5 Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling

You can have the trip of a lifetime at any age. Maybe that’s why more and more older adults are jetting across the world long into their retirement. But amid the excitement of foreign adventure, it’s important to stay safe. As travel insurers, we know all too well that holiday thrills can occasionally be accompanied by unexpected spills. Thankfully, remembering the basics really will help to make sure yours is the happy, hassle-free holiday it should be. Here are a few reminders.

Travelling in Europe? Remember your EHIC.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is the replacement of the E111. It entitles you to the same level of free European medical care as the residents of the country you are visiting receive. However, this does not mean any medical attention you require will necessarily be without cost. Not all European countries offer health care services that are completely free like the NHS. You can pick up an EHIC, or renew an expired card, for free at www.ehic.org.uk

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Travel insurance is an essential addition to the holiday checklist. And the most important part of any policy is the medical section. Medical costs can easily spiral into thousands of pounds, particularly if you need emergency treatment. Granted, no one likes to think of the unexpected when there’s a holiday to enjoy. But it’s essential to be prepared. A good travel insurance policy will also keep you financially protected against trip cancellation and curtailment, the loss of baggage or valuables and travel delay.

Travelling with a medical condition? Tell your insurer. 

Good medical cover is especially important if you’re travelling with a medical condition. And it’s essential to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your travel insurer before you purchase your policy. Did you know that failing to do so could invalidate your entire cover? Unfortunately, many insurers inflate their premiums for some conditions. They may even refuse to cover you if your condition is seen as ‘high risk’. But there are still insurers out there who will cover your condition for a fair price. Shop around!

Pay a visit to the FCO

You can get the latest travel advice and useful local tips on your destination by visiting the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. It will inform you of any local customs you need to be aware of and give you a basic grounding of the place you’re visiting. Is the water safe to drink? Are there any dangerous areas that you should avoid? Are there any vaccinations you need before jetting off? The FCO website will tell you.

Pack accordingly 

Check how the weather’s shaping up in your destination before you leave and pack accordingly. It sounds simple. But it’s amazing how many people forget the basics. So if you’re heading for the sun, remember sunglasses, sunblock, plenty of light, loose-fitting clothes and a hat that will give you protection from too much sun exposure. Visiting chillier climes? Then you’ll want plenty of warm clothes and a pair of good, sturdy, waterproof shoes.  Keep the basics in mind and you’ll be free to explore your holiday destination without putting yourself at any unnecessary risk. Pack your sense of adventure and go explore.

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