You may want nothing more than to book a getaway for this year. Due to the pandemic, many of us had to postpone or cancel holidays in 2020 as travel restrictions put our wanderlust on hold. However, with the rollout of vaccines, many are feeling much more positive about booking an adventure this year. Whether you’re planning to stay and explore parts of the UK or head away for some sun, sand or even snow, here are some top tips to help you with planning a holiday in 2021.

Check advice from the Foreign Office

Before you book anything, you’ll need to check the Foreign Office travel advice page. If they warn against any non-essential travel to the destination you’d like to go to, it’s likely your trip will get cancelled and your insurance won’t cover you.

Take a look at the advice available before you book and keep an eye out for any changes that may happen. If you’ve booked a trip months in advance, the travel provider will most likely wait until a week or two before you’re due to depart before cancelling, just in case the advice changes before then.

On the FCDO page you’ll also see whether the country you’re travelling to is on the travel corridor list, and whether or not you’ll need to quarantine on your return.

Make sure your booking has a flexible booking policy

Let’s face it, the world can change in a moment’s notice. During the pandemic, most travel providers, airlines and cruise ships introduced more flexible booking rules. These allow you to amend the details of your holiday at no extra cost, for example if you want to change the departure and return dates.

Many airlines have also temporarily waived their flight change fee too, which means you’ll be able to alter these details if the pandemic forces you to stay at home a bit longer. It’s well worth checking that your holiday provider has a more flexible booking policy in place, as changing information can be quite costly!

Consider a package holiday

A package holiday can often offer much more reassurance and protection where your money is concerned. Many companies have ATOL-protected holidays. This means that if the firm you’ve booked with goes under, you’ll be refunded your holiday cost.

Check your travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must at the best of times, and even more right now. Many policies will have changed or been amended during the pandemic, factoring in a whole host of new things such as medical costs related to COVID-19, or if you have to quarantine.

Most companies will cover some coronavirus situations, but make sure you check the fine print or speak to a member of their team to clarify everything in writing before you travel.

Flexibility is everything

Let’s face it, whether you’re staying in the UK or travelling abroad, we’re all going to have to be more flexible. Not only with where we holiday to, but what dates we pick and what type of accommodation we stay in.

The world of travel is changing every day, and it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. Whether that means you step up your financial preparation, or that you have more documentation to take with you than in previous years, there will be plenty to think about before planning a holiday in 2021.

Every dog owner knows that their dog is their go-to companion for everyday life. Are you one such dog lover? If so, then we are sure that you’ll be excited about the adventure of a road trip with your pet by your side. And why shouldn’t you be? As long as you travel safely, having your favorite travel buddy by your side can make your road trip even more fun. Here are seven tips for you to know when planning a road trip with pets for a smooth and safe experience.

1.   Keep Them Warm

Oftentimes, we forget to keep our pets warm in cooler temperatures. If you plan a trip somewhere cold, you should take some Dog Jackets for Winter. These will help keep your dog warm to prevent any health issues caused by the cold. Naturally, you will enjoy the trip much more, knowing that your dog is entirely safe and sound in the pullover you bought for them.

Apart from caring for your pup by taking along warm clothes, you should also make sure that your vehicle’s heater is working correctly to make your pet’s ride more comfortable.

2.   Keep Important Pet Documents Handy

If you’re planning a road trip with pets, be sure to carry all the pet-related documents with you in your car. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • State-issued dog or pet license.
  • Anti-rabies and vaccine record.
  • Medical check-up files in case of a visit to an out-of-town vet.

The medical files and records can come in handy if your pet gets sick during the vacation leading to a trip to a vet during your road trip. The new vet will be able to go through their medical history to conclude what treatment to begin with.

To be on the safe side, you can also use mobile apps that let you digitally store all the documents in one place. Most of these applications are cloud-based, so you can access them from any device you want, given you remember your account’s password.

3.   Practice Responsible Behavior in Public Places

Be a responsible pet owner during your road trip

Be a responsible pet owner during your road trip

We know your pet means the whole world to you, but the world as a whole might not always love your pet. Whenever you take a pit stop on your road trip with your pet, make sure to keep your pet on their leash.

If you don’t leash your pet in public places, they could chase people, or other animals, creating unrest in the surroundings, which we don’t want.

If not taken care of, this act might even land you and your pet in trouble, and you may be fined by local law enforcement. That would be a quick way to spoil your holiday mood.

Apart from this, you should also teach your pet to refrain from sticking their heads out from the windows of your car. This could cause them serious injury and can cost you a fortune in medical expenses.

4.   Carry The Essentials During a Road Trip with Your Pet

While you are planning a road trip with pets, it’s natural that you’ll be excited about the experience. But with all the excitement, you shouldn’t forget to carry essential items that will come in handy later on your trip.

