Travel advice in association with the FCO

FCO Know Before You Go We are working with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) as part of their ongoing Know Before You Go Campaign. Together we aim to provide you with information created to help you be better prepared for overseas trips and therefore avoiding common travelling traumas, risks and dangers.

We have prepared a list of things for you to consider when travelling abroad:

Advice from the FCO

Check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office FCO website. The FCO has travel advice notices for over 200 countries based on the most accurate and up-to-date information available. They have designed the Know Before You Go campaign to help British travellers to make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Before you book your next trip be sure to check your destination on this site to make sure it is safe to travel to.

You can also have a look at their new travel guide, Plan. Pack. Explore., particularly useful for adventure, long-haul and gap year travel, but helpful for any overseas holiday, published in September 2012.

Get adequate Travel Insurance

Choose a travel insurance policy which covers all of your needs from our comprehensive list of Providers.

Check health requirements

Make sure you are fit to travel to your destination. Check what vaccinations you need at least 6 weeks before you go and consider whether you need to take extra health precautions. You can find information to help you here.

Know your Destination

Get a good guidebook and get to know your destination. Be sure to find out about local laws, customs and etiquette, to avoid unnecessary trouble or upset.
You can find information about your chosen destination here - Travel advice by country.

Check passports & visas

Ensure you have a valid passport that is in good condition and obtain any necessary visas. You must hold a valid passport for any travel abroad. Check your passport is in date, and if you require a new one then make sure you apply in good time so you are not left without a passport, and therefore unable to travel. Information can be found here - Identity and Passport Service. If you plan to go outside the British Territories then you may also need a visa to enter your destination country. You can check visa requirements with your travel agent or with the Consulate or Embassy of that country.

Gather important documents

Make copies of important documents. Every day travellers belongings are lost or stolen. You can ease the upset this causes by making copies of important documents such as your passport (including any visa pages), insurance policy plus 24-hour emergency number, ticket details, and travellers cheque numbers. Leave these copies, your itinerary and contact details with family and friends and/or store copies online using a secure online data storage site.

Organise your money

Take enough money for your trip and some back-up funds eg travellers cheques, sterling or US dollars. Store your back up funds separately from your main money, so if you have one lot stolen, you can fall back on the other. If you plan on using your credit and/or debit card abroad, make sure you tell your card company of your intentions and where you will be using the cards. With the growing overseas credit and debit card fraud, a lot of credit and debit card companies will now disable your card from use abroad unless they have prior notice from the card holder.