Get adequate travel insurance
- Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
- Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip.
- Make sure it covers you for all activities, including hazardous sports.
- Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency number with you.
- If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer.
Ensure you have a valid passport and the necessary visas
- Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months at return date.
- Take a photocopy with you and leave a copy at home.
- Write the full details of your next of kin in your passport.
- Make sure you have valid visas.
- Take another form of ID with you (preferably with a photograph).
Plan to stay healthy
- Check what vaccinations you need with your GP at least six weeks before you travel.
- Check the advice at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers
- Check if your medication is legal in the country you are visiting.
- Pack your medication in your hand luggage.
- If taking medication with you, also take the prescription and a GP’s letter.
- Check to see if extra health precautions are needed for the country you are visiting (e.g. malaria, Dengue zones).
Know about where you are going
- Get a good guide book and look at the FCO country fact sheets.
- Make sure you know about local laws especially relating to alcohol and drugs.
- Try to be aware of any locally endangered animals and plants within your destination country to ensure that you do not unwittingly purchase wildlife souvenirs from endangered plants or animals in which trade may be regulated.
- Make sure you know about local culture especially relating to dress codes.
- Take a phrase book that you can use in emergencies.
- Check the FCO up-to-date travel advice.
- Tell friends and family where you are going.
- Contact family and friends if trouble flares up.
Take enough money for your trip
- Check the validity, expiry dates and cash available on your credit or debit card(s).
- Make sure you have back-up funds such as travellers cheques, sterling or US dollars.
- Have a return ticket, or enough money to buy one.
Leave copies of important information with family and friends.
- A copy of your passport and details of your next of kin.
- A copy of your insurance document plus the 24-hour emergency number.
- A copy of your ticket details.
- A copy of your itinerary and a way of contacting you such as e-mail.