Active and adventure holidays are a great way to indulge in one of your passions or to try something you never thought you’d have the chance to do. Whether you want to go on a cycling holiday, safari or trekking through the Amazon Rainforest, the best way to ensure you have a safe and successful trip is good planning.
If you’re booking an adventure holiday through a company make sure you use a reputable firm with a good safety record. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the UK’s National Standards Body the BSI have produced a useful checklist to help you with this.
Whatever kind of adventure holiday you’re going on you should always check what safety measures the company has in place and what evidence it has that it complies with these.
The FCO recommends asking the following questions before committing to a particular trip:
Wherever you’re going and whatever you’re doing it’s always worth checking the FCO travel advice website to find out how safe the country you’re visiting is, what the entry requirements are and what the local laws and customs are. The latter can be particularly important if you are travelling independently or are a female traveller.
If you book an adventure or activity holiday through a travel organisation it may recommend a particular travel insurance policy to cover you for all the activities you’ll be taking part in. But if you’re arranging your own travel insurance you need to make sure you get appropriate cover.
If you find any of the activities you plan to do are excluded on a standard travel insurance policy you’ll need to take out specialist insurance. If you’re not sure if your activities will be covered it’s essential to check because if you have an accident doing an activity you’re not covered for your insurance will be invalid and you will have to pay for any medical expenses you incur which could run into thousands of pounds.
If you’re holidaying within the European Economic Area (this is all countries in the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you as this entitles you to the same state-provided healthcare as the people who live in the country you’re visiting.
We have several other guides which may interest you including:
These companies have signed up to the Safer Tourism Pledge