved testing providers that you can find online. There are also options to order a test and bring it with you, these usually require you to perform the test over video so that the result can be verified by a medical professional.

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