Travellers' checklist

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					Travellers' checklist

To help you have a safe holiday, here are the top 10 things to do before you go:

1.    check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) travel advice on their website or call
0845 850 2829

2.     get travel insurance and check that the cover is appropriate

3.     find a good guidebook and get to know your destination, including its local laws and customs

4.     ensure you have a valid passport and necessary visas

5.     visit your GP at least 6 weeks before you go to check what vaccinations you need and whether
you need to take extra health precautions

6.      make sure your travel organiser can provide sufficient evidence of security for the refunding
and repatriation of customers in the event of insolvency. This security must be in place by one of
several financial protection organisations

7.     if your travel involves passage on airlines with which you are unfamiliar, you may wish to
check their safety and reliability with a reputable travel agent

8.      make copies of your passport, insurance policy plus 24-hour emergency number, and ticket
details - leave copies with your family and friends

9.     take enough money for you trip and some back-up funds, e.g. travellers cheques, sterling or
US dollars

10.     leave a copy of your itinerary and a way of contacting you, such as email, with family and

The Foreign Office website also produces specific travel advice for women, gay and lesbian travellers,
young travellers, sports travellers, short break travellers and backpackers.

Travel health
Travel across the world is now so common that it is easy to forget to protect yourself
against health risks in the country you are travelling to.
You may find it difficult and expensive to get health treatment in some countries. But there are things
you can do before you go abroad to protect you and your family's health.
Protecting your health

      buy adequate and appropriate travel insurance

      check with the Department of Health (DoH) for the latest medical advice for travellers to the
country you are going to

       find out what vaccinations you need at least six weeks before you travel. Your GP's surgery
will be able to tell you

       take enough supplies of any medication that you have been prescribed and carry a copy of the
prescription with you. Also carry any medical letters about your health condition to help doctors and
nurses abroad if you are taken ill
      if you are travelling within the EU, apply online, by phone, or at a post office for a European
Health Insurance Card

E111 and the European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has replaced the old E111. From 1 January 2006, E111s
are no longer valid (updated E111s issued prior to 1 September 2005 are valid until 31 December
The EEA consists of the European Union (EU) plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland also
operates the same arrangements as the EU countries.
The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes
necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. Full details of cover and who's
eligible can be found on the Department of Health website. You can also apply online for a EHIC.

Cultural awareness
Appreciating cultural and legal differences can help you avoid potentially embarrassing or difficult
Here are a few tips:

      get a good guidebook and find out about local laws, customs and culture

      take a phrase book

      respect local customs and dress codes, think about what you wear and how you fit in

       be discreet about your views on cultural differences and behave and dress appropriately,
particularly when visiting religious sites, markets and rural communities

      you should take particular care not to offend Islamic codes of dress and behaviour with
regards to sexual relations, alcohol and drugs - in some countries, for example, it is illegal to drink,
and importing alcohol into the country can lead to severe penalties

      always ask an individual's permission before you take a photograph and respect their wishes -
in some cultures, taking a woman's photograph can cause great offence

      don't haggle too aggressively, in most countries where haggling is the norm, it is done with
humour and not for too long - it is important to remember that the discount you are haggling over
could be a few pence for you, but a significant means of income for a seller

      it is best to err on the side of caution - behaviour that would be regarded as harmless
elsewhere can lead to serious trouble

Policy checklist

      emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation and repatriation (being returned to the UK)

       24 hour emergency assistance - some insurance companies will help around the clock helpline
to arrange for help if you have a serious problem

     personal liability - if someone is injured or his or her property is damaged by you or
something belonging to you, he or she could make a claim against you

      you abandoning or cancelling the trip, as you may be liable to pay full or part of the cost if
you cancel

       the replacement cost of your personal possessions, including money and documents. Your
policy will specify limits