Every year hundreds of thousands of us travel abroad on holiday or on business.
There’s no reason why anything should go wrong on our trips overseas, but there are a series of simple steps and precautions recommended by the foreign office to help you stay safe and secure during your travels.
1. Locate the embassy
Perhaps the first thing you should do is find out where the nearest embassy will be – check their website to find out what services they offer and their opening times in case you need their help when you are abroad.
2. NHS travel health information
You should also visit the NHS travel health information page before you travel, where you can research any health risks for the country you will be visiting.
3. If needed, visit your GP
If necessary you can visit your GP for any appropriate inoculations.
4. European Health Insurance Card
If you are travelling within the European Economic Area you can also get a free European Health Insurance Card for free or reduced emergency care.
5. In emergency, call 112
Remember, you can call 112 to contact the emergency services in any EU country.
6. Follow the local laws
It’s important that you research your local destination, so that you don’t inadvertently flout and local laws or customs.
7. Protect your valuables
Once there don’t openly display valuables such as mobile phones or digital cameras and consider using a padlock on suitcases or backpacks.
8. Avoid misunderstandings
Be careful when taking photographs, videos or using binoculars. Such activities may be misunderstood, especially near military installation.
9. Check the water
Check whether it’s safe to drink local tap water. If not, stick to bottled water and avoid salads, non-peeling fruit and ice in drinks.
10. Travel insurance
Before you go you should also make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance, in case your property is stolen or you get injured or sick while you’re abroad.
These are all simple steps, that take no time at all to tick off a check-list, but could make all the difference to your experience while you travel abroad.