Travelling in Europe Safely
This short guide will help you to stay safe and legal while travelling in Europe. Let's just say, the key to safe travel is in the preparations.
Before you book your trip, you should inform yourself about the following:
Current conditions and risks in the country:
- Choose another destination if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against a visit to your planned country or region.
- Read the current report on the respective country on the Government travel advice page.
Travel insurance and costs
- Inform yourself about necessary travel insurance and costs before you book your holiday. If you have a pre-existing health condition, you might not get travel insurance for the country you'd like to visit.
Laws and cultural differences
- Inform yourself about cultural differences, customs and traditions. If you don't want to adjust to other customs, you might enjoy yourself more in another destination.
- Also read about differences in law. In Greece, for example, you are not allowed to wear heels on certain archeological sites and in Spain, Germany and France, you are not allowed to wear flip-flops while driving.
- Remember the emergency number 112 and also save it on your phone.
Apply for a European Health Insurance Card and remember to take it with you.
Take the number of the British Consulate or Embassy with you, on a piece of paper as well as saved on your phone.
Learn about the health care system of the country you are visiting.
Copy all your travel documents and email it to yourself or upload the file to a save cloud server. In case something gets
lost, you still have copies of your documents:
- Credit card
- Insurance documents
- Driving licence
- European Health Insurance Card
- Plane tickets and hotel reservations
Consider downloading a travel safety app.
- If you are traveling alone or do backcountry hiking, you might want to consider a GPS tracker app such as StaySafe. If you don't check in safely after an agreed event, it sends your exact location to your emergency contact.
- Other apps provide you with emergency information, embassy information and options to contact friends and family.
- Especially if you have allergies or a medical condition, an app making this information accessible might be important. There are apps which store details about your medical condition and your doctor's contact details. Some apps can be accessed even if your phone is locked, which is important if you have been involved in an accident and are unconscious or unable to speak.
During your stay
- Let someone know of your current travel plans and contact them at agreed times or when you've arrived safely at agreed places. Also give them your travel details, such as accommodation and train or plane information.
- Ask locals, e.g. your hotel staff, which areas you should avoid.
- If you find yourself lost in a dodgy area, behave as if you know exactly where you're going. Try to find an official building, a pharmacy or a hotel and ask for help.
- In general, don't tell people where you're staying and if you think you're being followed, don't walk to your hotel. Ask an official for help or go to another hotel and ask for help.
- Only use registered taxis and ask for the approximate rate before getting into the car.
- If you need medical attention, you might be expected to pay for minor claims upfront. Inform your insurance company, keep your receipts and claim it ones you are back in the UK.
If you've been involved in an accident, don't admit fault. Read our guide 'What to do if you are involved in an accident abroad'.
If you've been injured abroad due to someone else's negligence, contact us for free legal advice from our expert solicitors.
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