Travellers warned to do their homework before exploring new destinations

19 Apr, 2016

Comparison website GoCompare is urging travellers heading to unfamiliar destinations to plan ahead and make sure they know the laws of and have the required travel documents and inoculations for the country they are visiting.

Intrepid travellers are also warned not to assume that all hotels, retailers and ATMs in the country they are visiting will accept international credit cards or travellers’ cheques.

The warning comes as ABTA’s 2016 Travel Trends report shows that 18% of British holidaymakers are planning to travel to a country they’ve never been to before.  The report, which was compiled in association with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, identified 12 destinations that are expected to capture the public’s imagination in 2016 including; Abu Dhabi, China, Hawaii, Iran, Peru and Sri Lanka.*

Alex Edwards from Travel Insurance commented, “Travelling to far-flung, exotic places is becoming easier and more accessible thanks to low cost air operators and the availability of more direct flights.  But, the culture, laws and criminal justice systems of some of the destinations highlighted by ABTA’s report are very different to the UK.  So, it is crucial tourists understand and respect the local traditions, customs, laws of the country they are visiting to ensure they don’t cause offence or act illegally.  Otherwise, the penalties can be severe.

“Travel insurance, which covers medical expenses, lost baggage and documents, cancellation and delays is also a must for any trip abroad.  But, insurers will expect you to take care of yourself and your possessions and, not behave recklessly or illegally.  So, for example, if you’re heading to an area which has life-threatening infectious diseases you need to make sure you have the right vaccinations.  Otherwise, if you fall ill with a disease for which you haven’t been vaccinated against or taken the required medicine – your insurance may not cover your medical treatment.”

Alex Edwards continued, “Money is another important consideration.  Some countries like China, are mainly cash economies with limited use of ATMs and credit cards.  Not all shops, restaurants and hotels in Peru accept international credit cards or travellers’ cheques and, in Sri Lanka travellers’ cheques aren’t normally accepted.”

“While most travel policies include cover for money, cover limits, excesses and exclusions vary considerably.  So, if you need to travel with a large amount of cash, you need to make sure you buy a travel policy which has the appropriate cover.”