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The Foreign Commonwealth Office

The FCO is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a part of the UK Government. The FCO provides the latest advice for travelling abroad. Real Gap Experience is an approved partner of the FCO.

The FCO website, www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice offers a lot of detailed information about destinations abroad and outlines any trouble hotspots in their section: Travel advice by country.

You should definitely visit this section of the FCO website for the latest information about your destination.

The FCO also has a section about people planning gap years which is well worth looking at.

In the event of a problem arising in one of the Real Gap Experience destinations, we will be in close touch with the FCO to ensure that we have the latest information, and we recommend that you check their website regularly.

Know Before You Go (KBYG) is a travel campaign launched by the FCO to ensure that British travellers keep safe and stay healthy abroad. The KBYG campaign works with nearly 500 travel industry partners in order to promote their key messages.

These key messages all revolve around advice to be taken to ensure that you’re prepared for any eventuality on your travels to maximise the chances of staying safe and healthy on holiday.

The key messages are:

  • Having a suitable travel insurance policy, and being aware of all the terms and small print involved.
  • Checking the FCO’s country travel advice for any destination you are planning on visiting.
  • Researching your destination; knowing the laws and customs of each country, knowing which are different to that of the UK, and being aware of what sort of behaviour may attract attention or get you into trouble.
  • Being aware of any health risks in your destinations, and getting immunised where applicable. Checking you have a valid passport and visa for the destination you are travelling to.
  • Taking copies of any relevant and important documents, or using online storage facilities to keep your copies safe.
  • Telling someone where you’re going, when you plan to be back and giving contact information.
  • Taking enough money on your travels, as well as having an emergency supply.