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Health and Safety

Hopefully when you move abroad you will have a trouble free time, however it’s important that you are prepared for every eventuality. Carry out as much research as you can before you plan to go.

Some countries are dangerous places to travel to because of political or environmental issues and it is important you make sure the country you want to go to is safe to travel in. You can check this with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s directory: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


  • You should visit you doctor at least two months before travelling to ensure that you are vaccinated against diseases. There may be a charge for some vaccinations
  • If you are going to a country where you could get malaria you will have to start the tablets at least a week before you go
  • You might not like the idea of having injections, but it's a lot better than some of the diseases you might catch if you don't have them
  • You should also take out insurance when you go away. More information about this can be found in the Insurance section
  • The E111 form no longer covers you to get cheaper healthcare in Europe. You now need to get the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which you can apply for at your local post office or online
  • It is a good idea to pack a small first aid box with basics such as painkillers, plasters and bandages, insect repellent and water purification tablets
  • There are simple precautions you can take when you are travelling, like only drinking bottled water, and making sure your food is properly cooked before you eat it
  • Make sure you don't get dehydrated, and take plenty of sun cream to protect yourself from sunburn
  • If you are thinking of having sex while you are holiday, take some condoms with you and make sure they have the British Kite mark on them which will protect you from most STIs


  • Before you go to any country, you should find out a bit about the laws and customs of that country
  • Certain dress codes apply in some countries, especially for women. Very often, if you follow the example of local people you will not offend anyone, and also feel much safer
  • You may be able to drink alcohol when you are 18 in Britain, but in the USA you have to be 21, and in some countries you are not allowed to drink alcohol at all
  • There are severe penalties if you are caught with drugs abroad. In some countries the punishment for handling drugs is death
  • You should always make sure you pack your own bags when you go away, and never agree to take any item given to you by another person, however well you know them
  • Many people travel alone without problems, but if you are going by yourself it is vital that you keep in regular contact with a friend or member of your family so they know you are safe
  • There are a few things you can do to ensure you are safe. Plan your flights so that you arrive during daylight, and have your first night of accommodation booked so that you are not wandering alone at night
  • Ask people at the hotel if there are any areas that should be avoided, and leave an area at once if you feel uncomfortable
  • If you are travelling on a budget and are not sure how secure your bags will be, it is a good idea to take a padlock and chain. You can also use it if you are worried a hotel door doesn't lock properly
  • It is a good idea to e-mail yourself with important details such as your passport number, policy details for your insurance, numbers of the British Embassy or Consulate and numbers to ring in case your cash cards are lost or stolen. That way you will still have the information even if you loose everything else

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