April is here, and that glorious Easter weekend is so close!
If you’re looking for a guaranteed sunny Easter there are so many choices, and it’s amazingly cheap – Cyprus, for example, has prices 16% lower than Easter 2017 and there are incredible savings in Turkey and Tunisia.
Under £400 can get you to Marmaris in Turkey – 5* all-inclusive for 7 nights with Teletext holidays! Or for just £265 you could go to Hammamet in Tunisia 5* for 7 nights half board – we found that on Icelolly.com
The same in Spain is well over £1200.00! So it is ultra-cheap, but is it safe?
Check out the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) pages on Tunisia and Turkey to read up on terrorism, Tunisia’s state of emergency, and areas for which the FCO advises against travel, so you know what to expect.
Whether you’re planning high adventure or a relaxing getaway, remembering a few simple safety essentials can really make a difference to your entire experience.
Terrorism hasn’t been getting too much news coverage despite attacks in Thailand, the Netherlands, and the UK in March – the far-right attack in New Zealand had most of the headlines – but it remains a concern and very few threat levels have decreased this year.
The UK Government’s website quotes Home Secretary Sajid Javid on the importance of being alert and taking safety seriously:
- “The threat from terrorism is one of the starkest we face and we have all seen the horrific consequences of a terrorist incident.
- With the support of the public, our police and intelligence agencies work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. We all have a role to play in confronting those who seek to do us harm.
- Life really doesn’t have a rewind button so, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and report any suspicious activity or behaviour as soon as you can.”
This year’s “Look Again” campaign, launched in cinemas by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, focused on the importance of trusting your instincts and reporting anything that looks of feels suspicious. While this campaign focuses on communities here at home, it’s just as important when you travel.
The Brexit Effect
There’s a chance that queues at check-in and security will be longer than usual this Easter, depending on what happens over the next few weeks. If we leave the EU without a deal delays are highly likely. Even if Brexit is delayed until after Easter there may still be longer delays, as we have seen in recent weeks with Eurostar customs personnel in France.
These delays would be in addition to the usual crowded Easter travel environment, which generally requires a lot more time anyway, so give yourself plenty of time to get between places – even if you’re travelling within the UK.
Faster = Safer
Unfortunately, large crowds are what terrorists look for, so while we’re sure security will be on high alert please be extra vigilant and plan ahead to minimise your time in those queues.
Moving through check-in, security, crowded areas and entrances smoothly can significantly decrease your time in less secure areas – and it can help fellow travellers to minimise delays too. As seasoned travellers, most of our readers probably follow these tips instinctively, but it never hurts to refresh your memory and double-check!
- Check in online whenever you can.
- Check which documents you need to print – do that at home if you can.
- Have all your travel documents ready in a secure, easily accessible bag.
- Make sure your hand luggage is ready for security – put travel-size liquids into plastic bags when you pack, and pack them last so you don’t have to rummage through and re-arrange everything at the airport.
- Arrange assistance for less mobile passengers in advance.
- Don’t wait around in public areas – rather go through security or passport control and have a coffee on the other side while you wait.
- Arrive early. A relaxed extra wait is so much better than a stressful last-minute dash if you do encounter a delay.
Out in the open
We love the outdoors and wandering around towns or cities that we visit, and we have no intention of letting fear stop us from doing that. We do, however, believe it’s important to take precautions to improve our peace of mind.
- Know your destination before you go – where are the exits and security points? Where can you meet if you get separated?
- If there’s a route with security features in place, use them. Walk behind the protection of bollards, pavement barriers, or street features like concrete benches and large blocks that act as a barrier to vehicles.
- Check and avoid the busiest times at a station, airport, market or attraction if possible, to limit your time standing in line outside.
- Keep an eye on local news reports via websites or Twitter feeds before you leave and throughout your journey so you’re aware of any incidents or potential delays.
If there’s an emergency
Run, Hide, Tell is still one of the strongest messages coming from police and counter-terrorism campaigns. We’re far more likely to be indirectly affected by terrorism (i.e. by cancelled transport, curtailed trips, delays, lost items, etc.) but if you do encounter a direct attack, remain as calm as you can and remember:
RUN – Run to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go, then…
HIDE – It’s better to hide than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally, and only when it is safe to do so…
TELL – Tell the police or security.
If you’re planning to travel over Easter or any other time, make sure you have the appropriate travel insurance:
- Does it cover your full route and destination?
- Does it cover acts of terrorism, whether you’re directly or indirectly affected?
- Does it cover natural catastrophes and inclement weather?
These are often limited or excluded, so read the fine print on your policy wording!
- Does it cover airline failure or end supplier failure e.g. the recent cancellation of all WOW airlines flights?
Safe Journey is a simple, quick and cost-effective way to top up your travel insurance with comprehensive cover for acts of terrorism – including cancellation* and curtailment** – from just £5.17 per person for a single trip policy of up to 8 days. For any other travel insurance requirements, please check our sister website, OneStop4 – also providing quick quotes and great value!
*Cancellation cover applies if there’s an act of terrorism within 40 miles of your destination, up to 6 weeks before your departure.
**Curtailment applies if there’s an act of terrorism within 40 miles of your accommodation while you’re already on holiday.
Please note that these are summaries only – read our Policy Wording for full terms, conditions and exclusions.