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Stephenson Smart columnist and dad of two shares top tips for summer holidays

Everyone at work is looking forward to their summer holiday.

This sporadic sunshine, typical of the great British weather, is enough for us to stockpile suncream, dig out the holey paddling pool and obsess over what time the supermarket will sell out of bread rolls for the barbecue. Or it that just me?

My wife and I have bravely decided to take our sons on a road trip around the UK stopping off at the likes of Colchester Zoo, Blackpool Circus and York Maize Maze, to name but a view.

Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (13818067)
Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (13818067)

Hours and hours with two sports-mad boys cooped up in a car. What could possibly go wrong?

Fights over whose iPad is at the loudest volume/telling each other in a loud voice to turn it down/generally being loud/wife and I wishing we hadn’t packed the iPads. You get the idea.

Maybe it would have been easier to book a week in Spain.

If you are going abroad I have two pieces of advice.

One, make sure you search your suitcase after packing it to extract the random items put in while you weren’t looking. My youngest was genuinely upset last time when I informed him he couldn’t take 27 action figures.

And two, make sure your holiday is ATOL protected.

It means if the travel company you have booked through ceases trading you won’t lose any money paid out, or become stranded.

At Stephenson Smart, the accountancy firm where I work, we have two staff members with an ATOL qualification, meaning we can support clients in the travel industry holding ATOL certificates with annual renewals to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Every renewal must be signed off by a CAA registered accountant called an ATOL Reporting Accountant.

Martyn Benstead, partner at our Fakenham office was one of the first accountants in the country to become an ARA and the first registered in Norfolk.

I may be the first accountant in Norfolk to return from a road trip within a day.

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