Travel Tips and Advice
It's always important to be prepared before you travel abroad, but if you are over 65 or suffer from a pre-existing medical condition it can be even more important.
One of the most important things to do before you travel is buy travel insurance with cover for pre-existing medical conditions, that way you are covered if you have an accident or become ill whilst you are away. If you don't have travel insurance and you require medical treatment abroad, the cost can easily add up to thousands of pounds.
Travel Advice by Country
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provide up to date information about every country in the world, including information about local laws and customs which you should be aware of, visa requirements and any upcoming industrial action.
Check the latest information about your chosen destination before you travel.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has put together this travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe whilst you are there.
- Check the FCO travel advice pages for the country you are visiting. Sign up for email alerts and you'll get the latest updates for that country
- Find out where the nearest embassy will be — check their website to find out what services they offer and their opening times
- Don't travel without travel insurance — make sure it covers you for any activities you are likely to undertake such as extreme or water sports
- Travelling within the European Economic Area? Then get a free European Health Insurance Card for free or reduced emergency care - you still need full travel insurance though! Also remember, you can call 112 to contact the emergency services in any EU country.
- Check with your doctor as soon as possible to find out if you need any vaccinations before you travel
- Make sure you've got correct visas for the country you are visiting and that your passport is valid.
- All first time adult passport applicants must now attend an interview to verify their identity. It now takes up to six weeks to get a first passport. For more information please visit DirectGov
- For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel — check the entry requirements before you go
- Make a note of the passport number and consider taking a photocopy with you
- Make sure you fill in the emergency contact details in your passport. This will make it much easier for us to contact someone if necessary
- Tell family and friends where you are going and leave them your contact details, travel insurance policy details and your itinerary and/or store them online using a secure data storage
- Make sure you have enough money to cover emergencies
- Find out if travellers cheques are appropriate for your destination and keep a separate record of their numbers
- Invest in a good travel guide to help you plan your trip
- Driving abroad? Make sure your licence is current and valid. Make sure you are aware of the driving laws in the country you are visiting
- Check HM Revenue & Customs Travel website for information on duty-free allowances, banned goods etc.
When you are away:
- Think about what you are doing at all times and trust your instincts - don't take risks that you wouldn't at home!
- Don't openly display valuables such as mobile phones or digital cameras and consider using a padlock on suitcases or backpacks
- Find out about local customs and dress, behave accordingly and obey local laws - there may be serious penalties for breaking a law that might seem trivial at home
- Be careful when taking photographs, videos or using binoculars. Such activities may be misunderstood, especially near military installations
- Consider taking your mobile with you or renting one whilst you're away. Store useful numbers such as the local police, the nearest Embassy or Consulate and the emergency contact number for your travel insurance
- Check with your service provider to make sure your phone works abroad
- 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
- Use your judgement when buying and eating food you've not prepared yourself
- Respect the environment — don't buy wildlife souvenirs, conserve resources like water and don't drop litter
- Check import regulations for food and plants before you attempt to bring them back to the UK