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Top 12 Tips for a Safe Holiday

You’ve booked your holiday, you’re all packed and ready to go.  More than anything, we want you to come back safe and sound, with nothing but fabulous memories.  So here are our top tips for having a safe – and happy – holiday. 

1. Ensure You’re Adequately Insured

Adequate travel insurance is absolutely essential for all members of your party – do not leave home without it.  If you already have travel insurance, check beforehand that the policy provides adequate cover for any activities that you intend to do. Click here for a quote from our partner Holiday Extras.  Do not undertake any activity that could result in invalidated travel insurance and unaffordable medical bills.

For European holidays, make sure that your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is up to date.  Be aware, though, that in the event of a no-deal Brexit then UK-registered EHIC cards will no longer be valid.


 

2. Cash and Valuables

Only take what is absolutely essential and keep cash and valuables safe at all times.  Make full use of the hotel or room safe.  Only take as much cash with you each day as you need, and split it over several pockets.  If you take more than one credit or debit card with you, again split them.  To misquote Oscar Wilde, to lose one card is unfortunate, but to lose all of them looks like carelessness.  We also recommend prepaid multi-currency schemes such as the Post Office Travel Money Card.  Don’t ‘look’ wealthy if you can help it – it could make you a target.  Upload those all-important holiday pictures to the Cloud on a regular basis (other online storage facilities are available!).

 

 

3. Hotel Safety

All members of your party should read the Fire Safety information on arrival, and familiarise themselves with the location of the nearest fire exit, together with the quickest route.  Check that any smoke detectors are in working order. 

Do not leave windows and doors open when you’re out, no matter how hot it is – opportunistic thieves cannot resist temptation.  Glass panels may not be toughened glass; they may also be hard to spot in bright sunlight.  Don’t forget to always use the non-slip mat in the bathroom.

Hotel pools and waterslides often don’t have a lifeguard.  Follow any ‘pool rules’.  Be cautious if you intend to dive in the pool.  Dry your ears well once you get out in order to avoid possible infections.

 

4. Balconies

In short, do not do anything on a balcony that compromises your safety.  Never leave young children unsupervised on a balcony, and keep balcony furniture away from the railings so that children cannot climb up.  There are all too frequent press reports of falls from balconies.  Alcohol is often a contributory factor so the lesson is simple – balconies and alcohol do not mix.

 

5. Food & Drink

Drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.  Ensure food is properly cooked.  Visit buffets early while the food is hot and freshly prepared, as food starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s out on the buffet.  And, at the risk of sounding like party-poopers, please drink in moderation.  Alcohol and hot sun are not good bedfellows.  Neither are alcohol and high altitudes, if you are off skiing.  And never leave your drink unattended.

 

6. Children

Make children aware of the possible dangers of their new home from home.  Never leave children unsupervised – especially in lifts, on the balcony, by the pool and on the beach.  Check that you are happy with any cots and highchairs.

 

7. On the Beach

Don’t overdo it – you’re there all week!  Take plenty of sun block with you and use it liberally, and likewise aftersun.  Take advantage of any shade to enjoy being outside but without over-exposing yourself to the harmful effects of the sun.  Build your tan up gradually through the week.

Many beaches do not have a lifeguard, so exercise caution accordingly at all times.  Obey all flag warnings, be watchful for dangerous currents (learn how to spot a riptide), beware of underwater hazards and only swim in designated areas.  Finally, a few ‘nevers’ - never swim alone, never swim at night, and never swim after drinking alcohol.

 

8. On the Piste

An active holiday such as a ski trip naturally involves more safety issues.  Click here for our guide to staying safe on the snow.

 

9. Taxis and Public Transport

Only use official, licensed taxis.  If they are not metered, agree a price beforehand.  Be vigilant on crowded buses, a prime feeding ground for pickpockets, who sometimes work in partnership with the bus drivers themselves.  Pickpockets also thrive on crowded trains, especially on city underground systems.

 

10. Mopeds & Quad Bikes

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) advise caution if you intend to hire a moped.  Safety standards overseas may not be as comprehensive as back home, not to mention the standards of roads and the driving capabilities of other road-users.  An accident may be painful both literally and figuratively as your travel insurance may be invalidated.  If you do hire a moped, please wear appropriate clothing, including, of course, a crash helmet.

ABTA further advises that quad bikes should only be ridden as part of an organised off-road excursion.

 

11. Be Vigilant and 12. Apply Common Sense

Especially on the first and last day of your holiday, the two most common days for an accident.  And especially in big cities, where a wrong turn out of your hotel could inadvertently find you in a less salubrious part of town.  If you do find yourself in an unappealing part of town, or see anything suspicious, trust your instincts and take appropriate action.

You’re on holiday so you’re relaxed, but still keep your wits about you.  Take the same amount of care and caution as you would do at home.  Accidents can and do happen, at home or on holiday, but the most frustrating accidents are those that, with the benefit of hindsight, could have been avoided had a little extra care been taken. 

 

Further Information

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has up-to-date advice on health and safety worldwide.  Please visit travelawarecampaign.gov.uk and gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest advice.

Have a fantastic and memorable holiday and, above all, come home safe and sound!  We can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • 7th December 2018
  • Gary Lloyd