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Travel assistance when abroad

People often ask what they should do if they get into difficulties abroad and who they should contact. Firstly, a  comprehensive travel insurance policy, backed up by 24 hour assistance helplines, is essential when going on holiday and is there to give you that ‘peace of mind’ in the event of, say, a medical emergency, airport delays or loss of personal belongings.  But sometimes, this is not enough and being the victim, for example, of an incident, such as a mugging or road traffic accident, you may require help at the time so who you do you then turn to in your hour of need. If you are on an organised holiday, then the tour operator is likely to have a resident representative at the resort but more people are now opting to be ‘independent travellers’ and when things do go wrong, you need to know what to do in an emergency.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London provides excellent advice for travellers and you are strongly advised to log on to their website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel before you go. Similar levels of advice to non-UK nationals can be obtained from their respective Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions though the FCO website is also a source of good general travel advice to anyone travelling abroad. For UK nationals travelling abroad, the FCO will do everything they properly can to help British people in difficulty. If you get into difficulty or trouble, you can contact British Consular Staff around the world who may be able to help. It’s always worth getting travel insurance cover and checking you have the address and telephone number of the local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate before you travel. Your rep/local guide, hotel/guesthouse or local police are likely to have this information. The UK consular operation covers most countries but not all and in these countries, you may be able to get help from the consulate of another EU member state. Also, Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada may provide certain consular services to British nationals in countries where the UK is unrepresented. This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specilaist in ethical travel insurance.

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