Travel safety may sound a bit like overkill but sometimes some of these advice tips can just save your holiday.
a) Ensure you have up to date passports with at least six months to run and any necessary visa
b) Have you checked if your holiday is covered by ABTA or ATOL?
Make a note of :
- Your passport number /photocopy if possible
- Travellers cheques numbers
- Holiday insurance document details/ emergency contact numbers
And keep these details separately from the original documents.
Make sure your travel insurance meets your requirements i.e. is appropriate for you age or the activities you may want to do i.e. hand gliding, para gliding , scuba diving . Some insurance companies will not offer comprehensive cover when you reach a certain age or cover certain more risky activities.
c) When you arrive at your destination it is a good idea to check you have the telephone numbers of the tour representative, local police, chemist, British Embassy/ Commission/ Consulate, especially if travelling out of the European Union.
d) Only carry enough money for the day on your person not your whole holiday fund
e) Wear a money belt and keep denominations small, often small stores, tavernas’ etc. are unable to break large notes.
f) Be aware of local customs and dress appropriately as offence can be caused. Often if visiting churches shorts and bare shoulders are not fitting.
g) It goes without saying to keep handbag straps across your body and in front you, the same goes for camera cases
h) If you decide to take out a moped for the day make sure the company supply helmets, they may tell you it is not necessary but for your own sake insist.
i) Don’t make yourself a target and walk down unlit streets late at night, and if you are confronted by muggers the best advice is to hand over your money, jewellery and cameras, it is far better than the potential consequences of resistance.
J) If you need to take medicines with you make sure you have a note from your doctor specifying your need for them as in some countries certain UK “acceptable medicines” are illegal.
K) If you do lose your passport or it is stolen, this needs to be reported to the police immediately and keep a copy of the police report with the crime reference number. You will need to complete a LS01 form and report the loss to your nearest British Consulate or High Commission.
You can call +44 (0)20 7008 1500 to find the nearest one.
In other countries the fire regulations may not be to the same standard you are used to; so if staying in a hotel, check out your escape route to the evacuation meeting point, check the fire escapes are they accessible?. Know how and where to raise the alarm, don’t leave this to chance.
If you are in a room adapted for people who are disabled make sure you know who will come to your assistance should a fire break out
When you go out always leave lights on, windows firmly locked shut and a radio/ TV on (if available)
Be aware that not all accommodation has safety glass inpatio doors and in bright sunlight walking in to a closed door can lead to unpleasant injuries.
Ensure you know where you can seek medical attention if necessary and the procedure for contacting them, telephone number/ address.
Ensure you have your European Health Insurance Card with you and that it is in date if travelling in Europe.
If you are in a villa and you are around the back of the villa during the day make sure all the doors and windows are firmly locked shut that you can’t see. When you’re enjoying yourself you can nod off in the warm sunshine but it is a good idea to ensure one person is always awake to watch the villa for unexpected guests.
Make sure that you don’t take anything valuable with you that hold sentimental value. Some goods can be replaced if stolen or lost a beloved piece of jewellery often can’t.
If in a hotel with a balcony resist the urge to lean on the railings just in case!
Try to go on organised trips and tours rather than organising your own or else co-ordinate with your tour operator representative as to which areas to avoid.
Make sure you have a comprehensive map of the local area, as well as a note of a few of the more common local phrases.
It is a good idea to always carry a written note of your accommodations name and address so if you do become lost you will be able to ask for directions.