Advice for travelling abroad

To help you have a safe holiday, there are things you can do before you travel. They include tips on getting travel insurance and looking after your passport. Always keep your passport safe and up-to-date.

COVID-19 travel advice

You should check the latest advice about travel at this link:

Things to do before you go

Before you leave make sure you:

  • check what you need to do to travel internationally
  • check the travel advice pages for the country you are visiting
  • find out where the nearest embassy or consulate will be – check their website to find out what services they offer and their opening times
  • don’t travel without insurance – make sure it covers you for any activities you are likely to do, including extreme or water sports
  • check what you need to do about health and travel insurance
  • take note that 112 is the number to contact the emergency services in any EU country
  • research the health risk on the travel health information website as soon as possible before travelling
  • check at least eight weeks before your trip if you need vaccinations
  • if necessary, contact your GP or pharmacy for advice on health precautions and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad
  • take a copy of the prescription with you if you're taking prescribed medication, and find out if you will need to take a doctor’s letter with you
  • take enough medical supplies for the length of your visit and any unexpected delays if you have a medical condition (medical supplies may be difficult to get in some countries and in remote areas)
  • check the legal status of medicines and how medicines are regulated for the destinations(s) you're visiting 
  • have proper visas for the country you are visiting and that your passport is valid
  • tell family and friends where you're going and leave them your contact details, insurance policy details, and your itinerary and/ or store them online
  • check expiry dates on your credit or debit card(s) and tell your bank about your travel plans
  • have enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays - think about taking more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card)
  • find out if travellers cheques are suitable for your destination and keep a separate record of their numbers
  • invest in a good travel guide to help you plan your trip and consider using online travel forums for more detail about your destination
  • have your current and valid driving licence and be aware of the driving laws in the country you're visiting
  • check the HM Revenue & Customs information on duty-free allowances, banned goods and so on
  • check guidance on any permissions that might be required if you’re travelling with children who are unaccompanied by one or both parents
  • check with your service provider to make sure your phone works abroad - consider leaving your phone’s IMEI number with a friend or family member, to help block or find the phone if there’s a problem

 

Passport advice

Before you leave, make sure that you:

  • get another form of photo ID to take with you
  • check the entry requirements before you go - for certain countries your passport must be valid for six months after the date you travel
  • make a note of your passport number and take a photo or photocopy of the information page with you and/ or store it securely  
  • fill in the emergency contact details in your passport - this will make it much easier to contact your next of kin if necessary
  • keep your passport secure at all times - unless you are required to carry the original document, keep your passport in a safe location

 

When you are away

While travelling:

  • think about what you are doing at all times and trust your instincts - don’t take risks that you wouldn’t at home
  • be alert and observant, and report any unattended items or suspicious activity by individuals to the local police or appropriate authorities - you can call 112 to contact the emergency services in any EU country
  • don’t openly display valuables such as mobile phones or digital cameras, and consider using a padlock on suitcases or backpacks
  • use a money belt or secure inside pocket - do not openly display your cash
  • do not carry all your cards with you – leave one in a secure location
  • if your passport or valuables are stolen abroad, report it at once to the local police and get a statement, as you will need one to claim against your insurance - you will need to cancel any bank cards, so take relevant phone numbers
  • find out how to minimise your risk from terrorism and what to do if there’s a terrorist attack
  • find out about local customs and dress, behave according to these customs and obey local laws - there may be serious penalties for breaking a law that might seem trivial at home
  • avoid any involvement with illegal drugs – the penalties are severe and could include the death sentence
  • be careful when taking photographs, videos or using binoculars - such activities may be misunderstood, especially near military installations
  • store useful numbers such as the local police and the nearest embassy or consulate
  • respect the environment – don’t buy wildlife souvenirs, conserve resources like water and don’t drop litter
  • whether you’re living abroad or visiting, be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, just as you would at home
  • check import regulations for food and plants before you try to bring them back
  • if you intend taking part in any adventure sports or water sports during your trip, only use properly-licensed and insured operators - before taking part, make sure you fully understand the operating instructions and satisfy yourself that adequate safety precautions are in place

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section, then for queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.