The excitement of attending a major sports event may be at the forefront of enthusiastic sports fans minds, however safety abroad remains a top issue of concern.
For many people a major sports event abroad creates the perfect opportunity to combine a holiday whilst supporting your favourite sport. However, as with any trip abroad there are a number of potential risks to take into consideration.
The threat of terrorism across the world is becoming ever more prevalent, leaving many people feeling anxious to travel. Tensions remain high in France, the host country of this year’s European Championships after multiple terror attacks were carried out in Paris last November, with one of the attacks taking place during a football friendly match between France and Germany, when a suicide bomber detonated his vest outside of the Stade de France, killing three people and causing widespread panic in the stadium.
Furthermore, while we can assume most European countries are relatively safe, foreign visitors are often the victim of crime related incidents, with some cases even involving physical assault.
There are a number of precautionary measures you can take to stay safe when abroad:
- Stay updated with local media before and during your trip and regularly check the FCO Foreign travel advice site for any disruptions taking place in the country you are visiting.
- Choose a hotel in a safe location operated by 24 hour security.
- Ensure your hotel room is safe by checking windows and doors lock securely.
- In the case of a terror incident read the blog on Bombing Incidents – Security Advice.
- Take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy including cover for medical treatment.
- Visit your doctor for any necessary vaccinations or prescription medicine before travelling and order a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to medical care in the EEA and Switzerland.
- Purchase event tickets in advance from a reputable company.
- Research the customs of that country and practise socially acceptable behaviour.
- Keep a spare photocopy of your passport and other travel documents separate from the originals.
- Shield your hand over the keypad when entering your PIN at an ATM cash machine.
- Carry only one credit card and a small amount of cash.
- Carry the phone number of your bank and hotel separately in the event you become the victim of a robbery.
- Be extra vigilant of pick pockets amongst large crowds and transport places such as railways and airports.
- Be cautious of thieves when walking in remote areas after dark.
- Keep valuables such as smart phones inside jacket pockets or cross over shoulder bags.
- Keep your belongings on your lap or in front of you if you are in a café or restaurant since bags are often reported stolen from under tables and from the backs of chairs.
- If you go out at night make sure you are amongst a trusted group of people since there is safety in numbers and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.
For more detailed advice on safety abroad read the blog on – The business travellers safety guide abroad or check out GOV.UK top travel and safety tips to help fans travelling to France for Euro 2016.
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