Travel Safety Advice
Know before you go General Safety
Please ensure that you take out adequate travel insurance for your trip, and that it provides a 24-hour medical or emergency assistance contact number. Please remember to take all details relative to your insurance policy with you, leaving a copy with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergency. It is also recommended that you leave a copy of your travel itinerary and a photocopy of your passport details with this person.
Whilst we do appreciate that holidays are a time for relaxation, we do ask that you please exercise care and caution at all times, as you would at home, especially when travelling with children and infants. Take care in the sun and ensure that you use the appropriate sun lotion or block for your skin type and those of children or infants travelling with your party, taking extra care to ensure all areas are well covered. It is recommended that you stay out of direct sunlight between the peak hours of 12-15:00, and that you drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to prevent dehydration.
Children are naturally inquisitive, a fact which is exacerbated by new surroundings, and it is therefore vital that children are supervised at all times during your holiday, since balconies, lifts, playgrounds and swimming pools are just some of the areas in which accidents can occur. Cots and high chairs provided by the hotel may not conform to British safety standards, and it is therefore recommended that you check them thoroughly prior to, and exercise caution during, their use. If you do have any concerns, please report them to the hotel reception.
Remember to lock your doors at night and when you go out during the day, as you would at home, and place all valuables out of sight. We do recommend that our guests make use of the hotel safe or in-room safe deposit box for all valuable personal belongings such as cameras, cash, bags and personal documents. Do not carry large amounts of cash on your person.
It is not uncommon for the drainage systems in place in some countries and resorts to be far removed from that to which we are accustomed in the UK. In Greece, in particular, we would ask that you follow any instructions in your bathroom regarding paper disposal, since this can have an adverse effect on drainage. Similarly, many bathrooms can more appropriately be described as being akin to ‘wet rooms, since they do become very wet when the shower or bath is in use, and therefore do often have a drain in the centre of the bathroom to assist with drainage. Occasionally, however, when a substantial amount of water is released, some bubbles may appear from this floor drain, although this is perfectly normal and will pass. Very few hotels and apartments provide non-slip mats, although some hotels are able to provide these upon request. Bathroom floors are often tiled, and therefore we recommend that you take extra care to ensure that you do not slip.
The height and design of balconies does tend to vary between destinations, although we do request that balconies comply with a minimum standard. Please do not sit on or lean over the balcony rail, and do not attempt to pass items or traverse from one balcony to another. Please be vigilant if you are travelling with young children and, where possible, do try to request a lower floor room. We recommend that children are not left unsupervised on balconies at any time, and that balcony furniture is placed as far from the railings as possible and is not climbed upon by children.
Very few hotels are legally obliged to install ‘toughened’ or safety glass in windows and doors, and it is therefore vital that extra care is taken, especially in bright sunlight or at night, when it is difficult to tell if a glass door or window is closed.
For your own safety and that of your travelling companions, please exercise proper caution when using electrical appliances, ensuring that any local instructions for use are followed. When using appliances brought with you from the UK, please ensure that you obtain suitable adaptors for the local voltage in order that the appliance may be used safely. We recommend that any children using appliances be supervised, including the use of any electrical appliances brought with you from the UK.
If your accommodation has a gas cooker or boiler, always double check that the appliance has been turned off properly. In many cases, gas is supplied direct from a bottle, and as an extra precaution the gas supply should be switched off at this point when not in use.
Fire regulations and procedures do tend to differ between countries and, in some areas, local regulations may apply to preserve the historic nature or beauty of the property or region, thereby preventing the hotelier from providing the level of fire safety that British guests may be accustomed to. It is therefore vital that, upon arrival at the hotel, you familiarise yourself with the hotel fire instruction notice, your nearest fire exit, the ‘meeting point’ in the event of evacuation, and how to raise the alarm. In the event that you do encounter a fire during your stay, please vacate the building by the safest possible exit as quickly and as calmly as possible, leaving behind any personal possessions. We do ask that, in the interests of safety, you do not smoke in bed.
