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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel
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Travelling Overseas

Security

  • Take sensible precautions: avoid unlit streets at night.
  • Only carry as much cash as you need when you go out.
  • It is normally safer not to resist violent theft.

    Obey the law

  • Laws vary from country to country; so does the treatment of offenders.
  • Remember, the laws and procedures which apply are those of the country you are in, not ours. So find out about local laws and customs and respect them.
  • Hobbies like bird watching and train spotting and the use of cameras and binoculars can be misunderstood (particularly near military sites). If you are not sure, don't do it - it is not worth the risk of being wrongly arrested for spying.

    Drugs

  • DO NOT get involved with drugs.
  • You could face massive fines, long prison sentences in grim conditions, or even the death penalty.
  • DO NOT carry parcels or drive vehicles across borders for other people.
  • If you are in someone else's vehicle DO NOT cross the border in it - get out and walk across the border, you do not know what might be in the vehicle

    Alcohol

  • There are strict laws about taking alcohol into some countries.
  • Many countries do not allow alcohol to be sold or to be drunk.
  • Be aware of local laws on alcohol.

    Driving

  • Be sure your licence is current and valid for the country you are visiting.
  • Make sure you know the rules of the road.
  • In many countries there are on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. Exceptions are not made for foreigners.

    Money

  • Carry only as much money as you need for the day.
  • If you have to carry a lot of money ask your partner or a friend to carry some for you.
  • Use a money belt or secure inside pocket.
  • Leave the rest in a hotel safe.

    Credit cards
    Don't carry all your cards with you - leave at least one in the hotel safe. If you lose or have your credit card stole cancel it by phoning the relevant emergency number.

    Tickets
    Keep your tickets in a safe place.

    Passports and visas
    Keep your passport in the hotel safe and carry a photocopy with you.

    If you have anything stolen
    If you money, passport or anything else is stolen abroad, report it at once to the local police and obtain a statement about the loss: you will need one to claim against your insurance.

  • Money - phone your bank at home about transferring money and cancelling credit cards.
  • Traveller's cheques - contact the issuing agent.
  • Tickets - see you tour rep or airline agent.

    If there is a natural disaster or trouble flares up

  • Contact your family and friends to let them know that you are safe and healthy.
  • Do this even if you are not that close to the problem - remember family and friends will not know exactly where you are but they will worry if they think you are in potential danger.

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