17 Jul

‘Stay together to stay safe’ – ABTA’s plea to young holidaymakers this summer

ABTA – The Travel Association is encouraging young holidaymakers heading off abroad this summer to ‘stay together to stay safe’ after research from the Foreign Office revealed becoming separated from friends is a common factor in serious accidents abroad1.

The Association is also urging young people to take particular care on balconies as recent years have seen that young holidaymakers are most likely to come to harm. 

As the peak holiday season gets underway, many young people will be heading off abroad for the first time without their family, with a lot of them celebrating the end of exams. To help young people have a fun and safe holiday, ABTA has been providing advice to 16-23 year olds across a range of areas including the importance of sticking together, taking care when on balconies and being careful when taking selfies.

It is particularly important that young travellers look at how they can stay safe together, after the Foreign Office reported last month that young people becoming separated from their fellow holidaymakers is a common factor in very serious – sometimes fatal – incidents.

Taking simple steps such as using WhatsApp groups to stay in touch, using the find my friend app to share your location if one of you gets separated, and using offline maps – such as Google Maps, Maps Me and Citymapper - to help you find your way around, can be really helpful in staying together.  People shouldn’t be afraid of stepping in if you think one of your friends is doing something silly or dangerous while on holiday. 

Every year there have been a number of incidents involving young people on balconies. ABTA and its Members have also been running awareness-raising initiatives encouraging holidaymakers to avoid taking risks on hotel and apartment balconies. 

As part of its advice to holidaymakers, using expert health and safety guidance, ABTA says people should never lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall or railings, don’t climb from one balcony to another and take extra care on balconies after drinking alcohol as your judgement may be affected. 

Nikki White, Director of Destinations and Sustainability at ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“We will soon be in the peak holiday period and many people will be heading off abroad for a well-deserved break. For some young people it will be their first time away without their families, and while exciting times lie ahead, it’s important they take a moment to think about how to keep themselves and their friends safe.

“As part of our campaign aimed at young people, we’re encouraging them to stay together to stay safe by using apps on their phone to keep track of each other and find friends if someone gets separated.

“Whatever your age, it is also important that you are careful when using your balcony. Balcony falls can result in serious injuries or even a needless loss of life and we’d encourage all holidaymakers to do everything they can to take care when on their balcony and look out for friends and family.” 

Julia Longbottom, Director of Consular Services at the FCO, said:

“Tragically, we do see a number of fatalities and very serious injuries caused by falls abroad each summer. I really urge people to be careful around balconies and stairwells, and to avoid putting themselves in any situation where they might be at risk of falling from a height. We will continue to work with resort teams this summer to ensure the message reaches holidaymakers, so they can enjoy a trouble-free trip. Whilst pre-holiday preparations are really important – such as taking out the right insurance – travellers should think about safety risks whilst on holiday too. Our advice to young travellers, especially those heading off abroad independently for the first time, is to stick with your mates and be aware of dangerous situations that might cost a life.”

ABTA’s full advice for young holidaymakers can be found at abta.com/youngholidaymakers.

ABTA’s specific advice on balcony safety is available at https://abta.com/tips-and-latest/abta-campaigns/balcony-safety 

For further information, contact:
ABTA press office, press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596

Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via landline: 020 3693 0183
Web: www.abta.com
Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors
1FCO Consular data released 26 June 2019 and published on GOV.UK follow this link.

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. 
The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members. 

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £38 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.