The lifts in some hotels and apartments do not have internal doors, thereby exposing the inside of the lift to the lift shaft. It is therefore advised that guests, particularly children, stand away from these doors when using the lift. We would also ask that children do not use the lifts unaccompanied by an adult, and that the lift doors are not obstructed when they are closing.
Swimming Pool Safety
Swimming Pool designs vary greatly from property to property, and may contain some unusual features. Since most hotel swimming pools do not offer the services of a lifeguard, we therefore recommend that you check the layout and depth of the pool before you, or any member of your party, enters the water. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the opening times and rules of use for the swimming pool, including emergency procedures. Please ensure that children are supervised at all times when using the swimming pool and surrounding area, since the entrance and exit to the pool and the pool surround can become very slippery when wet. We would advise you not to run in this area. Please do not use the pool immediately after eating or drinking, particularly having consumed alcohol, and do not use the pool at night. Please ensure that children wear the appropriate buoyancy aids, and that babies still requiring nappies wear swim nappies if using the swimming pool. When using sun loungers or deck chairs around the pool area, please ensure that they are correctly set up prior to use, and report any defects to reception. In the event that entertainment is provided around the swimming pool area, please be extra vigilant with children.
Upon arrival at the beach, check whether lifeguards are on duty and whether a flag warning system is in place. Where necessary, familiarise yourself with the warning flags and their meanings, and observe these at all times. Be aware of local depths, tides, winds and currents, and ensure that children are accompanied at all times. Do not swim too far out, swim in areas marked for water sports or use lilos or inflatables in open water.
The rules of the road do tend to vary between countries, and it is therefore important that you check with your travel agent or representative as to the basic rules in place at the destination that you intend to visit. Prime examples of such differences are driving on the right hand side of the road and cars not being obliged to stop at pelican crossings, so it is vital that you check this information. The use of motorbikes or mopeds is not advisable at any destination, regardless of experience.
New dining experiences and tasting new and different foods forms a major part of your holiday experience, although it is important to bear in mind that the standards of hygiene will vary from country to country, and may not always be akin to those that you are used to in the UK. Whilst we do of course work with our featured hoteliers in order to ensure that they do promote good hygiene practices, establishments outside of the hotel may not be as stringent, and as such we advise you to exercise extreme caution when choosing to eat and drink outside of the hotel. It is important to note that local foods may be rich in flavours and spices, therefore please take care not to upset your stomach. Heat and humidity abroad combined with alcohol and new foods can cause various levels of stomach upset, and we therefore recommend that alcohol be avoided whilst sunbathing and prior to swimming. Please avoid consuming the local tap water in all resorts, and drink only bottled water or water which has come from a specially filtered drinking tap.
Hygiene & Illness
Please check with your GP or travel agent prior to travel in order to ensure that you have the appropriate injections and medication for the destination to which you are travelling, and ensure that you take appropriate medicines with you, such as insect repellent and after-bite. Summer colds and ear infections can easily be transferred during warm conditions. If you are ill, please seek advice from the hotel or our resort staff, who will be able to recommend doctors and chemists.
Animals & Pests
Since wild and domesticated animals such as cats and dogs are common in most of the resorts that we feature, we do stress that you must not pet, feed or play with these animals, since they can carry disease. Please report any strays to reception, in order that they may be dealt with by the hotel staff. Please make use of litterbins provided so as to discourage wasps and vermin, especially around the pool area. Mosquitoes are a common problem in warm countries, and it is therefore recommended that mosquito repellent and/or a plug-in repellent be used as a preventative measure.
For official travel advice, please see www.fco.gov.uk/travel for notices on over 200 countries based on the most accurate and up-to-date information available. It is designed to help British travellers to make informed decisions about travelling abroad .
Travel advice is also available by phoning 0845 850 2829.