Final preparations before leaving for an English holiday
By Hebe Adventures

It's almost time for your English language holiday in Ireland to leave and both you and your child are excited. Finally, the adventure you've been planning for so long is about to begin and your suitcases are almost packed, but a doubt arises: are you sure you've thought of everything you need for the trip? If it's the first time, between excitement and a little worry, it may be that you have forgotten some fundamental detail. Once your child is abroad, it may be difficult to compensate for these deficiencies, so it is better to plan ahead and make a list of everything you need for an English stay. It is preferable to stop for a moment, think about the plane trip, the bureaucratic aspects and check that nothing else has escaped you. Also, don't forget to check all the points that we list below as a reminder.

Verify ID documents

Citizens of the European Union can travel to Ireland with a valid identity document for expatriation, or with a passport. To be sure that an identity document is sufficient, you can go to the institution that issued it and ask for confirmation of its validity. Depending on the length of stay, check that it doesn't expire when your child is abroad. For students residing outside the European area, a passport is required and in some cases, depending on the country of origin, an entry visa. If you have not yet applied for a passport or are sure that you need a visa, it is best to apply for one as soon as possible, as it could take weeks.

These documents are the first aspect to check, as they are necessary for the flight reservation and are indicated on the travel documents.

Travel medical kit

One of the biggest concerns for parents is the health of their children. By choosing a stay in English with a host family, you can be sure that this aspect will not be overlooked. You can rest easy knowing that there will be parents like you who will be able to intervene in the event of an accident or illness. However, a travel medical kit is an essential component to pack, perhaps containing only the items needed for first aid. If there are any particular medicines that require a prescription, obtain a copy which, in case of airport checks, may be required.

Exchange currency if needed

In Ireland the local currency is the euro and also on this point a distinction is needed between European and non-European travellers. The former do not need to change money and can decide to bring both cash and a card for electronic payments. In the latter case, you could request a prepaid card in your name, which your child can use, avoiding carrying too much cash.

It is a convenient and safe solution, as the balance is not linked to any account and you can top up the card from home as needed.

Non-European travelers will have to change currency instead. Cash can be requested from the bank or other agency in advance to ensure the best exchange rate. You could also think about a prepaid card or open a multi-currency account, which could also be useful for future trips. In the latter case, you can create a balance in euros to top up by taking advantage of a real-time exchange rate and then request an associated card that your child can use.

SIM card for the phone, do you really need it?

To communicate during your stay in English through calls and video calls, the ideal is to use an app like Whatsapp. It is a very advantageous and economical system, especially if you have a wi-fi network, which the host family will probably make available.

But, between summer English courses and outdoor activities, your child could be away from home and use their smartphone with a data network, such as 4G or 5G. Some European operators have discounted rates within the union, sometimes even with no difference compared to local ones. Checking this point in advance could avoid the inconvenience of using up your phone credit in a few minutes and being unreachable. One option would be to buy a SIM card online, which is also available electronically, so you can use local rates.

Vaccination and allergy booklet

In addition to a kit of essential medicines, it would be advisable to pack the health card, the vaccination booklet and the allergy booklet. These documents could prove useful in case of medical assistance or prescription of a medicine with a different name, for which it would be useful to check the tolerance. As for vaccinations, it is good to check that there are no restrictions and that a certificate is not required upon arrival.

Travel insurance, in which cases it is necessary

European travelers staying in Ireland are entitled to health care in the event of an emergency. In this case travel insurance is not strictly necessary. However, these contracts also cover other contingencies, such as flight cancellations, delayed departures, lost luggage, and so on. That said, it's up to you to evaluate whether it is better to take out a policy and whether there are companies that allow you to choose only the coverages that interest you.

The situation is different for non-European citizens, for whom travel insurance may be recommended, which also covers medical expenses. Therefore it is better to sign a contract a few weeks in advance, not only for prices, but also for any refund on flight cancellations, valid only if the policy has been purchased well in advance.

Ask Hebe

This is just a quick reminder of the points to check before you leave on your English holiday. By choosing an English stay in Ireland with Hebe, you will have the opportunity to clarify all these points before departure and speak with the host family. Thanks to these possibilities, you will be able to communicate other contact details with which you can be reached in case of emergency and talk about some aspects already present on your list of preparations, such as medicines, allergies and wi-fi connection. The doubts will disappear, you will feel more relieved and you will finally be able to dedicate yourself to packing the last things ... hoping that the suitcase closes.

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