American Express Travel UK

Travel Checklist & Essentials

Whether it’s applying for a visa, the rules of hand luggage, or buying your currency before you travel, the American Express Travel Checklist will make sure you’re fully prepared and ready for your adventure to begin.

Travel Advice:  Coronavirus (COVID-19)


At American Express, the health and safety of our Cardmembers is a top priority. Before leaving the house, find out more about how we and our travel partners are keeping you safe during the Coronavirus pandemic with our essential travel advice.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Advice 

Know your destination before you travel


You’ve probably already researched the local attractions and best restaurants at your destination, but don’t forget about other information you need to know, such as last minute travel warnings due to COVID-19.


There may be some restrictions imposed at the destination such as additional entry requirements, requiring a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel, or restrictions & closures of hotel amenities or other tourist facilities. Be sure to review the latest government advisories and travel provider policies before booking or travelling.


Foreign Travel Advice

Know your airline's COVID-19 requirements


Travelling in the COVID-19 era requires you to have a little more knowledge before booking a flight. You can check your airline's COVID-19 policies by choosing from a list here. Be sure to contact your particular airline about any changes in travel rules, including: 


  • COVID-19 testing requirements prior to travel
  • Current mask policies for kids and adults (throughout check-in, boarding and the flight itself)
  • Traveling with infants on your lap
  • Changes in meal service
  • Updated seat spacing, and more 

Check your airline's COVID-19 policies

Check your hotel's COVID-19 policy before you go


Make sure there are plenty of contactless options available at your hotel before you book. From online reservations and check-in, to mobile room keys, to contactless payments – most hotels are taking those steps and more to keep you safe, including:  

  • Mandatory staff/guest mask requirements
  • Plexiglass barriers at check-in counters
  • Signs reminding of physical distancing throughout the hotel 
  • Updated cleaning and disinfecting policies for surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, remote controls, etc). 
  • Changes in food and meal services 

Check your hotel's COVID-19 policies

Visas and entry requirements


Depending on where you’re travelling to and the length of your stay you may need a visa to enter the country. For example, if you’re travelling to the USA you’ll need an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Avoid an embarrassing encounter at the airport by checking the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s entry requirements advice for your destination.


Foreign Office Travel Advice, by Country

Check your passport is valid


Don’t get caught out by a lapsed or about to be lapsed passport. Some countries insist you still have at least six months left on your passport before they allow you to enter. Check your passport has got plenty of time remaining on it, and if it doesn’t, get your passport renewed or extended.


Renewing or extending your passport

Order your currency online 


Don’t leave it until the last minute to order your local currency. Some currencies may need ordering in advance, or, depending on your destination, you may find you need travellers’ cheques or US dollars as backup. Remember your American Express card can also be used and is accepted all around the world.


Order currency online

Using your American Express card abroad

Ensure you’re insured


As an American Express Cardmember, you may have some travel insurance in place already. Check the details in case you need to add extra cover for certain sports, valuables, healthcare or anything else relevant to your trip. UK residents may be eligible to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or an UK-issued EHIC for travel in the EU. To be safe you should buy travel insurance that comes with healthcare before you travel.


American Express Travel Insurance

Apply for a European Health Insurance Card

icon     Packing your bag....

While forgetting something like pants or socks can be annoying, they're generally easy to replace. So, aside from the obvious packing necessities, here are some essential items to keep in mind that aren't so easily replaceable— especially if you're faced with an unexpected delay or change of plans due to COVID-19. Make sure you add these to your holiday packing list:


Health Supplies

Medication, copy of your prescription/s, eye glasses, contact lenses and solution, contraception, extra masks/ hand sanitizer (COVID-19)


Travel Documents

Passport, visas, boarding passes and tickets, insurance, vaccination certificates, EHIC card if applicable, drivers licence/ID. You should email copies of these to yourself for backup.


Useful Numbers

The Embassy or Consulate, your Airline, American Express support numbers, your travel insurance company, emergency contacts. You should email these to yourself for backup.


And don't forget...

Your mobile phone and charger, travel adapters, house/car keys (for your return home), your wallet and of course, your American Express Card.


And finally…. Enjoy your trip!

Advance Passenger Information (API)


You might find that your airline needs to collect certain personal details about who’s travelling in your party. For example their passport number, name and date of birth. This is usually done for security reasons and varies from country to country. API should not affect your journey, but it’s useful to be aware of it.


Advanced Passenger Information before you travel

Vaccinations and medications


You may need vaccinations for your trip. Speak to your GP or nurse who will be able to advise you on what’s required. Try to do this around eight weeks before you travel as some vaccinations need time to start working or require several dosages. If you regularly take medication make sure you have enough to cover your holiday period, and it’s useful to take a copy of your prescription or a letter from your GP with you for customs.


NHS Travel Vaccinations

Can I take my medicine abroad?


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a rare blood clotting disorder
that’s been known to happen on flights. Luckily, there are some simple ways to
reduce the risks, from staying hydrated to wearing flight socks or compression
stockings. The NHS has some great advice on how to prevent DVT when travelling.


NHS - Prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) when you travel

Hand luggage


You should check hand luggage limitations with your airline before travelling. Some items, such as sharp objects and liquids above a certain amount, are not be allowed in the cabin with you, but your airline may also have restrictions on the amount and size of luggage you can take on board. 


Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports

Are you fit to travel?


Pregnancy, recent surgery, epilepsy and fractures are some of the conditions that can affect your fitness to travel. If in doubt, always check with your nurse or GP. 


NHS – Travel Health common questions

Travelling while pregnant

When can I fly after surgery?

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American Express Europe LLC (AEELLC) trading as American Express Travel, Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom is a member of ABTA (ABTA number C4330) and ATOL (ATOL number 0151). Being a member of ABTA (ABTA number C4330) means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct and this allows you to book with confidence. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier goes out of business or is no longer able to provide the intended holiday. Other services such as hotels or flights on their own may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available. American Express’s ABTA membership does not cover cruise bookings and should therefore not be relied upon when booking cruises or cruise packages. These bookings are covered by our third-party provider, ICE Cruise’s ABTA membership (ABTA number L6366). Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are also protected by the ATOL scheme, this ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: . Please contact us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.