City breaks

If you’re in search of culture, then a city break might be just the thing for you.

Cities are usually busy places, and often it’s the hustle and bustle that makes them so exciting. But you need to keep your wits about you while you soak up the atmosphere. Here are some tips on how to stay safe in the city.

Check out the area and local customs

Whether you’re going for three days or three weeks, there’s lots to do when preparing for a trip. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website provides the latest travel advice on 225 countries. This includes details of any particular health and safety issues, entry requirements and information about local laws and customs. This can be particularly important if you plan to visit religious or government buildings, blend in with the crowd and avoid breaking the law or offending the local people.

Stay safe in your accommodation

Modern cities tend to have high standards of health and safety, but accidents can still happen. Check out the safety features of your accommodation and identify any potential hazards. Our guides on hotel safety and self-catering highlight where most accidents occur and offer advice on what to watch out for.

Getting around

Public transport is often the cheapest and most convenient way of getting around a city. If you plan to use taxis, only use licensed cabs or transport services that your hotel recommends.

If you plan to hire a car, see our guide on driving abroad for tips on what documents you’ll need and road safety. When travelling by foot, remember to take extra care when crossing roads. Pedestrian road accidents are a major cause of injury among British holidaymakers abroad. For more on road safety for pedestrians, see our guide.

Personal safety

Pickpockets love a crowd, so if you’re anywhere busy, you always need to keep a close eye on your possessions. The FCDO website includes a safety and security section telling you where to avoid, whether certain groups of people are at higher risk and what sort of crime to watch out for. Our guides on female travellers and personal safety offer tips on some basic precautions to help you stay safe without personal security becoming a major issue on your trip.

We also have a guide on keeping your money, passports and credit cards safe and what to do if they are stolen.

Terrorism is always a concern, although terrorist acts are extremely rare. Our guide and video on terrorism explain what you should do if you get caught up in an incident.

Travel insurance & medical emergencies

No matter how long or short your stay is, it’s important to have travel insurance. This should cover your luggage and personal possessions and provide medical expenses cover if you have an accident. And if you’re travelling in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, don’t forget to take an EHIC or GHIC card, which entitles you to the same state-provided healthcare as the local people.

For details of what a good travel insurance policy should look like, see our guide. And if you do have an accident, our guide on medical emergencies can tell you what to do and how to get help.

Published on 07/06/18

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