As the colder weather sets in, you may be setting your sights on a winter sun break – and who would blame you! With Leeds Bradford Airport offering flights to over 75 destinations, it’s never been easier to plan that last minute get away, perhaps even spending Christmas abroad! However, when travelling to holiday destinations there are always risks to consider, which is why we’ve come up with this handy guide to help ensure you and your loved ones have the most enjoyable experience.
As soon as you’ve arrived and unpacked, there really is nothing better than kicking back and relaxing by the pool. However, it is important not to let the sun and sangria go to your head, as they can be extremely dangerous places too. Reports suggest that the risk of drowning in a pool when abroad is around five time higher than if at a pool in the UK, indicating that people’s perceptions of safety often waiver when on holiday.
In order to get the best experience and keep safe, it is important to stay within your own limits and to not put yourself or others at risk. If you are not a confident and able swimmer then stay away from the deep end and if visiting busy water parks, especially with children, make sure everyone is only going on rides which they can safely navigate. UK-based pools usually have a strong lifeguard presence, but this isn’t always the case abroad, so don’t ever let children or weaker swimmers go out of sight, as they may not be spotted if they get into difficulty.
Drink in Moderation
Holiday cocktails and pool-side drinks are a must-have for many holidaymakers, so whilst we know it isn’t practical to suggest abstaining completely, it is important to drink in moderation and to know your limits. With blazing sun, long leisurely days and generous servings, it can be difficult to know exactly how much you have consumed until you are feeling a little worse for wear!
If you are heading to the beach for the day it would be wise to limit your alcohol consumption, as the risks of sunstroke and drowning at sea are far higher than by the pool at your resort. Drink plenty of water during the day and eat small amounts frequently. This will ensure that you can pace yourself during the day and still have energy left for the evening entertainment!
If you are tempted to drink more in the evenings, ensure that you remain safe by staying with your group. Make sure you are watching each other’s drinks and never leave glasses unattended OR accept drinks from people you do not know. Ensure that you know exactly how you are planning to get home at the end of the night and keep the details of your resort handy in case you need directions or assistance getting back.
Statistics suggested that the biggest cause of death for people on holiday is in fact road traffic accidents. This could be down to a number of factors from unfamiliarity with road systems and directions through to simply not wearing seatbelts or driving at excessive speeds.
If you are planning to hire a car and drive abroad, make sure that you read up on the roadways before you leave and take extra care when navigating, particularly if there are very obvious differences such as driving on the other side of the road to what you are used to. Always hire a vehicle from a reputable hire company and if you do not feel the vehicle you have been provided with is safe or fit for purpose, raise the issue immediately. Similarly, pay extra attention when crossing roads and using public transport and as previously mentioned, avoid drinking too much if you will be using public transport, so that you can be fully aware of the risks around you.
Assess your Accommodation
Whilst in the majority of cases your accommodation will be up to the required standard, there is always a risk that accidents could occur. This is because some countries do not have the same strict building and maintenance regulations that are present in the UK.
When arriving at your accommodation, take some time to walk around and review for any potential safety issues, such as loose railings on the balcony. Be sure to familiarise yourself with fire exits and emergency evacuation procedures and if there are any strange smells or odours report them immediately. If you are not happy with any aspect of your accommodation or its suitability for your party, do not hesitate to raise the issue with the reception, hotel manager or your holiday representative. In many cases, particularly out of season, it is likely that you will be able to change rooms if the problem cannot be rectified.
Take Extra Care on Excursions
Booking day trips, excursions and even extreme sports are often a fun and exciting part of your holiday, but they can also be the most risky, particularly when these events are booked privately by holidaymakers and not through their holiday reps or via the resort management. In order to remain as safe as possible, only book with reputable companies or those recommended by your holiday rep or resort. Check out independent reviews to see how other holidaymakers have found the experience and if you arrive and feel worried about the safety of any of the equipment or vessels, do not feel pressured into proceeding with the experience. In situations like this, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Dealing with Accidents and Injuries
Despite your best efforts to stay safe and avoid the risks, accidents and injuries can still take place. These can be particularly stressful and worrying when in a foreign country and in unfamiliar settings. Should you or a member of your party find yourself injured on holiday, it is important to keep a record of the incident, the circumstances and all steps taken throughout the process. This is because if it was caused by someone else’s negligence, such as the resort venue or excursion operator, then you could be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained as well as any costs incurred as a result of the incident. More information on the criteria for accident claims abroad can be found at www.legalhelpline.co.uk along with details on what steps to take if you believe you have suffered on holiday as a result of another person’s negligence.
That said, for the majority of holidaymakers, their winter sun vacation will go without a hitch and will be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all, so perhaps it is time to start searching for your perfect winter getaway!