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05/05/2011
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Travel & living abroad

How we produce our travel advice

We aim to give British travellers the info they need to make their own informed decisions about travelling to a particular country.

We base our advice on information we get from:

  • our embassies, consulates and high commissions
  • the intelligence services
  • local knowledge

All advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals - your safety is our main concern.

We know that our travel advice can have a knock-on effect on travel, trade and political considerations, but we do not let this influence the advice we give. 

Only when we consider the risks to British nationals to be unacceptably high in cases of non-terrorist threats such as coups, civil unrest or natural disasters will we advise against travel. 

How often do we update our travel advice?

We review our travel advice monthly and update it following any incident that might affect Britons travelling or living in the area.

It is revised and re-issued at least every 3 months and can be updated several times a day in a developing crisis.

Threat of terrorism

In the case of terrorism we will only advise this if the threat is sufficiently specific, large-scale or localised to affect British nationals severely. 

See Terrorism abroad for more information.

Travel companies use our advice

Travel companies often take our advice into account but the decision to cancel a holiday, tour or excursion is ultimately theirs alone.

The question of refunds is a matter that must be resolved between the customer and the tour operator/travel agent. 

What do we mean by ‘essential travel’?

Sometimes we say that only essential travel is advised. Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision – you may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. 

We don’t take the decision lightly to advise against all travel or all but essential travel.

We understand that circumstances differ from person to person - only you can make an informed decision based on the risks.

Our non-country specific travel advice

Our Travel checklist is full of useful advice for staying safe and out of trouble abroad.

We also have specific advice for different types of traveller including women, backpackers and Hajj pilgrims in our Your trip section.

Feeds to third parties

FCO Travel Advice is available through feeds to third parties for use on websites or Smartphone applications. Please be aware that these are not FCO products, and that these applications may use an edited and/or cached version of our Travel Advice. The most up-to-date and definitive version of FCO Travel Advice will always be available on the FCO website on these pages.