Going to the Olympics?

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The start of the Beijing Olympics is fast approaching and, if you are one of the lucky 500,000 people expected to attend from overseas, it is well worth checking that you are adequately insured. Research carried out by moneysupermarket.com has revealed that almost 15% of us do not bother with travel insurance when holidaying abroad, with many of us seeing it as an added expense which we are willing to take the risk on.

If these people have to cancel because of illness or, worse still, fall ill whilst in China, they may well live to regret their decision. Lost baggage can also turn a dream holiday into a nightmare, especially when uninsured. For those of us who do the sensible thing and take out insurance it is vital to remember to pack the policy and contact numbers in case of emergencies abroad.

As well as ensuring that your paperwork is correct (passports should have at least six months validity and you must obtain a visa in advance from the Chinese Embassy), you should by now have had all of your vaccinations, particularly typhoid and Hepatitis A. A quarter of travellers from the UK travelling to exotic destinations do not bother to check what the requirements are and many fall ill as a result.

The Foreign Office website is a mine of information on health and safety issues for those visiting China. In view of the bombings earlier this week and the fact that this is the tropical cyclone season, visitors would be well advised to acquaint themselves with the advice contained there.


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