Travel Safety Information
The following advice on security and laws and customs can help you stay out of trouble while you are abroad.
- Be security conscious and take sensible precautions
- Be alert to unattended baggage in public places
- Look out for people acting suspiciously near ‘Western’ institutions or gatherings
- Avoid political and other demonstrations or gatherings
- Check cars and other vehicles thoroughly for explosive devices before use; especially if the vehicle has been left unguarded for any time
- Vary your route if making regular journeys
- Avoid unlit streets at night
- Carry only the minimum amount of cash that you need for the day
- Leave your valuables and spare cash in the hotel safe or other secure place
- Do not flaunt your (relative) wealth
- Never resist violent theft
- Check your guidebook, with your hotel or tour guide for warnings on local scams
- Keep abreast of the local and regional political scene in the media
- Obey the law
Find out about local laws and customs.
Remember that the laws and procedures which apply are those of the country you are in, not the UK’s.
Do not overstay your visa. You can extend your visa in most places; if you do not you can be imprisoned or fined.
Do not work illegally. You can be deported, fined and imprisoned if you do. You may also be prevented from entering the country again in the future.
Hobbies that involve the use of cameras and binoculars (like bird watching and train or plane spotting) 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.
DO NOT get involved with drugs
Obey local laws. Penalties are often severe and include massive fines and long prison sentences in grim conditions. You can receive the death penalty in some countries. We cannot get you out.
NEVER carry packages through Customs for other people.
Do not sit in anyone else's vehicle when going through Customs or crossing a border – always get out and walk.
Always pack your own baggage and never leave it unattended.
If driving do not lend your vehicle to anyone else.
Do not give medicines prescribed for you by a doctor to people you meet on your travels.
Be aware of the local laws and attitudes to alcohol.
Do not try to import alcohol into a country where it is prohibited - penalties can be severe.
Public drunkenness is frowned on wherever you are.
DO NOT drink and drive.
Make sure you know the driving laws, licence requirements and driving conditions specific to the country you are visiting.
Make sure your UK driving licence is current and valid. Some countries require you to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) with your UK licence.
If you are staying for an extended period of time or for any reason other than tourism check what the driving licence requirements are.
Be aware that in many countries there are on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. Exceptions are not made for foreigners.
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 near the area – remember family and friends will not know exactly where you are but they will worry if they think you are in potential danger.