Longstay & Backpacker


Visit the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office website for the latest foreign travel advice. We are working with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to help British nationals stay safe abroad. The FCDO website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips and up-to-date country information to help you plan your holiday.

You can find FCDO travel advice for specific countries at the FCDO travel advice by country page. This includes areas of the world that may be risky to visit, the likelihood of terrorist activities, and any health issues that you should watch out for.

The information is updated regularly, so by selecting the countries you plan to travel to, you can make sure you’re properly informed.

Top tips for travelling abroad

  • Check the FCDO travel abroad page for details of all aspects of travelling abroad.
  • Don’t travel without travel insurance – ensure it covers you for any medical conditions/disabilities as well as any activities you are likely to undertake.
  • Check with your GP if you need any vaccinations at least 6 weeks before you go – visit the Fit for Travel NHS website for more information.
  • Apply for your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – more information below.
  • Get a good guidebook; make sure you know about local laws and customs.
  • Take enough money for emergencies.
  • Tell friends and family where you are going and leave them your contact details, where you are staying and your itinerary.
  • Check the HM Revenue & Customs travel website for information on duty-free allowances and banned goods etc.
  • If you are driving abroad, make sure you are aware of the local driving laws and requirements in the country you are visiting.
  • Always keep an eye on the weather especially if travelling during hurricane season.

Important numbers to remember

  • Make sure you take note of the emergency number of the country (ies) you are visiting. EU emergency services is 112.
  • Your bank, debit and credit card customer services number and emergency cancellation number for use abroad.
  • Longstay & Backpacker 24 Hour Emergency Medical Assistance contact number – +44 (0) 203 829 6745 (have your policy number to hand).

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) / Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The EHIC allows you to access state provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. Your

EHIC will be accepted for the remainder of its validity.

From 4th January 2021, if you do not have a valid EHIC you will need to apply for a GHIC but please be aware that the GHIC does not cover Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.

For more information or to apply for your GHIC: online at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers or by telephoning 0845 606 2030.

Presenting your EHIC/GHIC at a public medical facility will allow you to obtain treatment at a reduced cost and in many cases free of charge, provided you are a UK or BFPO resident (please note if you reside in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands you are not eligible for an EHIC/GHIC).

You must carry it with you when travelling abroad. Remember to check your EHIC/GHIC is still valid before you travel.

Passports and Entry Requirements

You can find information on passport validity, visa information, and entry requirements online at the FCDO travel advice country page.

If you are unsure about anything, you can contact the relevant Foreign Embassy in the UK for more information on things such as criminal convictions, stamps from previous visits abroad which could affect travel to new countries, and taking certain medicines into other countries.

See the list of Foreign Embassies in the UK for phone numbers and addresses.