The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have published their latest guidelines for students travelling abroad this summer, and say staying with your friends is their top tip for avoiding trouble.
16-30 year-olds make up the majority of victims of crime reported to the FCO and the largest proportion of arrests abroad in 2018, so they advise sticking together in order to help prevent accidents – serious incidents like falls can often be attributed to students becoming separated from their pals.
The FCO’s other top tips include setting up a group chat for everyone on holiday, which you can use to ‘check-in’ to a certain destination. One quick message to your friends to tell them you’ve safely got to a bar goes a long way in keeping you safe.
Their final tips are age-old but still important: Agree a meeting point if you get split up on a night out, and look after your mates’ drinks. If they put it down in a bar, don’t let them pick it up again.
It’s not just accidents like falls that can happen when you get split up – almost 5,000 passports were lost or stolen from young British people travelling abroad in 2018, with thefts being more common to people on their lonesome than to those in groups.
Students are also more likely to ring their parents if there’s a crisis than local police, the FCO say.
The FCO can help with emergency travel documents, information about transferring money, and information on local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors.
On top of that, they can provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital, and contact you if you are detained abroad.
Wherever you go this summer, make sure you stick with your mates, and check the FCO’s official travel advice for the country you’re heading to.