Make a list of things that you might need in different situations and carry those things with you. To start with, here is a generic list of items that you might need:

  • An extra blanket for your dog.
  • Extra tough and durable mats for seats so that your pets don’t ruin your car seat covers.
  • Some packets of your pet’s favorite biscuits and snacks to ease the journey a bit.
  • Some medicines to help soothe any nausea that your pet might experience during the ride.
  • Life safety tubes if you are headed to the poolside or a beach. This will let your pets enjoy the water safely.
  • A leash to keep your pet’s excitement under control.

5.   Give Your Pet Their Own Space During the Road Trip

To make their ride more comfortable, your pet shouldn’t ride shotgun. Instead, it would be best for your pet to ride in the backseat of the car. This way, it will be comfortable for both of you. You and your dog will get optimum space for yourself and will enjoy the ride a lot more comfortably. If possible, you can also have a barrier between the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat. This will make your pets even more comfortable and will keep them safe in the event of an accident. The barrier will also prevent your pet from distracting you throughout the ride.

6.   Don’t Plan A Road Trip When Your Pet is Grumpy

Plan your road trip with your pet's condition in mind

Plan your road trip with your pet’s condition in mind

Pets are lovely, but they can be grumpy too. During their heat, female dogs can also be pretty much in a mood to wreak havoc here and there. They might feel sick and nauseous also. An excellent way to avoid this is to keep track of their cycle and plan your road trip accordingly.

7.   Keep Track of Your Pet using GPS

Your road trip might include some time to camp in the countryside or somewhere remote. In that case, it’s natural that your pet would want to roam in the wilderness, and you can’t run everywhere behind them.

Naturally, they might lose their way in the woods, or a wild animal might try to prey on them. For emergencies, you can tie a GPS tracker on their collar or ankle. This will ensure that you will be able to locate your pet if they happen to wander off.


As you can see, you need to be extra careful while planning a road trip with pets. In addition to items in your own suitcase, you’ll need to do some extra planning to ensure that your pet has a comfortable experience. In addition to the eight items discussed, a few essential things to consider adding to the list are the pet’s full photograph, extra food, odor eliminator, pet wipes, bells and a whistle, an extra leash, and portable water and food bowls. With these items and the proper preparation, you can have a memorable road trip out with your pet.

You’ve decided on a destination. You’ve scoured the internet for packing essentials. But have you considered all of your responsibilities at home before you embark on your backpacking adventure? It would be great if you could simply forget about things like mail delivery and bills while you trek through New Zealand, Bolivia, or Budapest – but the adulting show must go on! You’ll enjoy your trip much more if you’re well-prepared. 

Here are just a few things to take care of before you take off:

Set Up Electronic Billing 

Set up electronic billing from home before backpacking

Set up electronic billing from home before backpacking

Backpacking or not, you still have to pay bills, unfortunately. Thankfully today, almost all services use electronic billing, allowing you to pay from virtually anywhere and even set up payments in advance. 

If you’re not already using automated billing, be sure to set this feature up well before you leave for your trip. This can be done online or on the phone. Setting this feature up at least one billing cycle before your backpacking trip is a great way to confirm that the feature is working and that money is being taken out of the correct account. 

However, even with autopay, it’s still important to have access to your accounts and statements. Most companies offer apps where you can see statements from anywhere you have cell service or a Wi-Fi connection. Downloading these apps allows you to check your accounts while you’re away in case of fraud or an unexpected charge. It’s also wise to have the customer service numbers of any services you have, in case there is an issue. 

These tips will help you most of the time, but there are a few services that do not offer online billing. For these utilities, contact the service provider to make a plan regarding payment during your trip. If possible, suspending these services while you’re away will save you money and a headache. 

Stop Mail Delivery

Though setting up electronic billing will cut down on the amount of physical mail you receive, that doesn’t cover everything. Everyone receives junk mail, letters from friends and family, as well as important documents (particularly around tax season). 

Especially if your mail is delivered to your address in an unlockable box, there is the risk of others snooping through your mail and even stealing packages delivered to you. This, of course, puts you at risk for identity theft and the loss of important documents and packages. 

If you’re going on a shorter adventure, consider asking a trusted friend or family member to pick up your mail and keep it safe until you return. Keep in mind, that according to the United States Postal Service (USPS), to have someone else pick up your mail at the post office, you must give them written permission. If you use a P.O. Box or live in an area where mailboxes are locked, make sure to give the other person a key.

If your trip is longer, make sure to reach out to your post office to hold your mail while you’re away. Your post office can hold your mail for up to 30 days while you’re traveling. It’s important to put in the request to hold your mail early to ensure mail doesn’t arrive at your address after you leave. 

