Staying safe abroad

As part of their Know Before You Go campaign, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office have created a number of tips that will help to make your trip abroad safe and hassle free. We've reproduced a selection below.

Before you leave

  • Make sure you have full travel insurance which is up to date, valid for the entire trip and covers everyone who is travelling.
  • If you are visiting Europe, take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It entitles you to the same level of free medical care as the residents of the country you are visiting receive. You can apply for your free EHIC at
  • Go to to check if there are any medical considerations for the country you are visiting. If necessary, visit a travel health clinic or your GP at least six weeks before you travel for vaccinations.
  • Make sure the contact form at the back of your passport is complete with details of your next of kin or someone who can be contacted in an emergency.
  • Make photocopies of your passport, visas and insurance details and leave a copy with a relative or friend at home. You could also keep your travel details and a scan of your passport online using a secure file storage site.
  • Familiarise yourself with the immigration and customs controls of the country you are visiting. Check your passport is valid for the period you are travelling and that you have all necessary visas.
  • As well as your holiday budget, make sure you have access to emergency backup funds.
  • Check the latest travel advice for your destination or by calling 0345 850 2829.
  • If you are planning to drive abroad, make sure your UK driving licence is valid in the country you are visiting and be sure you are aware of the road laws.
  • Give a friend or relative details of your itinerary, where you'll be staying and when you expect to be back. Make sure they have a way of getting hold of you in an emergency.
  • If you are travelling in uncertain local conditions or visiting remote areas, register with the local British embassy.

While you're away

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