British nationals take millions of trips overseas every
year, many of which pass without any kind of incident. Also, many British people
enjoy living overseas. However, it is important to remember that outside the UK:
- you are less likely to be familiar with local conditions
- you may be more exposed to a variety of threats such
as crime; and
- support which you could freely get in the UK may not
be available or may be very expensive.
So, to stay safe and secure abroad, and to be prepared
in case things go wrong, it is important to take a few simple precautions before
you go and while you are there. These should include the following:
Before you go
Check the Foreign Office information services to help
you make informed decisions about your safety abroad. This includes information
on threats to personal safety arising from political unrest, conflicts, terrorist
activities, anti-British demonstrations, lawlessness, violence, natural disasters,
epidemics, and aircraft and shipping safety.
Always make sure that you have full travel insurance.
Anyone travelling within the European Economic Area (see note 2) or Switzerland
should also get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you
to some reduced or free emergency care – but you will still need travel insurance.
You can apply for an EHIC on-line at www.ehic.org.uk or www.dh.gov.uk/travellers,
by phone on 0845 606 2030 or at post offices. If you are going to live abroad, find
out whether the UK has a social security agreement with the country where you plan
to live and what services are covered.
Make sure your insurance is up to date, valid for the
entire trip and covers everyone who is travelling. Check exactly what is covered,
for example, cover for all the activities you want to do, including any dangerous
sports, all your luggage and equipment, personal injury as a result of terrorist
activity, and legal costs. You should also look carefully at exemptions to the insurance
policy, including any relating to pre-existing medical conditions, or alcohol and
drugs. Be sure to tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions you
may have, including any psychiatric illness. The policy may not be valid if you
fail to do this, resulting in you or your family and friends having to pay for any
Make sure that all your vaccinations are up to date and
find out about any other suggested medical advice by visiting your health-care provider.
Follow this advice and be aware of possible health risks during your trip. Websites
such as www.dh.gov.uk/travellers are also a useful source of information. You should
keep your medication in its original packaging and take any prescription documents
with you. Check with the nearest embassy of the country you are going to (which
may be based in London or another European city) that your medication will be legal
in that country and find out whether you will need to take a doctor’s letter with
you. For longer trips, visit your dentist and optician before travelling.
Fill in the contact details at the back of your passport
for your next-of-kin or someone who can be contacted in an emergency. Apart from
your passport, take another form of identification with you (preferably one with
a photograph, such as a driving licence).
Remember to store the CallUma phone number in your mobile
phone as well as on a separate piece of paper in case of the loss of your phone.
Ensure you can remember your CallUma pin number.
Make sure you are aware of the immigration and customs
controls of the country you are travelling to, including any necessary visas. You
should note that for many countries your passport needs to be valid for at least
six months after the date you travel. In the UK , you can get on-line information
on how to get a passport from the Identity and Passport Service (www.passport.gov.uk)
or by calling 0870 521 0410. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the
correct visa for your stay in another country.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to
be back. Leave an itinerary and details of where you might be able to be contacted
during your time abroad. You should also make two copies of your passport (including
pages with relevant visas), insurance details and any other important travel documents.
Leave one copy at home with a family member or a reliable friend and take one copy
with you, packed separately from your passport. You can also store an electronic
copy in the CallUma document safe so that you can easily view / print it from any
location with internet access.
Take enough money for your trip and some back-up funds,
such as traveller’s cheques, some cash (sterling or US dollars) or credit cards.
Before you leave, check that your cards are valid, and find out how you can replace
them and your traveller’s cheques if they are lost or stolen. Keep a separate note
of their numbers and of the number you would need to ring to stop any credit cards
if they are lost or stolen. You can also store an electronic copy in the CallUma
document safe so that you can easily view/print it from any location with internet
If you are planning to drive, make sure your UK driving
licence is current and valid. Make sure you know the driving laws, licence requirements
and driving conditions in the country you are visiting. In some countries you will
need to have an international driving permit as well as your UK licence. Never drink
and drive. Be aware that in many countries there are on-the-spot fines for traffic
offences. In many countries you are required to have a yellow jacket. Ensure your
hire has a yellow jacket with it.
We at CallUma wish you happy and safe travelling at all
However, if you do need help abroad CallUma.