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Before you travel

It is important to prepare before you travel in the Schengen area to make sure that you stay safe.
Keep copy of your passport and visa in the UK and on you
It is important to have copies of your important documents, particularly your passport and, if you have one, your UK visa.

Make 2 photocopies of your passport and UK visa. Keep one in the UK, in your accommodation or with a friend, and keep the other with you whilst travelling. You should store the copy you are travelling with safely in your hotel.

You may wish to keep a copy electronically, emailing it to yourself or keeping it on-line for instance, in a Dropbox account which can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection or even on your smartphone!

Tell friends in the UK where you will be going and staying
Before travelling abroad you should always tell friends and family where you are going, where you will stay and when you will be back. This can help if there is an emergency and they need to contact you, or if something happens to you and they need to make enquiries with the local authorities.

Take out comprehensive travel insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel insurance as well as medical insurance so that if you should lose any possessions (or if they are stolen) you can claim money to replace them. Depending on the insurance, the money can also replace passports and pay for additional accommodation and transport if you are unable to leave the Schengen area.

Try to travel with few possessions
It is advised that you only take what you need when travelling abroad. Taking many pieces of luggage can make it difficult to move around, especially if you will need to use multiple forms of transportation. 

Carrying a lot of luggage can also make you a target for thieves so it is recommended that you travel with few possessions and do not travel with anything expensive.

Carry medicine in original containers with copies of the prescriptions
If you are taking any medication, or even if you are just carrying paracetamol or aspirin, you must take it in the original packaging (bottle or packet) so that it can be clearly identified. If the medicine has been given by prescription, you must take the prescription too whilst you travel.

Put contact details inside your luggage
It is advisable for you to put your name, telephone number, the address of your hotel, your UK or home address and other contact information on labels inside your luggage. This includes any smaller hand luggage or even your purse/wallet. If you lose your luggage, the labels will help the person who finds it to return it to you.