5 Problems that Spell Disaster for your Travels – and How to Solve Them

FCO Travel Advice

Travel advice and infographics supplied by the FCO

Whether you’re travelling or staying with friends and family abroad, its important to be aware of what could go wrong and how best to prevent it. We list five common problems that could put your travel plans in jeopardy, and show you how to solve them…

For a more comprehensive travel checklist visit the FCO

Problem 1: Your travel insurance coverage is awful

  • Solve it: Bother to check you have comprehensive travel insurance, even if you’re only planning a short trip and check that it covers you for everything that you want to do while you are on holiday.
  • If you are travelling within the European Economic Area you can get a free European Health Insurance Card for free or reduced emergency care – you still need full travel insurance though as an EHIC only covers necessary care and won’t cover things such as repatriation to the UK in the case of a medical emergency.Handy tips for a safer trip

Problem 2: You’re not protected against common diseases

  • Solve it: Check what vaccinations you need by visiting www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk, your travel health clinic or GP at least six weeks before you travel.

Problem 3: You have no idea what you’re in for

  • Solve it: Read up on your destination, including local laws and customs before you travel. Typical behavior at home could result in a severe penalty abroad so it’s important to be aware of legal and cultural differences.
  • Check the KBYG page or sign up for email alerts and receive the latest updates for that country.Insurance Infographic

Problem 4: You haven’t sorted your travel documents

  • Solve it: Check your passport is valid for the country you are travelling to – some countries require six months validity after your return date to the UK.
  • Keep it in a safe place while you’re away, ideally in the hotel safe. Pack a photocopy of the main personal details and photograph page for ID purposes, so it’s easier to replace if it does go missing.
  • If your passport does get lost, stolen or damaged while you are away, you’ll need an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) to get back, issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It’s important to remember that an ETD does not guarantee you entry to every country and will cost you time and money.
  • Make sure you’ve got the correct visa for the country you are visiting and allow plenty of time to research and prepare. Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Know Before You Go page to read up on country specific travel advice, information and entry requirements.

Problem 5: You’re way too broke

  • Solve it: Budgeting is an essential part of your trip and needs to allow for everything from food and accommodation to transport and day trips. It’s useful to have a mix of cash and cards on you and to keep these separately, so if one set should be lost or stolen you still have funds available elsewhere.
  • Include an additional budget for an emergency fund and keep this separate from any other cash just in case. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office cannot pay any bills, provide you with cash or make travel arrangements for you if you run out of money while away, so it’s important to have arrangements in place should something go wrong.

Visit the FCO KBYG page for more advice and information. You should also read up on what the local British Consulate can and cannot do to help you if you run into problems abroad.

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