Travel Tips > Travel Advice - FCO Travel Aware > Visiting friends and family abroad

Visiting friends and family abroad

FCO Travel Aware

Many people have friends and family that live abroad and visiting them can be a great excuse for a holiday! Staying with them will also save you money on hotel or hostel fees.

Visiting friends and family might make you a bit more nonchalant when it comes to travel plans. Even though it might be like visiting a home from home, you should still treat your trip like any other holiday abroad.

How to prepare for your trip

  • Buy comprehensive travel insurance - you need it for any trip abroad to cover potential medical expenses or lost luggage. Insurewithease.com provides affordable single trip and annual multi-trip policies
  • If your friends and family live in the EEA or Switzerland make sure you take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you so that you can get cheap, and sometimes free, state-provided healthcare
  • Check that your passport is still valid - for some countries it needs to be valid for 6 months
  • Take photocopies of your passport and travel documents with you
  • Visit the FCO's advice by country page to learn about any political changes or threats in the country you will be visiting - even if you have been there many times, situations might have changed overnight
  • Apply for a visa if you need one and don't be tempted to overstay it, no matter how much you are enjoying catching up with friends and family
  • If you are a regular visitor to a country that is prone to disease, such as malaria, it doesn't make you immune. Visit your doctor to ask about vaccinations and find out if you need any boosters
  • If you are a dual national, find out what your rights are - the British government will only be able to help you in certain situations
  • You might want to take gifts to your friends and family abroad but restrictions apply to taking plant or animal products into certain countries. And you can't bring meat or dairy products into the UK
  • Tell your friends and family your arrival time and try to let them know of any delays to your journey if you can. Tell them your flight number and they should be able to check online if there are any delays to your flight

If you treat visiting friends and family abroad like any other holiday then you'll be well prepared for any eventuality, and you can concentrate on catching up with your loved ones.

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