Foreign travel checklist

A checklist from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office to help British people prepare for travelling and staying safe abroad.

Research your destination

Get insured before you go

  • get appropriate travel insurance as soon as you book. Check that it covers the places you will visit, the duration of your visit and any planned activities such as adventure sports

  • tell your insurance company about any medical conditions, including undiagnosed conditions which are being investigated, and check that your policy will cover these

Check your documents for travel

Consider your health

Prepare for the unexpected

  • have a backup plan for accessing key information such as your accommodation details, flight details, passport details, contact numbers and insurance policy (for example, in case you lose your phone). Share it with friends or family or store online using a secure data storage platform

  • avoid getting in to financial difficulties abroad by ensuring you can access enough money to pay for unexpected costs or if your main payment method fails (for example, because you have lost your phone and cannot complete two-factor authentication)

  • make a note of how to contact the nearest British embassy, high commission, or consulate

  • read support for British nationals abroad for guidance on staying safe abroad, and the help the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can provide

  • read about how the FCDO can help you if you are affected by a crisis abroad such as a large-scale terrorist attack, natural disaster, or political unrest

  • stay up to date before and during travel by following FCDO Travel Advice on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for email alerts on GOV.UK

Contact the FCDO

You can contact the nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate, or the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London 24 hours a day on 020 7008 5000 for advice. You should also read the privacy notice to see how the FCDO will process your data.


We welcome your views on the support we provide, to help us to identify what we do well and what we could do better. Contact us using our feedback contact form.

Alternatively write to us:

Consular Feedback Team
Consular Directorate
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Or telephone +44 (0)20 7008 5000


Our foreign travel checklist aims to help you plan for a trouble-free trip. It is not exhaustive. No foreign travel can be guaranteed as safe, and you take personal responsibility for your own travel. You can read the disclaimer relating to this guidance.

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 29 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated Foreign Travel Checklist

  2. Checklist has been reviewed and updated.

  3. Passports and visas section updated on passport validity.

  4. Updated checklist including travel information on COVID-19 and changes following the end of the UK-EU transition period.

  5. update to guidance on Heath section

  6. Added advice on phone IMEI number

  7. Revised checklist

  8. First published.