Know if you’re good to go

If recent years have taught us anything, it’s that the world can change at short notice – and disrupt our travel plans when it does. Without some checks upfront, it’s easy to get caught out. Before you take a trip, make sure the destinations you’ll be visiting are safe.

  • Consult travel advice from trusted authorities
  • Check for health issues and any vaccinations you’ll need
  • Research local conditions and political stability
  • Know what to expect from the weather
  • Check the risk of, or fallout from, natural disasters

Taking precautions can help you stay safe and have a better trip. It may also avoid you travelling against official advice only to find your travel insurance doesn't cover the trip.

Trusted travel advice

Before you pack your bags, make sure you check reliable sources for the latest travel guidance.

In the UK, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) helps guide travellers on safe destinations and the potential risks when visiting different places.

Its website provides up to date details for all countries and territories around the world, including entry requirements, local restrictions, cultural considerations and any safety concerns.

Other credible bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) also offer valuable information for a safe, smooth trip or to highlight causes for caution or reasons not to travel.

Alerts and advisories

The FCDO assesses the risk level of each destination and issues travel alerts or advice accordingly. It may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to a particular location in certain circumstances.

  • Terrorism: Ongoing or increased threats of terrorism can result in travel advisories. You’ll want to know upfront if they impact your planned destinations
  • Civil unrest: Political instability and civil unrest can create an unsafe environment for travellers. Monitoring the FCDO's updates and other official guidance is crucial
  • Natural catastrophes: Events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes can also disrupt travel plans and pose serious risks to travellers' safety
  • Health risks: Disease outbreaks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, can lead to travel restrictions to prevent the spread of infection

Check the latest FCDO travel advice

Why is the FCDO advice important?

It might be tempting to ignore official travel advice from bodies like the FCDO and head to your destination regardless. But doing so could have severe implications for your travel insurance cover.

Many insurance policies explicitly state that claims arising from trips taken to destinations to which the FCDO advises against “all” travel won’t be covered. It’s the same with our policies here at Post Office.

If you make the trip anyway and have problems, such as a medical emergency or cancelled flight, you’re unlikely to be able to call on your insurance for support.

Key takeaways

  • Events in different destinations around the world can impact travel plans
  • The FCDO provides up to date advice on travel to all countries and territories
  • It may issue advice against travel or all but essential travel to a destination
  • Travelling against this advice may invalidate your travel insurance
  • Check the advice for your destination regularly