driving abroad checklist

Go through this essential travel checklist to help plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you are away.

Before you go:

We’ve teamed up with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to bring you this checklist to help you prepare for a great trip.


·         Register with the FCO’s Locate  service so they can get in touch in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack

·         Find out where the nearest embassy will be – check the FCO website to find out what services they offer and their opening times

·         Don’t travel without travel insurance – make sure it covers you for any activities you are likely to undertake such as water sports

·         Travelling within the EU? Then get a free European Health Insurance Card for free or reduced emergency care – you still need full travel insurance though! Also remember, you can call 112 to contact the emergency services in any EU country

·         Make sure you’ve got correct visas for the country you are visiting and that your passport is valid

  • For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go

·         Take photocopies of your passport and other important documents and keep these separate from the originals when you travel and/or store them online using a secure data storage site

·         Make sure you fill in the emergency contact details in your passport. This will make it much easier for us to contact someone if necessary

·         Tell a friend or relative where you are going and for how long for – give them some idea of your itinerary if possible and an emergency contact number

·         Take enough money for your trip and some back-up funds in a mix of cash and travellers cheques – make a note of the cheques’ numbers before you go

·         Invest in a good travel guide to help you plan your trip

·         Make sure your driving licence is current and valid. Make sure you are aware of the driving laws in the country you are visiting

·         Check HM Revenue & Customs Travel website for information on duty-free allowances, banned goods, etc.

When you are away, consider these travel tips:

·         Think about what you are doing at all times and trust your instincts – don’t take risks that you wouldn’t at home!

·         Don’t openly display valuables such as mobile phones or digital cameras and consider using a padlock on suitcases or backpacks

·         Find out about local customs and dress, behave accordingly and obey local laws – there may be serious penalties for breaking a law that might seem trivial at home

·         Be careful when taking photographs, videos or using binoculars. Such activities may be misunderstood, especially near military installations or airports

·         Consider taking your mobile with you or renting one whilst you’re away. Store useful numbers such as the local police and the nearest embassy or consulate

·         Check with your service provider to make sure your phone works abroad

·         Check whether it’s safe to drink local tap water- if not, stick to bottled water and avoid salads, non-peeling fruit and ice in drinks

·         Use your judgement when buying and eating food you’ve not prepared yourself

·         Respect the environment – don’t buy wildlife souvenirs, conserve resources like water and don’t drop litter

·         Check import regulations for food and plants before you attempt to bring them back to the UK