Make sure you pay a visit to these essential sites for holiday bits and bobs.

Going on holiday involves more than merely booking flights and accommodation. There is also the airport parking, the holiday insurance, health insurance, car hire, currency and everything else besides to consider, not to mention the weather forecast and suncream. With this in mind, we’ve put together a selection of the best websites for organising all those holiday extras, which should help to make your time before, after and during your away really feel like a breeze.


Make your transition from airport to airport smooth and efficient with the help of Holiday Extras, which allows customers to pre-book airport parking across the UK and save up to 60%. If you have an early start, Holiday Extras recommends staying in a hotel, where you can also park for the duration of your trip. Enjoy chauffeur driven cars to whisk you to and from the airport and book a space in one of the airport lounges before departing.


Providing a wide range of cheap holiday insurance, Direct Travel offers single trip cover as well as annual travel insurance for holiday and business travel, backpacker insurance, ski insurance and more. Its policies include 24 hour access to an Emergency Assistance line and a Talking Nurses service and it aims to keep travel insurance premiums as low as possible.


This award-winning car rental company compares prices at over 20,000 destinations worldwide from leading market suppliers such as Avis, Hertz and Thrifty to give you the best possible deals with no hidden extras or cancellation fees if your plans change. A specialist in one-way rentals, Rhino Car Hire does not charge a one-way price surcharge and allows customers to pick up their car from one location, for example an airport, and drop off in another city or airport, provided both are in the same country.


Said by many to be the most accurate of all the weather forecasting sites, lets you search by location to get detailed weather forecasts up to two weeks in advance. In addition, users can download the best weather apps, read travel features and articles and catch up on forecasts relating to pollen, air quality, agriculture and more. This is an all-encompassing weather site that will ensure that, rain or shine, you know what’s on the cards at the very least.


Set up in 2007, Globalista recently underwent a (very successful) make-over and now matches its slick travel reports on a huge range of global destinations with a sharp aesthetic appeal. Membership to the site costs £39 a year in return for which users can browse by destination to find beautifully researched and presented travel reports (written by travel writers and covering the best hotels, restaurants, shops, local activities and attractions), which can be printed and downloaded for your personal use.


One of the first companies to provide free rate information online, Oanda is the place to come to check currency exchange rates or send money worldwide. Its traveller currency cheat sheet and reverse cheat sheets (with the same conversians the opposite way round) are ideal for printing out and taking on holiday with you, ensuring that there are no nasty suprises on your return. Unlike the bureaux de change, Oanda also lets you choose to view the official, typical credit card rate or the typical cash rate to ensure you get the best deal.


From first aid kits and adaptor plugs to sun cream, travel games and beach towels, is the place to come for all those essential travel accessories. Products are impeccably sourced and offer superb value and a secure and reliable service sees orders turned around within 24 hours where possible. Visitors can even print out one of its packing lists or join the chat forum to ensure they have the right products for their holiday.


All those who haven’t already applied for a free European Health Card (EHIC) should do so if they wish to benefit from state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge. The EHIC card is valid for five years and covers any medical treatment that may be necessary during your trip and includes any treatment you need for a chronic disease or pre-existing illness, making it a must for any British citizen travelling to Europe.


It’s always worth checking the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice section before travelling to a new country. This section of the site lets you browse by country to find up-to-date information on the political situation, places to avoid and general safety as well as information on entry requirements, medical facilities, money and more.

Emily Jenkinson

28th June 2011