Going on holiday is exciting – new surroundings, experiences and food. While relaxing and letting your guard down is all part of the holiday experience, you may encounter difficulties that affect your enjoyment. This leaflet gives you some useful pointers to help you enjoy your holiday and avoid some possible pitfalls. Please read the information and ensure that the other members in your party are also informed. Many thanks and have a great holiday!
YOUR HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION
• Never leave your key where someone can see your room number.
• Don’t leave your window or patio doors open,
especially if your room is on the ground floor or has a balcony.
• Remember to lock your room door even when you’re inside the room.
• Children should NEVER be left unsupervised on balconies.
• Don’t climb or stand on balcony furniture. Keep all furniture away from the balcony wall/railings.
• Never lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall/railings.
• Take care in bathrooms as condensation and water spray can make surfaces slippery and bath or floor mats may not be provided.
• Don’t use mains electrical appliances near to water.
• Never leave cookers unattended while in use.
• Ensure all cooking appliances are switched off when you leave your apartment or go to bed.
• Never place any shopping/items on the cooker.
GAS WATER HEATERS AND APPLIANCES
• Always check that gas appliances are turned off when not in use.
• Never use gas cookers as a form of room heating and always follow the operating instructions provided.
• Indications of a faulty appliance include black marks or stains, lazy orange flames instead of crisp blue ones and excessive condensation in the room. If you have concerns speak to reception, or tell your representative or tour operator. Carbon monoxide detectors are extremely rare overseas.
• Familiarise yourself with how the appliances work. If you’re unsure please ask for assistance.
• IF YOU SMELL GAS:
– Extinguish all naked flames and don’t use matches or lighters.
– Don’t switch lights or any other electrical appliance on or off.
– If possible isolate the gas supply (i.e: turn off the supply using the tap on the bottle).
– Open all doors and windows.
– Inform reception, the agent, owner.
– Leave the building and allow time for the gas to disperse.
• Never attempt to locate a gas leak yourself or tamper with the gas supply. If you spot any defects or hazards in your holiday property, ensure that you bring them to your representative’s attention.
GLASS DOORS AND WINDOWS
• Be aware that glass doors and windows aren’t always made with toughened glass.
• Take extra care in bright sunlight as it may not be obvious whether the window/door is open or closed.
• Children shouldn’t use any lift unaccompanied.
• Not all lifts have internal doors. When using this type stand well back from the exposed wall as there’s no protection from the lift shaft when the car moves.
ON ARRIVAL AT YOUR ACCOMMODATION
• Check all escape routes and locate the nearest fire exit to your room.
• Walk the nearest escape route to your room.
• Read the fire instruction notice displayed in your room.
• Identify the method of raising the alarm.
• Ensure that all smoking materials are safely extinguished and don’t smoke in bed.
IF A FIRE OCCURS • Evacuate the room immediately – don’t stop to collect personal belongings.
• Close the door behind you.
• Raise the alarm.
• Go to an assembly point clear of the building.
• If you can’t leave your room, close all doors, put wet towels or clothes round the door seals and shout for help from the window or call reception.
IF THERE’S A FIRE USE THE STAIRCASE NOT THE LIFT!
• Every pool is different. Most hotels and apartmentsdon’t employ life guards so please supervise any young members of your party.
• Check where the deep and shallow ends are before use and follow the pool rules.
• Ensure that children use the toilet BEFORE entering the pool and take regular toilet breaks throughout the day. In the event of a faecal accident in or around the pool, please report it immediately; this will assist the hotel management in ensuring the highest levels of pool hygiene.
• Shower before entering the pool.
• Don’t swim (or allow children to swim) if suffering from an upset stomach.
• A period of 48 hours should be left before entering the pool following a period of stomach related illness.
• Don’t change nappies at the poolside.
• Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet and changing nappies.
• Young children and babies must wear appropriate swim wear (e.g. rubber lined swimming trunks). Swimming in nappies and nude bathing is unacceptable.
• Have fun, but avoid unruly behaviour, and observe pool rules and information signs at all times.
• Pool surrounds can be very slippery. Don’t run around them.
• Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
• Don’t swim immediately after a meal and never swim when you’ve been drinking alcohol.
• When jumping or diving into the pool, check the water depth first and never dive into water less than 1.5m deep.
• Don’t jump or dive from any raised features or from poolside furniture.
• Don’t use the pool after dark or when closed, even if it has underwater lights.
• In the event of an emergency, know how and where to get help.
• At night avoid poorly lit areas.
• If possible never walk home alone.
• Be aware of what’s going on around you and keep away from situations where you’re uncomfortable.
• If you’re out as part of a group, look out for one another.
• Consider very carefully whether you should leave a pub, club or event with someone you’ve just met.
