Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website for the latest foreign travel advice.
Free Spirit is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to help British nationals stay safe abroad. The FCO website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips and up to date country information to help you plan your holiday.
You can find FCO travel advice for specific countries at the FCO travel advice by country page. This includes areas of the world that may be risky to visit, the likelihood of terrorist activities and any health issues that you should watch out for.
The information is updated regularly, so by selecting the countries you plan to travel to, you can make sure you’re properly informed.
Top tips for travelling abroad
- Check the FCO travel abroad page for details of all aspects of travelling abroad.
- Don’t travel without travel insurance – ensure it covers you for any medical conditions/disabilities as well as any activities you are likely to undertake.
- Check with your GP if you need any vaccinations at least 6 weeks before you go – visit the Fit for Travel NHS website for more information.
- Apply for your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – more information below.
- Get a good guide book; make sure you know about local laws and customs.
- Take enough money for emergencies.
- Tell friends and family where you are going and leave them your contact details, where you are staying and your itinerary.
- Check the HM Revenue & Customs travel website for information on duty-free allowances and banned goods etc.
- If you are driving abroad, make sure you are aware of the local driving laws and requirements in the country you are visiting.
- Always keep an eye on the weather especially if travelling during hurricane season.
Important numbers to remember
- Make sure you take note of the emergency number of the country (ies) you are visiting. EU emergency services is 112.
- Your bank, debit and credit card customer services number and emergency cancellation number for use abroad.
- Free Spirit’s 24/7 Medical Emergency contact number – +44 (0) 203 829 6745 (have your policy number to hand).
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card, also known as EHIC, gives the holder rights to necessary healthcare whilst on holiday in the EEA (European Economic Area) countries and Switzerland.
Cards are registered to your individual person so each member of your family/group who are aged 16 and above will need to hold one.
If you have an accident or suddenly become ill you’ll receive the necessary state-provided medical healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes free.
The EHIC does not cover you for all medical costs, private treatment and repatriation home. You will still need appropriate travel insurance to ensure you are covered.
You can apply for an EHIC online or by calling 0300 330 1350.
Medicare – Australia
If you are travelling to Australia you can enroll in Medicare which will entitle you to subsidised hospital treatments and medicines. You can do this by contacting a local Medicare office in Australia. All claims for refunds under the Medicare scheme must be made before you leave Australia. For more information on Medicare: visit: www.medicareaustralia.gov.au or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Passports and Entry Requirements
You can find information on passport validity, visa information and entry requirements online at the FCO travel advice country page.
If you are unsure about anything, you can contact the relevant Foreign Embassy in the UK for more information on things such as criminal convictions, stamps from previous visits abroad which could affect travel to new countries and taking certain medicines into other countries.
See the list of Foreign Embassies in the UK for phone numbers and addresses.