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Latest advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Tips for your forthcoming trip

As a partner of the FCO Travel Aware campaign, Medical Travel Insurance recommend the following travel advice:

  • Make sure you purchase travel insurance before travelling and that any activities you wish to participate in are fully covered. Whether you are going on a cruise, play golf or are planning to take part in winter sports or sky diving, you will need to purchase the correct level of insurance, which our friendly call centre staff here at medical travel will be happy to advise you with
  • Remember the cheapest travel policy does not always provide the best cover
  • Read the policy wording carefully
  • Ensure all members of your party have a valid passport. Remember to keep it safe whilst travelling and make sure you have all the necessary visas. Look after your passport while travelling and keep it in a safe place. Make sure you have checked specific entry requirements of the country or countries you are travelling to. For some countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel and make sure you have filled in the emergency contact details at the back as this will help government officials to contact next of kin if necessary
  • Passport and a plane
  • Make copies of important travel documents, store them online using a secure storage data site. Keep a note of the contact and policy number with you and leave a copy of your policy with family members in the UK
  • Familiarize yourself with the laws, customs and entry requirements of all the countries you are visiting. You can find full information at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Don’t assume that because you are a frequent visitor you know all you need to know. Some countries environmental and political situations can change very quickly and sometimes without warning
  • If you are travelling within Europe ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance card (EHIC). Understand what it covers – you still need full travel insurance though! For more details see our handy EHIC guide.
  • Check your vaccinations are up to date for the country you are visiting or any other medical requirements. If necessary visit a travel health clinic or your GP at least six weeks before you travel. Visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for more detailed advice. Make sure you have the appropriate travel insurance to cover all pre-existing medical conditions and tell your insurance provider all details to ensure you are completely covered in case you become unwell abroad. The most important reason for having travel insurance is to cover the cost of medical and hospital bills which can soon become very expensive. With your medical travel insurance policy, you will receive a 24-hour emergency hotline number, that will be able to assist you get the medical help you need. The FCO can liaise with your insurance company and contact family members if necessary
  • Vaccines and drugs
  • Make sure you tell someone when and where you are going and leave emergency contact details. It is a good idea to check with your service provider to make sure that your phone will work whilst you are on holiday. If possible, consider leaving your phone’s IMEI number with a family member, so that the phone can be blocked or located in case of a problem
  • Take enough money with you and have access to emergency funds. Carry more than one means of payment (cash, debit card, credit card) and find out if travellers cheques are appropriate for your destination. If taking travellers cheques keep a separate record of their numbers
  • Understand what consular staff can and can’t do to help British nationals travelling overseas. Examples of help include issuing replacement travel documents, provide information about transferring funds, contacting family and friends and providing details of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors and funeral directors. For full details please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consular-services and for a full list of embassy services see https://www.gov.uk/world/embassies

Tips for when you arrive at your destination

  • Remember to respect the laws and customs of the country you are visiting, they are often different from home and the penalties can be severe – always think twice and know the risks
  • Think about what you are doing at all times and trust your instincts. Don’t take risks you wouldn’t do in the UK
  • After arriving
  • Make sure you know the number of the local British Consulate in case of emergencies
  • Be careful when taking photographs, videos or using binoculars especially near military buildings as this may be misunderstood by local authorities
  • Check the water is safe to drink and if in doubt always buy bottled water
  • If going to a hot country remember to use high factor sun cream and reapply often especially after swimming

We hope you find the above information helpful for more details on preparing for safe and healthy travel please visit:www.travelaware.campaign.gov.uk

For the latest travel updates follow @FCOtravel on Twitter and find the FCO at Facebook.com/FCOtravel or visit www.gov.uk/travelaware

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