When we put our minds to it and have a long hard think, most of us can plan and organise a trip abroad pretty well, can't we? Passports, tickets, luggage/customs requirements, insurance, travel money, health provisions, all those sorts of things. But let's be honest, how often do we really put our minds to things and have long hard thinks about things...?! It's pretty easy to forget stuff. And if you're making a first trip overseas or are just a fairly disorganised type of person, you run the risk of coming unstuck when you're away.
That's why the good ol' government have stepped in and come up with a brand new travel guide for anyone and everyone planning a trip abroad. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (or 'FCO' for short) have unveiled their new information pack which aims to help out travellers by running them through exactly what steps they need to take before they leave for the airport (or train station or ferry port).
App-ens to be pretty useful...
The new 72-page guide is available entirely free and can be obtained from the Foreign Office as a printed guide, as an online document or as an iPhone, iPad or Android app. The app has a few added features such as a nifty 'Holiday Countdown' function and a handy 'Useful Contacts' section which you just browse and tap and you're calling through to them (people such as local High Commissions, Embassies and Consulates). You can also get access to all the latest travel news and create and update your own notes and checklists.
Khalida Cox. a spokesperson from the 'Know Before You Go' Team at the Foreign Office said:
"Now that exam results are out and people start considering a gap year, preparation can be daunting for young people and their parents - particularly if it is a trip away without family for the first time. Plan.Pack.Explore help travellers understand exactly what they need to do before they go away and provides essential information for parents in the run up to the big trip. The guide will also be invaluable for those who book last minute travel and need essential travel preparation advice quickly."
"Gap years should be all about having fun, exploring the world and hopefully enhancing your CV but if you are prepared before you go away, things can go horribly wrong. Statistics show that over the last six months, one in four of 16-24 year-olds travelled without insurance and only a quarter made health related preparations before going overseas. This leaves them at risk of facing really high bills for medical care or repatriation."
We've had a browse through the online version and we have to say - it's a top little guide. Straight to the point, easily understandable and extremely useful (just like our blogs, eh?!). Well done, FCO!
What do you think of the new scheme? Useful? Is there anything else you'd like to have seen included in it?