Staying Safe Abroad

While most UK citizens enjoy trouble-free holidays, it is important to remember that when travelling outside the UK, you are less likely to be familiar with local conditions and risks. Keep up to date with travel information from the Foreign Office, and even if there is no specific travel advice for the place which you are travelling, it is important to remain cautious at all times and ask for advice from local security authorities.

  • Security Tips
  • Local Laws & Customs
  • Travel Documents
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Keeping in Contact

Security Tips

Below is a checklist of things to do to ensure that your time abroad is enjoyable and hassle-free:

  • Leave all jewellery and valuables at home and, if possible, in a  safe.
  • When carrying cash, remember to either keep it in a wallet, which should be kept in the front left pocket of your jeans/trousers or   jacket, or use a waist-pouch, which can be strapped to your belt and tucked under your top for extra safety.
  • Seek local advice about areas of risk, and if out at night avoid   isolated and/or dark places.
  • Remember to keep your mobile on you at all times, and locked   with   a pin for protection in case of theft. If you are visiting a   European   country then your phone will need to be dual-band, and   for journeys outside of Europe tri-band. Be discreet with your   mobile, and make sure you always have credit on your phone.
  • Be wary of large gatherings, especially of political demonstrations   or similar events.
  • Keep a look out for anyone acting suspiciously or any unattended   packages left in public places.
  • When driving, plan the routes of your journey in advance. Also keep all car> doors locked, and do not pick up any hitchhikers.

Local Laws & Customs

  • Please obey local laws and customs of the country you are visiting
  • Respect the local dress codes, especially in islamic countries
  • Do not stay any longer than the period of your permitted visit.
  • Try and speak a few words in the local language/dialect, as this will be greatly appreciated by the locals.
  • When taking photographs make sure you have the person’s   permission because it may offend people in some cultures. Photographing police or military personnel or installations can also cause problems in some countries.

Travel Documents

  • Whilst abroad, please keep your passport and travel documents in a safe place. Remember to make photocopies of important documentation and bring this along with you in case you are required to display them.


  • When drinking abroad remember to respect local laws and attitudes towards alcohol. It only takes one or two incidents for the reputation of a whole nation to be degraded so ‘know your limits’, and don’t consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Be aware that you are more likely to have an accident or be involved in an incident whilst drunk. This can result in your travel insurance policy providing no cover in such circumstances.
  • Do not take alcohol into countries where it is forbidden, or purchase alcohol in such countries, as this may result in severe penalties.

Illegal Drugs

  • Remember not to carry, purchase or use any prohibited drugs for any reason whatsoever. Be aware that in some countries, the penalties for drug offences are very severe and you could find yourself locked up in a foreign prison under terrible conditions. Also look after your baggage at all times and never leave them unattended, or with someone you don’t know, which can result in dugs being placed into your possession.
  • Take note of your insurance policies, which are likely to point out that any accident or injure sustained while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, is unlikely to be covered by your insurance company.

Keeping In Contact

In case of an emergency make sure you have contact numbers and addresses for British Embassy based in the country you are visiting. Give details of your holiday to family and friends and if possible carry a mobile (dual or tri-band) where you can be contacted if necessary.

Other Tips

Sun Lotions

When choosing your lotion check that it contains protection against UVA and UVB, is it water resistant, and photostable. Nivea Moisturising Sun Lotion and Ambre Solaire are the two brands that are consistently recommended by health specialists and online review sites.

Relief for Bites and Stings

A good remedy for bites, especially from mosquitos, is lime/lemon juice or alcohol. Apply this directly to the bite and, after a short time, the bite will dry up and heal quickly.

Beach Drinks

The night before you plan to head to the beach fill up some water bottles and leave them to cool overnight in the fridge or freezer. This will ensure you stay hydrated for the day.