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Travel Planning Tips

  1. Check whether there are any a special occasions such as public holidays/local elections/political conferences/major sporting events in the destinations to which you are travelling.
    As well as affecting prices, hotel availability and traffic, security may be heightened and the likelihood of terrorist attacks can increase.

  2. Make three copies of your itinerary, passport and visa.  Pack one copy separately from the originals, leave one with your office and one with your emergency contact person. 
    Please note: many countries will require you to carry your passport/id at all times.  Having another copy in your luggage will help if your originals are lost/stolen/confiscated.

  3. Email any important documents to yourself - if you lose your memory stick or your laptop gets stolen, you can still access your email in the hotel Business Centre.

  4. Use hotels you know and trust. Reputable hotels are not just for comfort, they have higher security standards and good medical emergency procedures.

  5. 'Budget airlines' can be a false economy.  By the time you use the add-ons (luggage, meals etc.) the cost could end up the same as regular airlines.  You may not be able to change your flights at short notice and they may use a terminal a long way away from the main body of the airport. If your flight is cancelled or the airport closes due to adverse conditions, your flight may not be refundable or valid for an automatic transfer to another flight.

  6. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, pack an extra pair.  When carrying your own medications, take a copy of your prescription with you and the generic names for the drugs.  If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first. Keep medicines in their original, labelled containers. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. Take enough medication for the duration of your trip plus 7 days (for emergencies).

  7. Consider all eventualities for communication. Make sure the the mobile phone that you take is suitable for your destination and remember to take a battery charger and adapter. If you can, it's a good idea to get in to the habit of charging your mobile every day while you are away just in case of emergencies. The University may be able to provide you with a mobile phone and a laptop. Please contact INSRV for availability. Make sure that you store all the contact numbers that you will require while you are away. Numbers should include emergency contact numbers and contact details for the appropriate Embassy or Consulate. 

  8. Carry emergency contact details with you on your person at all times.It is also a good idea to keep any relevant medical information in your wallet (for example to identify if you have diabetes).

  9. If there is a change in your itinerary, inform someone in the University via a phone call or email.

  10. Be mindful of the culture you are travelling to. If possible, do some research beforehand and obtain a phrase book with the essential courtesies and phrases that may assist in the event of an emergency. 

  11. Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to check out anything else you need to know for visiting a specific country.

  12. Make sure you have durable, easily visible luggage tags on every item.

  13. To keep your travel money safe it is worth keeping some money separate. Many hotels will also have a locked safe in which you can keep additional currency and passports.

  14. If you have an ongoing medical condition that requires regular medication, take sufficient for your trip and enough for a few more days. Ensure that you take the original packaging and any other further details (such as a letter from your doctor for unusual conditions) that will help a healthcare professional identify the medication should the need arise. Don't forget to take medication that you may require on an irregular basis such as an asthma pump.

  15. Personal safety: take the same precautions that you would normally  with your personal safety: remain alert, be aware of your surroundings and carry what you need.

  16. Take a basic first aid kit. If you are travelling to certain destinations, you may wish to consider purchasing emergency dental kits that are available in many high street chemists. If you are travelling abroad for an extended period of time, a dental check up is recommended before you leave.

  17. Carry a copy of the University's insurance policy with you at all times.

  18. The NHS has an informative booklet 'Health Advice for Travellers' (T7.1)  that gives information about how to get medical treatment abroad and the services you can expect to receive from a number of EEA counties and other parts of the world that have reciprocal health care agreements with the UK. The document can be accessed at this website In addition The NHS website is a good place to start if you need advice on general healthcare abroad.

  19. If you are driving abroad ensure you have both parts of your licence with you  and check the driving laws of the country before you leave. You can find information on most EEA countries on the AA website. The RAC website also provides additional advice as to whether you may need and how to acquire an International Driving Permit (IDP).

  20. Airport Security: Remember that there are restrictions on what you can take on board an airplane and this advice can be subject to change. For the most up to date advice visit the Civil Aviation website or contact the airport direct.