The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has implored Britons to do more research before travelling abroad, following the findings in their 2010 British Behaviour Abroad Report.
The FCO researched worldwide incidents involving British people during the period between April 2009 and March 2010. The most widely documented problem was lost or stolen passports, with 27,272 reported cases.
However there were many more serious problems with incidents involving drink and drug related arrests, medical problems and issues with insurance and repatriation. Shockingly, the report showed that Britons actually spent less time researching the laws of their travel destination than they did completing menial household chores, the report also found that 19 percent of travellers ventured abroad with no insurance.
Not having travel insurance can lead to horrible consequences in the event of a tragedy. The grieving family of a young man who drowned in Brazil were rocked further by the £10,000 fee that was needed to repatriate his body as he did not have sufficient cover.
In total there were 994 drug arrests, with Britons most likely to be arrested for drugs in Thailand. The report highlights the stark differences that many countries have in terms of penalties relating to drug offences, China, Thailand and Vietnam all impose the death penalty for drug offences.
Jeremy Browne the Foreign and Commonwealth minister, said: “This report shines a light on the number of Britons who get into difficulty abroad each year. The worrying fact is that so many of these situations are preventable. Helping out Britons in trouble abroad is part of our job, but we can't get you out of jail or pay your hospital bills. A bit of preparation before you go, such as arranging travel insurance and checking our website, will ensure you get the most out of your trip without bad memories and big bills”.
Please refer to our city guides for a wealth of information on the customs and practices of a number of popular foreign destinations.