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Travellers Checklist

Before you go overseas, check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice online at or contact the FCO on 020 7008 0232/0233 for essential travel advice and tips, and up to date country advice.

Get adequate travel insurance

  • make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover
  • make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year)
  • make sure it covers you for all activities, including hazardous sports
  • disclose pre-existing medical conditions
  • take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency number with you
  • if you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer

Ensure you have a valid passport and the necessary visas

  • make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months at return date
  • take a photocopy with you and leave a copy at home
  • write the full details of your next of kin in your passport
  • make sure you have valid visas
  • take another form of ID with you (preferably with a photograph)

 Plan to stay healthy

  • check what vaccinations you need with your GP at least six weeks before you travel
  • check the advice at or
  • check if your medication is legal in the country you are visiting
  • pack your medication in your hand luggage
  • if taking medication with you, also take the prescription and a GP’s letter
  • if travelling within the EEA (European Economic Area)1, get an E111 from the Post Office
    OR if you have received a European Health Insurance Card from the Department of Health, this should be taken with you when you travel as it supersedes the E111 form.
  • check to see if extra health precautions are needed for the country you are visiting (e.g. malaria zones)

 Know about where you are going

  • get a good guide book and look at the FCO country fact sheets
  • make sure you know about local laws especially relating to alcohol and drugs
  • make sure you know about local culture especially relating to dress codes
  • take a phrase book that you can use in emergencies – 1 Countries in the EEA (European Economic Area) are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK
  •  Make sure your travel agent is an ABTA member and, if flying, make sure your air ticket or holiday package is ATOL protected.
  • Plan ahead to avoid trouble
  • check the FCO up-to-date travel advice and travellers’ tips
  • tell friends and family where you are going
  • contact family and friends if trouble flares up

 Take enough money for your trip

  • check the validity, expiry dates and cash available on your credit or debit card(s)
  • make sure you have back-up funds such as travellers cheques, sterling or US dollars
  • have a return ticket, or enough money to buy one

Leave copies of important information with family and friends

  • a copy of your passport and details of your next of kin
  • a copy of your insurance document plus the 24-hour emergency number
  • a copy of your ticket details
  • a copy of your itinerary and a way of contacting you such as e-mail

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