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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Adventurous Over 50's 

Bungee jumping, skydiving, abseiling, and swimming with sharks are just some of the adventures that the over 50's are enjoying on their holidays but the British, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), warns that this coincides with an upsurge in cases of over 50's needing their assistance abroad.

Over 50's now represent 35% of all trips abroad and research from the FCO reveals a trend to them being more adventurous with their trips. Over a third have visited more than 20 countries and almost a fifth have taken part in adventure activities like bungee jumping or abseiling on recent holidays. 25% of this age group are hoping to swim with sharks and 15% want to skydive.
Confronted with this trend, the FCO is advising over 50's to make better preparations for their adventurous travels. FCO advice to over 50’s travelling abroad and also wise precautions for any traveller, includes:

  • Take out fully comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for all activities you choose to do

  • Buy a guide book and read up on your destination so you have an idea of the geography – your hotel in relation to the main tourist area etc.

  • Know the local laws and customs e.g. acceptable behaviour and alcohol laws

  • Check out the travel advice for British citizens at the FCO website,
    or by phone from the FCO's Travel Advice Unit on (0870 6060 290)

  • Remember to check that your passport is valid, in good condition and that the 'Next of Kin' details are filled in. Take a photocopy and keep it with you

  • Ensure you take adequate back-up funds (credit or ATM cards, travellers' cheques) for every eventuality and take copies of vital numbers
  • Keep the contact details of your nearest Consulate with you; they could prove invaluable in times of trouble

  • In Europe apply for an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - online, by phone on 0845 6062030 or at the Post Office. This entitles you to reduced cost, sometimes free, health-care in most European countries. EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance

  • Online bookers should ensure they have a record of all relevant booking reference numbers

  • Don’t rely on one person to make all the arrangements

  • Go to your GP to check whether you need vaccinations

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