Travelling abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. It can be very exciting when you explore new places, meet new people and experience different and diverse cultures.
Travel can be safe and fun but a little time spent preparing and researching your trip will make it even more enjoyable.
A summary of handy hints and travel tips
- Remember to take your passport, money and tickets.
- Make sure you get comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you go.
- Obtain local knowledge - carry out a bit of research into your destination including its laws, customs and language.
- Stay healthy - visit your GP at least six weeks before you depart and find out what jabs you may need.
- Check visas and passports - make sure your passport is in good condition and valid for at least six months after your return date. And check that you have all the correct visas.
- Take photocopies of your passport data pages and keep one copy with you in a safe place whilst travelling and leave one copy with family at home.
- Take enough money - take a mixture of cash, travellers’ cheques and credit cards and don’t keep them in one place.
- Set up an email account - email yourself and trusted friends or family details of your insurance policy, passport, itinerary and emergency contact numbers (insurance company, credit card company) - just in case.
- Keep in touch - keep in regular contact with friends and family.
- Get advice - ask around before you go and read a good guidebook to familiarise yourself with your destination(s).
- Be alert and keep an eye on your belongings.
- Be careful with alcohol.
- Be aware of drugs laws.
- Decide what you want to get out of your travels, plan ahead and pack sensibly.
The last thing you want when you are on holiday is to go down with a dose of ‘Delhi Belly’. Be prepared by taking a basic first aid kit with you.
This should contain antiseptic cream, a packet of good-quality assorted plasters, a sealed bandage, bandage tape, sealed gauze, scissors and tweezers. You can take additional items like insect repellent, suncream and treatments for diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
Prevention is the best cure for illness, so tailor your first aid kit to your holiday.
More in-depth travel advice can be found on the internet, with some useful examples below.
Get tips on planning for your trip, money-saving ideas and how to stay healthy on your hols.
A comprehensive guide for the independent traveller as to what items to pack and a checklist of things to do before you go can be found at:
Good websites for those planning to take a gap year:
A useful website for checking currency exchange rates:
| Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Official government information on all aspects of travelling, including potentially dangerous areas, tips on laws and customs abroad and what to do in case of trouble.
Check out their website at:
This Department of Health website has been designed to help you enjoy a healthy journey and to deal successfully with medical emergencies.
Check the latest online edition of 'International Travel and Health'. Learn about the risks to which travellers are exposed and the precautions needed to protect their health.
An excellent website with advice on how to stay healthy during trips abroad.
It is strongly recommended that all travellers abroad take out comprehensive insurance. You could fall ill or have an accident; you could have money or luggage stolen; your visit might be cancelled or cut short through injury or illness; your family may need to fly out to be with you if there is a serious incident. Taking out travel insurance can cover all these risks and more.
Often you will find there are options depending on how like you are likely to be out if the country for and also if you participate in winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding.
| Embassies & Visa Information
Wherever you travel it is always worthwhile making a note of where your local embassy is. Your embassy is your connection to your home country while on holiday and are there to help if you lose your passport or are in trouble.
All of the worlds embassies in a searchable database: