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Going on holiday is exciting, a change of scenery, new experiences and cuisine.

Here are some useful tips to help you and the other members in your group enjoy your holiday and avoid possible pitfalls.

Before you travel

  • Read the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the country you are visiting, www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
  • Take out travel insurance and make sure it covers your specific needs, including any activities you plan to do as well as existing medical conditions.
  • Remember the free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) entitles you to basic state medical care in participating countries, but it won’t cover any extra costs to get you home.
  • If you’re travelling somewhere with particularly high temperatures, follow TravelHealthPro‘s advice on how to cope in extreme heat.

Preparing for travel

  • Speak to your GP or a travel clinic to see if you need any vaccinations.
  • Check the luggage policy of your airline, especially weight limits and items you’re not allowed to take away with you.
  • If you’re on medication take a supply in your hand luggage and before travel check if there are restrictions in your destination on what you can take.
  • Take a digital copy of the ID pages of your passport in case you need to get a replacement.

Security

  • Keep accommodation doors locked even when you are inside the room.
  • Use the safe for your money and other valuables.
  • If you are caught up in a security incident follow the guidance to ‘Run, Hide, Tell’.
Run Hide Tell

Be aware and be safe

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cool, bottled water and avoid ice as it’s unlikely to come from bottled water sources.
  • Apply high-factor sunscreen frequently and try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (usually between 11am-3pm). Take extra care with sun protection for babies and children.
  • Check warnings on beaches and never swim where it is not permitted. 
  • In the event of extremely hot weather, be mindful that your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature, making you more at risk to heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunstroke.
  • Babies, young children and older people are more vulnerable to the effects of heat as they cannot regulate their temperature as easily. Pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions should also take extra care. 
  • Never leave children unsupervised.
  • Keep all furniture away from balcony wall/railings and never climb or stand on balcony furniture.
  • Use insect repellent in mosquito prone areas.

Out and about

  • Stick with your travel companions when you’re out and about. If you’re doing something on your own, tell them where you’re going and keep your mobile phone with you so you can keep in touch. 
  • Avoid doing strenuous physical activity (e.g. hiking, running or sports) during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or sunstroke (e.g. tired, weak, faint, dizzy, intensely thirsty or nauseous), move to a cool/shaded area to rest, dab your skin with cool water and drink non-alcoholic fluids to rehydrate.
  • We strongly advise that you don’t hire mopeds, motorbikes or quad bikes.
  • Always book any excursion through a reputable supplier recommended by your travel company or the tourist office and make sure your holiday insurance covers what you’re doing.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, or nominate a friend to watch your drinks.
  • Don’t take recreational drugs - they are almost certainly illegal and could lead to a substantial prison sentence.
  • Take care on the roads – in some countries traffic isn’t required to stop at pedestrian crossings.
  • Only use licensed taxis and never accept a lift from a stranger.