• If you’re not sure where you’re going, ask your representative or hotel reception for directions.
ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
• Alcohol can make you less alert and less in control, so take it easy.
• Never accept drinks from strangers or from anyone you don’t completely trust.
• Try to keep your drink with you at all times.
• Nominate someone to watch your drinks, especially if you’re leaving your friends to go to the toilet.
• Don’t share or exchange drinks.
• Be aware of how much you’ve had to drink and remember alcohol is dehydrating, so drink plenty of water.
• Avoid using recreational drugs, as they’re likely to be illegal in your holiday destination.
USING A TAXI OR MINICAB
• Never accept a lift from an unlicensed taxi, a stranger or someone you don’t completely trust.
• Try to share a taxi with a friend.
• If you're calling a taxi from a public place, try not to let people overhear your name or details of where you’re staying.
• Always sit in the back of the car, and if you chat to the driver don’t give them any personal details.
IF YOU FEEL THREATENED
• Stay calm, and try to be firm and direct.
• Remember that you always have the right to say NO at any point. Never feel that you have to go further than you feel comfortable with.
• If you feel uncomfortable or in danger, don’t be afraid to draw attention to yourself. Shout, make a fuss and make people aware that you feel threatened.
MONEY AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS
• Where available, place all valuables in a safety deposit box.
• Avoid carrying too much money or wearing excess jewellery when you’re out and about.
• Keep all valuables close to you at all times. Ensure wallets and purses aren’t easily accessible.
• Lock your room before going out.
Out And About
Follow the 4-point National Water Safety Code:
1. SPOT THE DANGERS
• Check out the beach when you arrive.
• Take care when bathing and swimming.
• Be aware of dangerous rip currents and strong tides.
• Don’t swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwaters and coral.
2. TAKE SAFETY ADVICE
• Swim where there’s a lifeguard on patrol and take their advice.
• Look out for information – warning flags and signs - and adhere to them at all times.
• Never swim where a sign says not to, e.g. zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
3. DON’T GO ALONE
• Never swim alone. Make sure there are other people around.
• Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
• Never swim at night, after drinking alcohol or on a full stomach.
4. LEARN HOWTO HELP
• If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard if there’s one near by.
• Find out what to do in an emergency, i.e. call local coastguard or equivalent
CARE IN THE SUN
• Build up the time you spend in the sun gradually.
• Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 3pm.
• Apply high factor sunscreen and re-apply frequently.
• Never expose babies under 6 months to the sun and always take extra care with children.
• Remember, it’s possible to burn in the shade, when it’s cloudy and while swimming.
• At the first sign of burning get out of the sun immediately.
• Always drink plenty of water.
• Be vigilant at all times. Look both ways before crossing the road.
• Be aware that in some countries traffic isn’t required to stop at pedestrian crossings.
DRIVING ON HOLIDAY
• Check the vehicle is roadworthy and familiarise yourself with all controls before use as they may differ to cars in the UK and Ireland.
• Check that the car hire insurance cover provides adequate cover for the driver and all passengers.
• Always wear a seat belt.
• Familiarise yourself with local traffic laws.
• Pay particular attention at junctions and roundabouts.
• Always carry emergency/breakdown telephone numbers.
• Always carry a spare set of spectacles (required by law in Spain).
• NEVER drink and drive.
• Stick to well travelled and/or well lit roads.
• We strongly advise that you don’t hire mopeds or motorbikes.
• Quad bikes and jet skis should only be used with appropriate safety equipment and under the supervision of the instructor.
• Ensure that you allow at least 24 hours between your last dive and flying or travelling to altitude (over 1,000 feet).
Food And Drink
• Drink bottled water and use it for brushing your teeth. Ensure that the seal on the bottle is intact.
• Avoid ice in drinks.
• Wash your hands before eating and after going to the toilet.
• Make sure your food has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot when served.
• Make sure that any food that is re-heated is piping hot all the way through.
• Avoid any uncooked food (apart from fruits and vegetables, food that can be peeled or shelled).
• Don’t place matches or lighters in your suitcase. These items may ignite by friction.
• Don’t place flammable liquids, gases or aerosols in your suitcase.
• Medication should always be carried in your hand luggage.
• Keep your passport safe while you’re away as it’s an important document of identification. Always keep a copy.
• Pay attention to all safety information given on board the flight.
• Drink plenty of water during the flight to avoid dehydration.
• Before undertaking any activity while on holiday, ensure that you’re adequately covered by the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.
REMEMBER - CARRYING DANGEROUS GOODS ABOARD ANY AIRCRAFT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For more on security, local laws and the latest travel information, visit the FCO
Travel Aware website or view our guide to Travel Advice and Safety.
The advice can change so check regularly for the latest updates.