To help you have a great time, we have put together this information to highlight certain areas where we recommend you take extra care and consider how best to look after yourself and your family.
Please take a few minutes to read our top tips for your safety on holiday.
Different countries have different fire regulations and procedures. When you first arrive in your accommodation we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the escape routes and locate the nearest fire exit to your room. We suggest that you study the instruction notice in your room and identify the method of raising the alarm on discovering a fire. If you discover a fire, evacuate the area immediately closing all doors behind you and raise the alarm. Do not stop to collect your personal belongings. To minimize the risk of fire we ask you to take care to extinguish all cigarettes and cigars and avoid smoking in bed.
Take care not to leave anything heating on any kitchen hob unsupervised, particularly pans containing oil or fat. Avoid leaving any flammable items such as shopping or tea towels on the hob area of a cooker. Turn off all electrical appliances when not in use.
If you are traveling with young children in your party, please make sure that they are not left unsupervised on the balcony area. We advise you to keep all balcony furniture away from the railings or balcony wall. Adults and children should remember not to lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall or railings. The majority of hotels and apartments overseas are not required to install toughened glass in their windows and balcony patio doors. It is recommended that extra care is taken around these areas, particularly in bright sunlight, as it often may not be obvious whether the window or door is open or closed.
Encourage children not to run to and from the balcony.
We ask you to take care in the bathroom as condensation and water spray can make surfaces slippery and bath or floor mats are rarely provided. Please also familiarise yourself with the taps and fittings as the control and type may differ from that of the UK. Take extra care with hot water and ensure mixer taps are set at a suitable temperature for use.
Please exercise caution when using electrical appliances. You should avoid using mains electrical appliances when near water, when physically wet, or when standing on wet surfaces. Children should be closely supervised when using electrical appliances. If you have brought electrical appliances with you from the UK, we recommend that you use an adapter suitable to the local voltage. If electrical cooking facilities are provided in your room or apartment, please ensure that these are turned off when not in use.
Children should always be accompanied when using any type of lift. Occasionally you may find that the lift in your accommodation is not fitted with internal doors. This means that the lift shaft wall is visible when the lift is in motion. Please take care when using this type of lift and stand well back from the exposed wall. Also 'Do Not Smoke' in the lift & 'Do Not Use in Case of Fire'.
In some resorts, you need to take prevention against biting insects such as mosquitoes. Please cover up arms and legs at dusk and dawn when insects are at their most prevalent and use as a minimum 50% DEET based repellent, which is recommended as the most effective on exposed areas of skin. Repellents should be re-applied at regular intervals especially in hot/humid conditions.
For America, Asia and some parts of Southern Europe it is also advised to use insect repellents during the day, these can be purchased either as a combined sunscreen and repellent or the repellent applied on top of sunscreen. Additional advice can be found on NHS fitfortravel website.
Children’s curiosity and excitement about their new surroundings will mean that they are not aware of hazards which are obvious to adults. Please supervise your children at all times and be extra vigilant about watching your children, particularly when they are on a balcony, using lifts, or, in or around the pool area, on the beach or at playgrounds.
Food and drink is an enjoyable part of the holiday experience, but please remember that moderation is the key, particularly at the beginning of your holiday when the local cuisine may be unfamiliar to you. The tap water in many overseas destinations has a higher mineral content than we are used to in the UK, which can lead to stomach upsets. We recommend that you always drink bottled water and ensure the seal is intact. Where possible avoid ice in drinks. If going off-site to eat, we recommend you check that your food has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot when served. Be careful with salads and seafood.
Escaping the British weather is always an exciting prospect. To help prevent sunstroke and sunburn, we would recommend you build up the amount of time you spend in the sun gradually, avoiding the hottest part of the day. Apply high factor sunscreen and re-apply this frequently, particularly after swimming. Never expose babies to the sun and always take extra care with children. Use water-resistant sun-block on children. Please drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and if you show any signs of burning, you should get out of the sun immediately.
