10 travel tips for better, safer foreign trips
Are you among the hundreds of thousands of people who travel abroad
each year on holiday or business? If so, we have 10 helpful hints to make sure everything goes according to plan.
"In theory nothing should go wrong on your overseas trips," says Nick Harris, Head of Travel Law
at Simpson Millar LLP. "But to help you stay safe and secure, the Foreign Office recommends a series of precautions. They're all simple steps that take no time at all – but they could make all the difference."
1. Where's the embassy?
Since it might be your first port of call if anything happens, it's a good idea to find out where the embassy is. They'll have a website, so check online to see what services they offer and their opening times in case you need them while you're abroad.
2. NHS travel health information
Before you leave, take a look at the NHS travel health information page. This is where you can find out about any health risks for the country you're visiting.
3. Do you need to see your doctor?
Your GP will be able to tell you what jabs you might need.
4. European Health Insurance Card
Are travelling within the European Economic Area (EEC)? For free or reduced emergency care you can get a free European Health Insurance Card.
5. In emergency, call 112
To contact the emergency services in any EU country, call 112.
6. Follow the local laws
Research your local destination – it's important that you don’t flout local laws or customs without realising it.
7. Avoid misunderstandings
If you're taking photographs or videos or using binoculars, be careful. Such activities could be misunderstood or even illegal, especially near military installations. As with point 6, find out as much as you can about where you're going.
8. Protect your valuables
When you arrive, don’t openly display valuables like mobile phones or cameras. Consider using a padlock for suitcases or backpacks.
9. Is the water safe?
How clean is the local tap water? If it's not, stick to bottled water and avoid salads, non-peeling fruit and ice in drinks and you don't want to suffer a holiday illness such as Cryptosporidium
10. Travel insurance
Your property could be stolen, or you could become injured or sick while you’re abroad. So make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance.