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Tips for travellers to be safe and considerate on their holidays.
Whilst many of you will be holidaying with your friends this summer, it’s important to get some ground rules down, no matter how excited you are! Whether it be your first holiday away from your parents, or maybe your fifth holiday abroad with the group, there is no cost on the wellbeing and safety of you and your pals. Here are some tips to make the holiday as smooth sailing as possible this summer…
1. Location, location, location
The first hurdle to cross is the question of where to go. It’s important you chose a destination that’s suitable for what you and your friends plan on doing. If you are after a party holiday… is the local nightlife safe? Is it culturally acceptable to drink and are you old enough? The drinking ages vary from place to place, and so cultural customs can vary regionally. Likewise, if you are planning to camp, many countries in Europe have strict laws banning wild camping. Make sure you have sussed out the do’s and don’ts for each destination as you weigh up location choices.
2. Don’t abandon the group
One of the most important rules is staying as a group, especially in unknown territory. The worst-case scenario for any kind of group holiday would be to lose someone along the way. In the unfortunate scenario where you may split up, always have a meeting point arranged. These should be somewhere safe and close by, for example, a tourist information point or your accommodation. A useful tip my friends and I use often is finding a meeting point by a public phone!
3. Keep tabs on your alcohol intake
As already mentioned, many group holidays involve a bit of partying and there’s nothing wrong with that, just do it safely! It’s great to celebrate with people you know and trust, especially if you’ve finally finished those exams or graduated. However, one of the most common triggers of trouble abroad is alcohol, and there have unfortunately been deaths of young people as a result. It’s therefore vital you all look out for each other.
4. Tech is your best friend
Travelling has been revolutionised by the smartphone, but we can’t forget the primary use of our phones! We can rely on them for communication between friends. Creating messenger group chats can help to share booking confirmations and addresses of accommodation so everyone has a digital copy. Furthermore, in the case of a friend getting lost, app features such as snap maps and find my friends can help locate your feral friend! Make sure you have sorted your phone plan so it works abroad and ensure that your tech is covered with an adequate travel insurance plan!
5. Don’t scrimp on the details
Lastly, it is crucial that your loved ones back home know all the details of your holiday, including but not limited to accommodation plans and addresses, any excursions planned and flight details. If you are under 18 when travelling, be expected to be questioned at customs about the whereabouts of your legal guardians. You may even need a letter of consent. Double-check at the FCO’s webpage.
All that’s left to say is look after your friends and have a great holiday!