Know Before You Go

Travelling the world is something most Britons love to do, from gap year students to the retired. However, many jet-setters find themselves in dire straits when travelling, simply because they haven’t made proper preparations before leaving home.

A decade ago, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) decided to find a cure for this travel epidemic, and the Know Before You Go (KBYG) educational campaign was born. The KBYG campaign, established in 2001, has been running for 10 years. The campaign aims to educate British travellers on how to best prepare for a trip overseas and steps to limit the severity of problems that may arise.

More than 500 travel and aviation industry partners have adopted and endorsed the guidelines identified by the KBYG campaign. Leading car rental comparator www.comparecarrentals.co.uk is one of hundreds of companies helping to promote the KBYG campaign. Thousands of holidaymakers use this popular car hire site before holidaying, making it an effective message conveyor.

More information on the KBYG campaign can be found at the FCO website by simply clicking here.

The FCO website offers travellers useful links that should be visited before heading overseas. These include links to the National Health and Safety travel information page, country advice pages and an important ‘travellers checklist’. Everything from information regarding safety on beaches to details on diseases which are spread by insects can be found on the site.

The KBYG campaign highlights several important areas in which travellers often fail to prepare well enough before leaving. Overlooking such preparations can lead to potentially dangerous situations while abroad.

Before visiting a new destination, travellers should:

  • Check their passport’s validity and make sure they have the appropriate visa for their travel destination
  • Have access to enough money in case of an emergencies and sufficient finds for the duration of your stay when travelling abroad
  • Have access to travel documentation copies, including a possible online storage system that can be accessed from anywhere
  • Have the contact details of family or friends on hand and provide these persons with details of the trip, including hotels you will stay at, cities you will visit and travel package information
  • Understand the health risks involved with travel to their chosen destination and visit a general practitioner for any recommended vaccinations
  • Read up-to-date information and travel warnings via the FCO travel website
  • Know the can dos and can’t dos of the culture or area being visited
  • Find appropriate travel insurance, not forgetting to read the fine print!

These featured points may seem like common sense, but many travellers run into problems while holidaying abroad because they simply forget to take some or all of the highlighted steps.

The FCO has identified specific groups of travellers to target through the KBYG campaign. Some of these groups include young holidaymakers, gap year students, elderly jet-setters and independent travellers. Reaching these groups is no easy task, but the campaign has employed several strategies to do this. Such strategies include close ties with travel agencies throughout Britain and promotion through universities and educational programmes for secondary school students.

The KBYG campaign is also partnered by many international events and publications. For example, Lonely Planet guidebooks promote the campaign, while the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was used to increase awareness of the project on a large scale.

The campaign is an ongoing promotion that continues to develop each year. Whether travellers are going to visit friends abroad, participate in sporting events or just want to see the world and embrace its beauty, the advice offered through the KBYG campaign should be heeded.