Always Check Travel
Advisories Before Travelling
Always check travel advisories before deciding where to travel to - or at least before booking your trip.
Official travel advice is for guidance only but it is important to know in advance about any possible safety or security issues related to your travel destination.
Travel Advisories And Why?
Most governments issue international travel advice for their citizens. This advice addresses the safety concerns for traveling to particular country or region.
Travel advisory can be issued for various reasons:
- War or political unrest
- Risk of terrorism
- High crime level
- Health concerns
- Natural disaster
This means that some advisory is considered more serious than others. Most foreign office travel advice is divided into different categories - based on the level of risk involved and the nature of the risk.
Most advisories make a distinction between:
- Travel warnings - which are issued when long term conditions make a country or region dangerous or unstable
- Travel alerts - which are issued when specific problems, like natural disasters make a country or region temporarily unsafe
How Seriously Should You Take Advisories?
Travel advisories are important to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to travel to a particular destination.
They also allow you to prepare in advance for any possible safety concerns you might encounter during your travel.
Foreign office travel advice is not legally binding - it can't stop you from travelling to any particular destination.
Official advice is though always issued for some reason and it is therefore valuable to know how to evaluate these travel warnings. They can for example affect your travel insurance premium.
You can find a wealth of additional information on the official travel advice websites listed below but first check our practical tips on how to evaluate Travel Warnings.
Where To Find Official Travel Advice
Most governments issue international travel advice for their citizens so always check your government website first. It is always good practice to check with more than one source though.
Below are some excellent advisories sites in English, issued by the following governments.
Top Travel Tips Story
One of our first “big” trip was to India. When we were checking flights we found cheap flight via Sri Lanka so we thought why not spend a week there as well? This was before travel advice were readily available on-line so we didn't seek any advice beforehand. When we arrived to this beautiful island it came as a bit of a surprise to find very few tourists there.
We immediately started to plan our travel around the island and we rented a car with driver for few days. We went through our travel agenda with him but he didn't want to take us to the safari park we wanted to go to. Instead he wanted to take us to another park. We were a bit suspicious - did he have some alternative motif in mind, some personal gain for taking us there?
His explanation was that the tigers had taken some tourists few days ago and their guide had been killed. We thought this was strange, if the tigers were so dangerous they surely must have been shot by now?
This is how we learned all about the Tamil Tigers... and the importance of checking travel advisories before booking a trip!
BTW we visited another other safari park on the island and we had a wonderful stay in Sri Lanka - a travel destination we can recommend.