When out and about in resort please be aware of what is going on around you and keep away from situations where you do not feel comfortable. Drugs and alcohol can lead to you being less alert, less in control and less aware of your environment. If part of a group look out for one another and consider carefully whether you should leave a pub, club or event with someone you have just met.
Please don’t accept drinks from strangers and avoid sharing or exchanging them. Try to keep your drink with you at all times or ask someone to watch it if you leave your group or go to the toilet. We advise you to have nothing to do with drugs. Possession of even small amounts for personal use may result in severe penalties, including the death sentence in some countries.
When on the beach familiarise yourself with the beach area and be aware of heavy surf or undercurrents. It is recommended that you swim where there are other people, preferably where lifeguards are present. Take advice given locally and obey any flag system or warning signs. We recommend that you do not swim after dark, after drinking alcohol or immediately after eating. Children should always be closely supervised, even when a lifeguard is present. Investigate how a beach shelves before allowing children or less confident swimmers to enter the water. Take extreme care when boats and jet skis are in the area. Follow any zoning scheme designed to separate water craft and swimmers.
The vast majority of swimming pools overseas do not have lifeguards. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the design and layout of the pool prior to use, taking into account any depth changes or unusual features.
To make your time around the pool a “Safe and Healthy” one, we would like to share the following tips:
- Many pool accidents happen when children are exploring, often soon after arrival. Please make sure you know who is supervising your children at all times.
- Please observe the pool rules displayed on notices around the pool area.
- Most swimming pools in your accommodation will not be suitable for diving.
- Please observe any ”no diving” signs and never dive from the deck side into water less than 1.5m deep.
- Do not dive from any raised features around the pool (such as rocks or bridges).
- In the event of an emergency, know how to summon help.
- Do not swim immediately after eating a meal.
- Avoid swimming after drinking alcohol.
- When using sun loungers around the pool area, please ensure that they are set up properly before use.
- Observe pool opening hours and do not use the pool after dark.
- Do not use the pool if you are suffering from an upset stomach or feeling unwell.
- Remember – even when a lifeguard is present they are not a substitute for parental supervision.
- Please take a shower before entering the pool.
- Ensure children use the toilet before using the pool. In the event of a faecal accident in or around the pool, please report this immediately.
- Young children and babies should wear appropriate swim wear (i.e. pool nappies).
When walking around resort, please take care, as pavements may not be of the standard you are used to in the UK. The rules of the road overseas also differ and pedestrian crossings do not always oblige drivers to stop for pedestrians. Try and avoid walking around dimly lit areas. We would always recommend that you take a resort map (usually available at the accommodation reception) if you are not familiar with your resort. We recommend that you do not carry your valuable belongings around with you (passports, large quantities of money etc.) and store things in your room safe. Remember to familiarise yourself with the direction of traffic.
- Follow safety information given by your driver or guide.
- Not all foreign coaches will be equipped with seatbelts.
- American Law does not require seat belts on Tour Coaches.
- Never leave your luggage in the aisle.
- Always remain seated until the coach has stopped.
This is a great way to explore your holiday resort. We advise that you familiarise yourself with the rules of the road in your chosen destination and obey speed limits. We advise against moped and motorbike hire. If you do hire such vehicles or quad bikes, etc., please wear a crash helmet and ensure that you are confident in relation to the safe operation of the vehicle. We advise against the hire of open top or self drive off road excursion vehicles. Taxi/Minicab It pays not to accept lifts in unlicensed taxis or from a stranger; it is always safer to share a taxi with a friend or someone you trust. If you do travel alone, sit in the back and avoid giving the driver any personal details.
There are legal requirements for driving in France. On a self-drive holiday please ensure you have the following:
- Headlight adjusters are required to divert the glare of your headlights from oncoming vehicles onto the curb.
- Check that you have the relevant car insurance and sufficient motor breakdown for driving in France.
- First Aid Kit required when driving in France.
- Warning Triangle required when driving in France.
