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staying safe abroad

FCO Advice - Staying Safe Abroad

14 April 2015 by Anna Staford

Travel Insurance Tips

Annually, British citizens take thousands of trips to work, live, study or spend vacations in foreign countries. Most visits are safe but at times there are also difficult situations involving British nationals and only then they realise they don’t know much about their rights. Keep on reading to find out the main recommendations to staying safe abroad.

Remember that foreign laws and customs stay unfamiliar no matter how well you prepare before leaving. Besides, crime rates and potential risks may be significantly different from what you are used to in your home country so you won’t even know where the danger comes from. Language barriers make it even harder.

Civil conflicts

Before you go, visit the FCO's website and read their recommendations carefully. It includes the information concerning personal safety threats arising from terrorist activities, political conflicts, demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. The updates come regularly and can be also found on FCO’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Make sure you have full travel insurance coverage and note that many insurance providers won’t issue a policy if your travel destination contradicts with the FCO warnings. The policy should include any pre-existing conditions you are aware of and the adventure activities you plan to undertake.

Check with your doctor about the vaccinations and other health precautions you may need to take before a trip.

Make sure your passport is valid and in good condition, and fill in the emergency contact details.

Take enough money for your trip, keep money and cards in different places, and be aware of what you should do in case you have them lost or stolen.

Research your destination and pay attention to your personal security.

Money for travel

Contact the FCO representatives as soon as you need help. The staff is very tolerant and professional providing the highest service to all British nationals who found themselves in trouble abroad. Do not hesitate sharing your problem, no matter how delicate you think it is. You will be treated with the absolute understanding and support in such situations as sexual abuse, rape, death of a relative or travel companion, any kinds of assault and crime.

The FCO provides support to the British nationals whether or not they normally live in the UK, British nationals with another nationality known as dual nationals in cases happening outside the country of their other nationality, and nationals of other EU countries whose country doesn’t have a local embassy though the latter is only possible in certain circumstances.

Remember that the better you prepare for a trip in advance, the higher your chances of staying safe are. Be wise and prepare well for every trip you take.

Download Safety Travel Checklist for free and use it every time before you go on a trip.

Read also: FCO - What to Do If Affected by Crisis Overseas

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