Staying safe abroad
With summer on the horizon, no doubt many of you will be thinking about heading for the sun once you finish University for the year. So for the keen jet setters among you, here’s a checklist of tips, things to remember and how to stay safe on your travels.
Before you go
- If you have any concerns about the destination you’re travelling to, you can visit Foreign Travel Advice for the latest information about that specific country.
- Familiarise yourself with your destination’s local laws and customs, to avoid getting into hot water while you’re out there!
- Make sure your passport is valid and that you have the necessary visas.
- Read up on the kind of support you can receive from the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) whilst abroad.
- Make sure you secure comprehensive travel insurance.
- If you’re travelling within the EU, get yourself an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) to qualify for free or reduced emergency care – you can apply for free here.
- Check any health risks before travelling.
- Tell your family and friends where you’re going and leave emergency contact details with them.
- Take enough money to cover any emergencies.
- If you’re planning on driving while away, make sure you’re fully insured and follow the local rules of the road.
While you’re away
- Keep the address of your accommodation stored on your phone and on paper (in both English and the foreign language) in case you get lost.
- Try to avoid travelling alone or, if you’re going solo, make friends with other single travellers or perhaps join a tour group.
- Avoid dark or non-tourist places at night.
- Don’t showcase valuables such as your mobile phone or camera. Use padlocks on suitcases and backpacks.
- If taking your own phone on holiday, check with your service provider beforehand that it will work abroad. And make sure you don’t get caught out by data roaming charges. You can also rent a phone while you’re away. Having a phone is a handy way to store useful contact numbers such as the local police. Remember: 112 will get you through to the emergency services in any EU country.
- Make sure your accommodation is secure by locking windows and doors and keeping valuables out of sight.
- Get clued up on the local transport before you go exploring. And steer clear of unlicensed taxi drivers.
- Respect local customs and the environment.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks and, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct.
And remember, most importantly of all – have fun!