For trips longer than 30 days, there is the option of forwarding your mail to another address for up to one year. If you will not have access to a set address while traveling, consider asking a family member or friend if they would be willing to receive and set aside your mail during that time. You can also sign up for Informed Delivery, which allows you to see previews of your mail on your phone to make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

Let Your Bank Know You’ll be Traveling 

Let your bank know before departing on your backpacking trip to avoid any issues

Let your bank know before departing on your backpacking trip to avoid any issues

If you’ll be backpacking outside of your home state or country, it’s wise to let your bank know ahead of time. Oftentimes, banks will flag purchases made outside a certain geographic area as “suspicious,” and will freeze or restrict your account to help protect you from fraud. However, this could be a major inconvenience if it occurs while traveling. 

To prevent this, make sure to call your bank ahead of time and tell them the general area you will be traveling in and for how long you plan to be there. If your trip is taking place outside of the country, check your bank’s policies on foreign/international transaction fees. These fees can be quite expensive and cost you a significant amount of money. 

If you plan on making several purchases during your trip using a debit or credit card, consider opening a bank account without foreign transaction fees. This can save you a significant amount in fees throughout the length of your trip. The account can then be used on other international trips you make in the future. 

Prepare Your Home to Rent or Sublet 

Why not make some extra cash while you are exploring? In today’s world, there are several safe and reliable ways to rent or sublet your home while you’re away. Taking advantage of this opportunity allows you to bring in income while you’re gone, and believe it or not, many long-term backpackers have benefited from this arrangement. 

However, if you want to lease out your home to others, there’s more to it than tidying up quickly. It’s important to make all necessary repairs before renting out your home. A rental with issues can lead to bad reviews, or worse, the tenants leaving and requesting their money back. You also want to make sure any problem areas of your home are fixed before your backpacking trip starts. Something like a busted pipe or roof leak can be catastrophic if you’re not around to immediately notice and fix the issue. 

Homeowners can tap into their home equity to cover the costs of any necessary home improvements. For example, features like a coffee nook, quality lighting, and fresh new flooring can help you get more renters and better reviews. Investing in quality furniture, towels and bedding can also positively impact your guests’ stay (and your rental rate).  

These improvements will also increase the value (and equity) of your home as well as making your home a more pleasant place to live. For renters, make sure to reach out to your landlord for any needed repairs before you leave. Also, make sure your landlord allows subletting as some leases do not allow this. 

Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions Before Your Backpacking Trip

Subscription boxes like meal kits and beauty packages are awesome, but will be of no use to you during your backpacking trip. Oftentimes, the product will be expired or unusable by the time you get back. 

Before you leave, make a list of any subscriptions you have (this is also a helpful tip for budgeting in general). Then, determine which ones need to be cancelled while you’re away and which ones are worth keeping active. For example, a subscription like Netflix or Hulu might be useful on a trip, while something like a meal kit would go bad quickly. 

Also keep in mind that some companies allow you to temporarily suspend your subscription while you’re away instead of outright cancelling. This can save you a lot of headaches when you return. And of course, make sure to resubscribe to everything once you’re back home. 

Consider Adjusting Your Mobile Plan 

Mobile phones are a necessary expense for the vast majority of people. However, depending on your mobile service, you may be charged extra for international usage. If you’re travelling internationally, this can be a significant added expense. 

Adjust your mobile phone plan before your backpacking trip to avoid hassle on the road

Adjust your mobile phone plan before your backpacking trip to avoid hassle on the road

Before your backpacking trip, review your mobile plan and see if you have coverage in other countries and if there are additional fees. If your provider doesn’t enable service where you’re traveling, you can consider buying a prepaid phone to keep in contact with others during the trip. 

If you need suggestions, ask other backpackers who have traveled in the area for their suggestions for remaining connected during your trip. In the case that you don’t know anyone personally, consider looking at online forums and sites dedicated to backpacking for advice. 

Have Someone to Check on Your Home 

If you can’t or don’t want to rent out your home, finding a house sitter is an important step in securing your home. There are several options for making sure your home is safe while you’re away. For example, you could ask a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member to check in on your home once a week to make sure nothing is out of place. 

When this isn’t an option, there are also several services that will match you up with a person to house-sit your living space. These services offer verified sitters and support and communication through an app. These apps are especially helpful for pet owners because they often offer veterinary support in case something goes wrong. Regardless of who you choose to watch your home, remember to provide them with keys and anything they will need as well as a list of things to look out for. 


Backpacking is an excellent way to travel the world, stay in shape and make lifelong friends. Although the preparation for a trip may be stressful, follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way in no time.