Sun, Sea, Sand…and Staying Safe Abroad


Sun, sea, sand… Relaxing on a gorgeous beach in some exotic country, cocktail in hand…

Now that the end of the academic year is close, holidays (and passing exams!) are on everyone’s minds. However, amidst the excitement, it can be easy to forget the potential dangers lurking abroad. Whilst having fun is, of course, the top priority, being safe is a key ingredient to a successful holiday. After all, who fancies spending hard-earned wages (or a good chunk of student loan) on a week which ends in disaster? By bearing the following things in mind, any potential dangers should be easily averted.

The sun: It’s one of the main things we go away for; a gorgeous tan which will inspire great amounts of envy from friends upon our return. However, a tan can easily become a burnt, peeling mess. Or in the worst case scenario, a trigger for skin cancer. Firstly, the obvious: make sure you take and regularly use sun cream! It’s a myth that it hinders tanning, and for those of you still worried, Piz Buin do a version which simultaneously claims to enhance your tan whilst protecting with SPF 15 (Boots, £17.35). Secondly, too much sun can cause heatstroke so wear a hat and make sure you drink plenty of water.

Going out: Us Brits have long been branded the worst for binge drinking abroad. And whilst going out and having a good time is an essential ingredient to a great holiday, staying safe is equally important abroad. Both the heat and alcohol dehydrate you, so aim to have a glass of water between every couple of drinks and make sure you never leave your drink unattended, which could make you vulnerable to spiking. Always try to stay with your group of friends, and make sure all of you have a phone on you in case anyone does get lost. Never walk back to your accommodation alone or accept a lift from a stranger! Stick to this, and the nights out will be remembered for all the right reasons!

Money and possessions: Always make sure you take out insurance before you travel. Being ill abroad or losing your suitcase would be disastrous enough, but if you’re uninsured it could become a complete nightmare. Shop around for the best deals on sites such as Make sure you take enough money to cover your stay and any potential emergencies. When taking money out with you, keep it in a secure pocket or bag, or use the safe in your hotel room (if you have one) for money, passports and other valuables. When taking money on a night out, keep some aside for a taxi back and make sure that you don’t get in a taxi alone.

For more tips on being safe abroad, visit This advice should ensure you have a great, problem-free holiday! Or alternatively, go camping in good old England…much safer (and cheaper!). Have a great summer holiday!


I am a third year Sociology student hoping to go into a career in journalism after University.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. avatar

    “or use the safe in your hotel room (if you have one) for […] passports”

    This might be the silliest thing to do when abroad in some countries. Getting your passport stolen or lost might happen, but your consulate is supposed to be able to issue you an emergency one pretty quickly.

    I know nobody wants to spend a day in a consulate when on holiday. But you’re probably even less keen on spending your day at a police station trying to explain why as a foreigner you don’t have any valid ID and visa with you. In some places police might be happy with just a photocopy, but in some other, they’re definitely not.

    • avatar

      Because as I said, in SOME countries they want you to show the original + visa, and a photocopy will not be considered as valid.
      for an example.
      “All foreign nationals over the age of 16 must carry their passport at all times. Police may carry out random checks, especially at times of increased security e.g. around major sporting or political events.”

      You will probably find exactly the same advice on every European country consulate in China. They’re getting tired of desperate tourists calling them because their friend has been in the police station for 6 hours after getting controlled in a club and showing some crappy photocopy of his passport.

      In some places, it’s up to the policeman to decide whether your photocopy is acceptable or not. Keep in mind that in a lot of countries (even in Europe), police is allowed to carry random ID checks and don’t hesitate to do so. Best thing to do is to ask local people.

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