Passports & Visas/Health/Foreign Office Advice/Travel Insurance Passports & Visas/Health/Foreign Office Advice/Travel Insurance

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TRAVEL AWARE – STAYING SAFE AND HEALTHY ABROAD

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel. The advice can change so check regularly for updates.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also provides the following advice:

Before you depart:

  • Check your passport is valid, fill out the emergency details, look after it while travelling and keep it in a safe place. Make sure you have all necessary visas. 
  • You MUST take out appropriate travel insurance before travelling and make sure it covers you for all the activities you want to do.
  • If you are travelling within Europe, ensure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that hasn’t expired and understand what it covers - you still need full travel insurance though! For your free EHIC card visit www.nhs.uk/ehic.
  • Learn about the laws, customs and entry requirements of the country you’re visiting and understand how they differ from home, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • Make copies of important travel documents, take a picture or make copies and store them securely using a secure data storage site.
  • Research vaccinations or any other medical requirements for your destination, and if necessary visit a travel health clinic before you travel.
  • For medical advice visit travelhealthpro.org.uk.
  • Tell your friends or family about your travel plans and where you’re going and leave emergency contact details.
  • Take enough money with you and have access to emergency funds.
  • Ensure you take the contact details of the local British Consulate in case of emergencies - www.gov.uk/government/world/embassies.
  • Understand what consular staff can and can’t do to help British nationals travelling overseas, check www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide.
  • Act responsibly, and be responsible for yourself when abroad.
  • ABTA has provided useful information on how to stay safe while swimming on holiday, see ABTA's website. For further information on quad bike safety, please refer to ABTA’s advice.

Travel to the USA

Passports issued on or after October 26 2006 must include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitised photograph and other biometric information. If your passport was issued on or after this date and doesn’t have this information, you WILL require a visa.

ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization

It is mandatory for anyone travelling to or transferring through the US under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme. The cost of an ESTA is currently $14 per person (subject to change without notice) and can be obtained by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

Once completed and approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply. Travellers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US. An ESTA is only valid for stays of 90 days or less. Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.