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 Know Before You Go is a travel awareness campaign that has been put together by the Foreign and Commonwealth office to help and advise Brits on staying safe when travelling abroad. Know Before You Go has been designed to offer information and advice on important factors that can often be overlooked before travelling overseas. With cruise holidays you can now travel to to every corner of the globe and to amazing new destinations and cultures.

FCO logo

The travel awareness campaign features several key points for British travellers and holiday makers to consider before heading overseas, along with some useful information on destinations. The travel advice section on the Know Before You Go is a great resource of information on different countries including advise on local laws, customs and entry requirements (visas, passport validity etc). The campaign also strongly advises on getting adequate travel insurance, taking copies of your travel documentation, leaving emergency contact details with someone in the UK, letting said person know where you intend to travel, and visiting your GP to gain advice on health and any possible inoculations or medication you may require.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office have also produced mini campaign's within the Know Before You Go that offer advice specifically for single travellers, single sex parties, package holiday makers, sports travellers and elderly & retired travellers. Cruise holidays are becoming increasingly popular within the UK and it is possible that you could be any one of the above groups when taking your next cruise.

The Travel Checklist

As part of the Know Before You Go campaign the FCO have produced a helpful travel checklist that is worth taking note of. The advice below is designed to help you organise your trip abroad and stay safe on your holiday.

Before you go:

  • Check the FCO travel advice page for the country you are visiting.
  • Find out where the nearest embassy will be.
  • Don't travel without insurance - make sure you are covered for any activities.
  • Don't forget your European Health Insurance Card when travelling within the EU, though you still need travel insurance.
  • Check with your doctor as soon as possible to find out if you need any vaccinations before you travel.
  • Make sure you have the correct visas for the country you are visiting and that you have a valid passport.
  • For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the travel date, check the country's entry requirements before you go.
  • Take copies of important documents and keep them separate from the originals when you travel or store them online on a secure website.
  • Make sure you fill out the emergency contact details in your passport.
  • Tell a friend or relative where you are travelling to and how long for, also give them an emergency contact number.
  • Take enough money for your trip and make sure you have access to back up funds.
  • Make sure your driving license is current and valid if planning to drive abroad, also make sure you are aware of the local driving laws.
  • Check the HM Revenue & Customs travel website for information on duty-free allowances and banned goods.

When you are away

  • Think about what you are doing at all times and don't take risks that you wouldn't at home.
  • Don't display valuables and consider locking your luggage.
  • Research local customs and dress code, act accordingly and obey local laws.
  • Consider taking your mobile with you whilst away and check with your service provider that your phone will work overseas.
  • Check if it is safe to drink local tap water, if not avoid salads, non peeling fruit and ice in drinks.
  • Respect the environment.
  • Check import regulations on food and plants before attempting to bring anything back to the UK.

Last but not least, have a safe, fun-filled holiday, safe in the knowledge you are fully prepared.

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"... I would just like to thank you for your caring, professional and friendly attention to my partner's anxiety regarding our Christmas cruise on Ventura. I won't bore you with the details...but you made one hell of a difference.. thank you x  ”

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(November 2016)

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