Getting organised for a holiday doesn't have to be a hassleI’m off on holiday soon, and some of the ‘insider knowledge’ I’ve gleaned while working for uSwitch has come in really handy while I’ve been planning my trip.

With the British Airways strikes and the Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud earlier in the year, I have to admit that I was concerned about the possibility of my trip being cancelled. I spent a while reading through our ‘what does your travel insurance really cover?’ story before I bought my cover and had a good look at the policy summary too, to make sure I knew exactly what I was getting. I also opted for annual cover rather than single trip, after our comparison showed me I could get  a whole year’s cover for about twice the price for a single week.

I’ve never been very organised when it comes to travel money – in the past I’ve committed the cardinal sin of leaving it to the last minute and changing money at the airport, and feeling short-changed because of the uncompetitive rates.  This time around, for convenience and safety, I’ve opted for a prepaid card from FairFX (which I got free, thanks to a special offer from uSwitch).  You can use it just like you would a debit or credit card, but there’s no expensive ATM and foreign currency loading fees, just a small charge of 1.5% on transactions. I’ve got to give them credit for their customer service too – my PIN didn’t turn up when I expected, and they replied to my email and sorted the problem out in less than an hour.

The one thing I couldn’t forget was my mobile phone (not after some of the horror stories I’ve heard about people coming home to massive phone bills) – I got onto Orange and bought a £5 bundle for calls (so I get discounted rates on calls and texts, and will receive calls for free) and a 10MB data bundle for £12 too (mainly so I can get directions and maps on my phone!).

We’ve put together a pre-holiday checklist to help people get organised – why not take a look if you’re panning a trip? Now, where did I put my passport?