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What are travel advisory guides?

It is an unfortunate fact of life that not everywhere in the world is safe to travel to.

There are many reasons why certain countries or areas may not be suitable for either business or leisure based travel. That might be because of: a state of war or internal conflict;

  • social disruption and an associated breakdown of the social fabric - meaning that law and order cannot be guaranteed;
  • natural disasters that may be leading to shortages of food, sanitation or health services;
  • outbreaks of serious disease; etc.

Of course, such situations typically change over time and a country or area that might be unsafe today may be perfectly safe to visit at some time in the not too distant future. The reverse can also be true.

As a private individual, it isn't always easy to understand, based upon a simple reading of media reports, just where is or is not safe. In practice, that means that before deciding to travel to a given destination it might be sensible to consult at least two sources of information:

  • the government's own website providing travel advice to Britons venturing overseas;
  • at times, your travel insurance provider. For example, here at Bengo Travel we will always be only too willing to highlight any travel destination restrictions on our specific policy offerings.

In terms of the government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will occasionally issue what are called travel advisory guides. These are essentially bulletins making recommendations that travellers should comply with if they are planning to visit a certain country or areas within a certain country.

In some cases, those guides may positively recommend that you do not travel to a specific destination. In other situations, there may recommend that you do not travel alone or you only visit as part of an organised and accompanied tour.

Remember also that some activities may take place in locations that although not directly associated with what might be called a problem destination, might be dangerous as a result of association. For example, there may be areas of the world's open seas where sailing and yachting might be unwise due to the risks of high seas piracy.

It is worth remembering that travel advisory guides do not exist to try and limit your personal freedom to travel where you wish or to instil a sense of fear and unease when you are abroad. They exist in order to bring to your attention the specific risks of travelling to certain destinations and what the government at the time believes will be the most sensible precautions for the destinations concerned.

As such, they exist for your protection and it might be unwise to take them lightly or to ignore their recommendations.

Fortunately, travel to many parts of the world is relatively safe and straightforward, with the only requirement usually being to take sensible everyday health and personal safety precautions.