- Reflective vest required to be carried in your vehicle in order that it can be worn when exiting a vehicle after breakdown etc.
- Spare set of bulbs required when driving in France.
- Breathalyser Testing Kits: One unused, certified breathalyser must be produced showing the French certification mark NF. Carrying two single-use breathalysers will ensure that if is one is damaged or used the car will still have a spare to produce. Single use breathalysers normally have a validity of twelve months and the police will check that the breathalyser is in date. [as of 1st July 2012].
- Forbidden Speed Detectors: From 3rd January 2012 the French Law prohibits drivers from carrying device capable of detecting speed cameras and has been extended to include devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras such as satnav or GPS systems.
We act as agents on excursions and activities with independent suppliers overseas and we endeavor to promote appropriate safety standards. If you choose to organise independent excursions, please check that your travel insurance, the operators’ insurance and safety standards provided are satisfactory.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice The risk of avian and pandemic influenza to British nationals visiting countries affected by avian flu is believed to be very low. The following precautions are recommended:
- Avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you might come in to contact with wild, domestic or caged birds.
- Avoid surfaces contaminated with animal faeces or fluids.
- Avoid eating or handling poultry, egg or duck dishes if they are undercooked or raw.
- Wash hands regularly.
- Do not attempt to bring any live poultry products back to the UK.
Should you have any gas appliances within your accommodation we advise that you always check that they are turned off when not in use. Never use gas cookers as a form of room heating and always follow the operating instructions provided. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced by faulty gas appliances or appliances located in rooms that are poorly ventilated. CO is a toxic, colourless, odourless, tasteless gas. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, tiredness and headaches. If you suffer from these whilst indoors, but feel better outside seek medical attention. Indications of a faulty appliance include black marks or stains, lazy orange flames instead of crisp blue ones and excessive condensation in the room. If you have concerns speak to reception, tell your representative (or call the 24 hour service line). CO detectors are extremely rare in overseas accommodation.
The risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis is not confined to just air passengers. Research now suggests that DVT could be just as likely to affect anyone seated in a confined space for a prolonged period, although there is very little hard evidence linking DVT to Coach travel.
For anyone seated in the same position for an extended time, veins in the feet and legs can become constricted. This in turn can lead to the formation of blood clots in the leg, or DVT. Below are some sensible and precautionary measures we would recommend to you.
- Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
- Sit so that your legs are as un-constricted as possible.
- Don’t cross your legs for long periods as this position can reduce blood flow in the legs.
- While seated, massage feet, ankles, lower legs and knees.
- Exercise calf muscles by clenching your toes to stimulate blood circulation.
- Do seat exercises such as ankle rolls and toe pointing.
- Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills before and during the journey.
Some of our destinations are in parts of the world where Hurricanes, Typhoons or Cyclones occur. These are intense storms with winds exceeding 75mph and can be accompanied by heavy rain and high seas. All hotels and local areas will have plans in place but we will also communicate with you when we are advised of an impending storm.
- Alert: Intense storm in the general vicinity but could still be several hundred miles away, however, predictions are it may come closer to your resort. We will keep you advised of its track.
- Watch: Announced when an intense storm is 36 hours away but heading towards your resort. This still means it may not be imminent as it could yet change direction. At this point you will be advised to remain within the hotel grounds and follow any instructions given to you by the hotel management or representative.
- Warning: An intense storm is expected to strike your resort within 24hrs, it is imperative you follow instructions given to you by your hotel management or representative.
- Secure all your valuables, passports and documentation in safety deposit. Pack a bag with essential items e.g.: medication, glasses, toiletries, towel and change of clothing. Pack any baby food or nappies if traveling with small children. For your safety alcohol will not be served during this time. You will be advised of the safest place to go. Stay away from any glass windows or doors.
- Do not attempt to go outside even when the storm appears to have passed as this could simply be the calm eye of the storm before the winds return with even greater force in the opposite direction. You will be advised when it is safe to leave.