Know before you go

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Know before you go

Before you cruise abroad, check out the FCO website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel. It is stocked with essential travel advice and tips, and up-to-date country information.

It's well worth taking a look around the FCO site, to ensure you're fully prepared for any kind of journey overseas and they have also drawn up a checklist of things to ensure you do, before you go away.

1. Take out travel insurance

Make sure you get travel insurance. Check that it covers everything you need it to, for example lost or stolen luggage, medical costs etc.

2. Visit your GP or health centre

Make an appointment with a health professional or your GP to find out about any vaccinations or medication you might need. Even if you've previously lived abroad, you may no longer have immunity to the diseases common in that region (e.g. malaria). Visit www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk.

3. Find out about your destination

Although you may be familiar with your destination, the situation in a region can change very quickly. Find out the latest travel advice by checking www.fco.gov.uk/travel or calling 0845 850 2829.

4. Ensure your documents are in order

Check with the relevant embassies what visas are required and ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after you return back to the UK. Make photocopies of your passport, tickets and insurance documents, or store online copies on a secure data storage site.

5. Don't bring back certain foods

It is illegal to bring meat and dairy products into the UK from outside the European Union. There are also strict rules on food products such as fish, shellfish, honey, fruits and vegetables. To check what you can bring back go to www.direct.gov.uk/foodimports.

6. Tell others where you are going

Use the FCO's LOCATE service to tell them where you're going so they can provide help in an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack. Register with LOCATE at www.fco.gov.uk/locate.