With only 100 days to go, new figures have shown that a third of home nations fans planning to travel to France for the 2016 UEFA European Championships still do not have accommodation booked and more than half do not have tickets.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), who conducted the survey* of more than 1,600 England, Northern Ireland and Wales fans, has urged all supporters to make sure they prepare and plan ahead so they can enjoy a trouble-free trip.
To help travelling fans the FCO has compiled 11 Top Tournament Travel Tips as part of its ‘Be On The Ball’ campaign, including advice on how to stay up to date by signing up to FCO travel alerts, and tips on keeping your passport safe.
John Sykes, football liaison officer at the British embassy in Paris, said:
Tickets or not, we’re expecting thousands and thousands of British supporters to make the short trip across the channel and take in the competition, and we want all of them to have the best possible time – regardless of their team’s results!
However, we expect the demand for accommodation to be high, and we encourage fans to think ahead, get their tactics right, and ensure they book all their accommodation and travel in advance.
The survey shows the 57% of fans plan to travel without a ticket. Of those, 29% will try to purchase tickets at the ground, and 51% plan to go to designated fan zones to watch the games. The rest will head to bars and pubs (13%) or seek other alternative viewing options (7%).
It also indicates that the majority of fans have already been making proper preparations - almost three-quarters (73%) plan to take out comprehensive travel insurance, and 79% will research the local area before they depart. Two thirds (66%) have already booked their accommodation – but a fifth (22%) of those surveyed do not plan to book somewhere to stay until they arrive in France.
Martin Redmond, from the FCO’s ‘Know Before You Go’ team, said:
It’s great that so many fans are already thinking about how they will prepare for their trip to France. We want everyone to enjoy the competition, whether it’s in the stadiums; fan zones or local bars.
But wherever they plan to be, it’s important that supporters do the right pre-tournament preparations, like taking out comprehensive travel insurance, getting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and ensuring your passport is valid.