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Sports Travellers

Sports Travellers

  • Don’t Blow Your Cover: Make sure to take out comprehensive Travel Insurance that covers you for dangerous sports or activities, medical, repatriation costs and any equipment you are taking. Think ahead about any unplanned holiday activities such as sports - it is best to be covered for all situations as the FCO cannot get you better hospital beds or buy you a flight home if a problem occurs.
  • Healthy Conscience: Consult your GP regarding any health care precautions and vaccinations you will require, at least six weeks prior to travel. Ensure you are in good health before participating in hazardous or strenuous activities. If you are on any special medication, ensure you have a sufficient supply.
  • Local Lookout: Familiarise yourself with your destination, local laws and customs. Remember the security situation in certain countries can change rapidly, so monitor the news. Check out our Travel Advice or call on 0845 850 2829 prior to and if possible during travel.
  • Danger of Drugs: When it comes to Drugs, be aware of the consequences, which are severe and can carry the death sentence. The FCO cannot provide you with a get out of jail for free card. Being under the influence of drugs can also seriously impair your physical ability and judgement. If an accident occurs whilst you are under the influence, your insurance may be nullified.
  • Limited Liquor: Limit alcohol consumption, particularly prior to physical activities. Accidents are more likely to occur if your ability/judgement is impaired and this can affect your insurance cover.
  • Stay Connected: Keep friends and family informed of your plans with a travel itinerary, particularly if you are going to be uncontactable for a period of time. Keep them updated of any changes. If you are taking part in an organised activity give them the contact details of the host company.
  • Don’t Leave Home Without It: Ensure that your Passport is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of your return, and that it contains up to date information on your next of kin. Also make sure you have the correct Visa (including multiple-entry if appropriate). If you extend your stay remember to extend your visa. Take copies of all important documents (visa, insurance, passport etc) prior to travel and leave them with friends or family.
  • Cash Stash: Take enough Money and back-up funds for your trip, including access to enough for a return flight if required. The FCO cannot get you a free flight home if you run out. Also be aware of the possibility of credit card fraud.
  • Get into Gear: Make sure that any specialist equipment for your trip can be carried by the airline.
  • Safety Measures: If you decide to undertake an activity with an organised group, you reduce the risk of things going wrong, (though a risk still exists). Larger well-operated companies are more likely to have stricter safety controls and contingencies for when problems do occur. The greater risk lies in undertaking an activity alone or with inexperienced colleagues or companies.
Alpine Sports

  • Insure a good time: Don’t run the risk of financial ruin just because you think ‘It'll Never Happen To Me’. Alpine holidays are expensive investments with gear, lessons, ski passes, etc – so don’t allow it to be any more costly than is necessary. Think ahead, take out the most appropriate Travel Insurance, something that will cover all your expensive equipment, yet ensure that you are not left to pay a monstrous bill in the event of an accident on the slopes.
  • Hasta la pista: The more confident skier / boarder may be tempted by the powder and adrenaline offered off-piste … if so take precautions. Where possible go with a registered guide or instructor, someone who knows the area and the dangers it presents. At the very least don’t go alone. Tell others, outside of your party, where you’re going and when to expect you back, so that in the event of an accident or ordnance failure, you’re not forgotten.
  • Stay warm in the storm: Prior to embarking on your winter snow break, make sure you have all the right gear. Snow is wet and cold so it’s important to have enough layers and waterproof equipment for the duration of your stay. Experts have advised that it is best to wear a number of thin layers (especially children) as opposed to one or two heavy ones.
  • Your name’s not down: Don’t be the one left miles from home trying to persuade a lift attendant (who may not speak English) to let you on the lift because you have lost your ski pass. These are very expensive yet very easy to lose. Ensure that yours is kept in a safe place … a lanyard round your neck represents a good investment.
  • Respect to your elders: The mountains can be a very dangerous place especially in the winter, so its important to show respect and heed any good advice offered. Authorities in all resorts will publish information and warnings where necessary on avalanche probability, visibility, ice levels and any other dangers specific to certain areas or times.
  • Be Prepared: The cold mountain air can often disguise the potency of the sun’s rays and can lead to a badly burnt face. Sun block and lipsil are a must for a day on the slopes (especially for children) and a good supply of water is advisable as dehydration is a very real threat at high altitudes. An energy snack is also a good addition to ensure your blood sugar levels remain high.
  • On the piste: For many it’s the apres-ski that makes the holiday but it’s important to know your limits whilst on the slopes, especially given the altitude factor. Excessive alcohol consumption prior to alpine activities not only puts you at risk but also those around you. It can also, in some resorts, lead to the confiscation of lift passes, and moreover in the event of any accident have a considerable affect on your insurance cover.
  • Unfit for the chair lift: While many consider alpine pursuits to be leisurely and relaxing, it is important to remember that they do in fact involve hours of physical activity. Good health care precautions and a reasonable level of fitness are therefore necessary to avoid any problems on the slopes. Visit your GP prior to travelling.