NEVER travel without travel insurance, but before you buy a stand-alone policy do check that you are not already covered by your bank account or credit card. If you are, note that you do need to use the relevant account or card to actually pay for your travel and accommodation in order to benefit from the cover. If you’re going skiing or engaging in any sports or activities involving risk of injury, you’ll need specialist cover and this may not be offered by your bank account/credit card policy. Read the terms of your policy carefully to ensure you are covered for all activities and likely eventualities, although it's impossible to envisage every possible scenario. See also the Foreign Office advice on 'When Things Go Wrong', and when abroad contact your consulate or embassy if you need help.
If you’re travelling within the European Union, make sure every member of your family has his or her own European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles them to certain kinds of care from many European Union doctors/hospitals free or at reduced cost (you actually pay upfront and reclaim the money on your return). The easiest way to apply is on the website, allowing 10 days for delivery to your home address.
However, travel insurance is still a must for those travelling in the EU or beyond it. Take the Family can help you arrange travel insurance for your family, just get in touch. Note that annual policies will save you money if you plan to take more than one or two trips abroad each year. Whatever form of insurance you have or take out, check that it covers you for last-minute cancellations due to accident or illness, which is all the more likely for those with children. You'll need specialist cover for skiing or any sports or activities involving risk of injury that you'll be undertaking. If you plan to take more than one or two trips abroad each year, you can save money by buying an annual policy.
As a precaution, make a note of the address and telephone number of the nearest British embassy or consulate in your destination – you’ll need these if you have to be admitted to hospital or need to be flown home for medical reasons. These contact details are available for each country on the UK Government's list of embassies and consulates.