It’s that time of year when you can’t help day dreaming of being in sunnier climes – whether that’s Europe or further afield anything would beat the drizzle and cold of Nottingham right now, right?
Well, you wouldn’t be on your own.
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Brits make around 50 million trips abroad each year – most of which are trouble-free.
However, to help ensure people’s safety the government department publishes comprehensive guidelines for every country in the world – we had a look at some of their current advice for travelling to popular holiday destinations.
It may be worth a look before you splash the cash and book your next break away.
There can be huge discrepancies within countries and you should always check the latest travel advice.
Tunisia – Do not travel
The FCO advises against all but essential travel for the majority of the country and for some areas it says you should not travel AT ALL.
A state of emergency is in effect in Tunisia, imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus on November, 24 2015. It has been extended a number of times, most recently on October 19, last year for an additional three months to January 19.
The threat from terrorism in Tunisia is high.
Greece – Avoid demonstrations and take more than one means of payment
Brits make around 2.7 million visits to beautiful historic Greece every year – mostly without incident.
However, demonstrations take place regularly in central Athens, as well as towns and cities and these should be avoided.
You can withdraw cash using your UK card up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600), or the daily limit imposed by your card issuer – whichever is the lower amount. The system for paying with debit and credit cards for retail transactions continues to function but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to exchange sterling for euros in Greece.
Turkey – Generally safe to travel
Turkey has 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites – so you’ll keep pretty busy in the sunshine.
The FCO advises against all travel to within 10km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.
Further afield the office advises checking their website for the current safety situation before departure but generally speaking travelling to the country is safe.
In some busy areas, especially Istanbul, the Turkish authorities are stopping members of the public to conduct ID checks. There’s also a larger than usual number of police checkpoints on main roads across Turkey.
Spain – Don’t drink to excess
Over 12 million British nationals visit Spain every year and most visits are trouble-free except when there’s a bit too much sun, sea and sangria.
There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. The FCO advises: “Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs.”
France – Be especially vigilant
Home to the city of love, romance and amazing red wine – France remains a top tourist destination for Brits.
Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups tourists are advised to be especially vigilant and can download an app to alert them about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks.
The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), is available in English and French and can be downloaded by entering ‘SAIP’ in the Apple App store or Google Play.
Around 17 million Brits visit France every year without incident – indeed the most common problem reported is pick-pocketing.
USA – Be alert to hurricane season (June – November)
From deserts to swamps and mountains, America really can offer it all.
The presence of guns in America often weighs on people’s minds especially after a shooting incident occurred at Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida on Friday, January 6.
However, most of the 3.8 million Brits who travel to the States each year do so safely – but if you are heading to the coast between June and November you should stay alert to hurricane warnings.
Morocco -Be vigilant and respect its laws and customs
Mint tea, getting in lost in the Madina and eating all that amazing grub… Morocco is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination.
It does however, have a high threat from terrorism and the FCO says attacks could be indiscriminate and could target foreigners.
Protective security measures, including security personnel, may be visible in certain areas including hotels and sites popular with tourists.
Egypt – It depends where you are going (check below)
Stand in awe of the pyramids while you cultivate an enviable tan in sunny Egypt.
The FCO has issued different advice for different areas. This is as follows:
You should not travel to Governorate of North Sinai due to the significant increase in criminal activity and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths
All but essential travel should not be attempted to the Governorate of South Sinai, with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq; however, the FCO advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh; the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh.
The tourist areas along the Nile river (including Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings) and the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada aren’t included in the areas to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel.
Italy – Check before travelling to an earthquake affected area
Culture, pizza and ice cream are around every corner in Italy but you should still take care to be safe.
An earthquake of magnitude of 6.6 struck central Italy during the early hours of October 30. Some roads in the areas affected by strong or very strong tremors have been damaged or are being reserved for emergency vehicles. Before travelling to these areas, you should contact the relevant authorities in the Marche or Umbria regions and follow local advice.
The full list of advice can be found at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice – and remember the majority of the tens of thousands of issues the FCO deals with each year are situations which could have been avoided.