Although most trips abroad are trouble free, being prepared will go a long way to avoiding the possibility of serious trouble. If you are travelling abroad here are some of things you need to do to make your trip easier:
1. Check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice (call 0845 850 2829) for Public Announcements or Travel Warnings for the countries you plan to visit. Public Announcements provide fast-breaking information about relatively short-term conditions that may pose risks to the security of travellers.
2. Get a good guidebook and get to know your destination. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are travelling. While in a foreign country, you are subject to that country’s laws. Learn about the countries that you plan to visit. Before departing, take the time to do some research about the people and their culture, and any problems that the country is experiencing that may affect your travel plans.
3. Get travel insurance and check that the cover is appropriate and check what vaccinations you need 2 months before you travel. Also, consider whether you need to take extra health precautions. Make sure your insurance covers your emergency medical needs (including medical evacuation) while you are overseas.
4. Take enough money for your trip and some back-up funds such as traveller’s cheques, sterling or US dollars.
5. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewellery and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.
6. While abroad, avoid using illicit drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, and associating with people who do.
7. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.
8. If your travel involves passage on airlines with which you are unfamiliar, you may wish to check their safety and reliability with a reputable travel agent.
9. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
10. Ensure you have a valid passport that is in good condition and the necessary visas, if required.
11. Make several copies of your passport, insurance policy plus 24-hour emergency number, and ticket details. Leave these copies, your itinerary and contact details with family and friends. Carry the other copies with you in a separate place from your passport. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.
12. Ensure that your travel organiser or travel agent can provide sufficient evidence of security for the refunding and repatriation of consumers in the event of insolvency. This security must be in place by one of several Financial Protection Organisations.
13. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.