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UK Government
  • Directgov
    Directgov is the place to turn to for the latest and widest range of public services and government information. Book a driving test, find a job, get advice about childcare, renew your passport and lots more.

  • UK Passport Service
    An executive agency of the Home Office, the UK Passport Agency issues UK passports to British Nationals living in the UK. It also issues visas for entry into British dependent territories overseas to foreign nationals and Commonwealth citizens already in the UK.

  • Treasury SME Euro Resource
    The Treasury's euro business website provides simple, factual euro information to help firms understand the business implications of the euro and to make practical preparations to maintain competitiveness in Europe. The site offers on-line publications and case studies and links to other sources of euro information.

  • Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
    The Pet Travel Scheme allows pet animals from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine, as long as they meet certain conditions. The Scheme also means that people in the UK can, having taken their pets to these countries, bring them back without the need for quarantine.

  • 10 Downing Street
    The Prime Minister's official website provides information on the role of Number 10 and government news, e-mail updates and links to other government websites.

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
    The DEFRA website has news on areas affected by the Foot and Mouth outbreak and on countryside access. It also has a helpline and provides details of export controls for British Residents travelling overseas.

  • News Co-ordination Centre (NCC)
    The NCC website provides regional and tourism news, lists details of re-opening tourist attractions and a set of links to different aspects of the situation across the UK.

  • Consumer Direct
    Consumer Direct is a telephone and online consumer advice service, supported by the Department of Trade and Industry. They provide clear, practical, impartial advice to help you sort out problems and disagreements you may be having with suppliers of goods or services. From overcharging to faulty goods, from dodgy workmanship to reporting dishonest traders and scams, our advisers are ready to offer solutions for individual problems.

  • HM Customs and Excise (HMCE)
    The HMCE site provides guidance for travellers entering the UK on personal allowances, declaring goods to Customs, and prohibited and restricted goods. Various on-line publications are available for download, as well as details of the 'Customs Confidential' hotline for reporting smuggling offences (Tel: 0800 59 5000).

  • Adoption Overseas
    This Department of Health website provides guidance for anyone involved or interested in inter-country adoption, including British Citizens residing abroad. The site offers on-line publications, information (FAQs and country factsheets) and links to other relevant websites.

  • Trade Partners UK
    Trade Partners UK helps UK businesses secure overseas sales and investments. It is responsible for trade development, co-ordination and trade support services within the UK; the commercial work of embassies and other diplomatic posts; and promotes exporters' interests within the Government. Trade Partners UK works alongside Invest UK within British Trade International. The site offers on-line information and help with identifying export opportunities (including free sales leads), practical experience of all aspects of exporting, and links to other sites.

  • The General Register Office (GRO)
    The registration of births, marriages and deaths is overseen by the GRO, which is part of National Statistics. The Overseas Section holds records of the births, marriages and deaths of British citizens overseas that have been registered with the British registering authorities, eg British Consuls, High Commissions and HM Forces. For England and Wales events Tel: +44 (0) 870 243 7788. For overseas events Tel: +44 (0) 151 471 4801.

  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)
    The DWP was formed from the former Department of Social Security, the former Department for Education and Employment, and the Employment Service. For information on social security benefits if you have recently come from abroad see leaflet GL28; see leaflet GL29 on how to claim benefits if you are going abroad.

  • Human Rights in Foreign Policy
    The Human Rights Policy Department (HRPD) is the central point of advice and expertise on human rights in the FCO and it leads on thematic human rights issues. The HRPD advises on general principles and the consistency of approach throughout the work of the FCO. The site provides a database of projects the FCO supports through the dedicated Human Rights Project Fund.

    The UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Souvenir Alert! campaign highlights the pitfalls of buying wildlife souvenirs and products overseas. The site provides a range of information on endangered and internationally protected species, and sets out how travellers can avoid returning from abroad with illegal souvenirs in their luggage.

  • Child Abduction Unit - The Lord Chancellor's Department
    The Lord Chancellor's Child Abduction Unit acts as the administrative Central Authority for England and Wales under the Hague and European Conventions on Child Abduction. The site offers on-line information and guidance on the operation of the Conventions and links to other sources of information.

  • Home Office Race Equality Unit (REU)
    The Home Office REU represents the UK on race equality issues at European Union, United Nations and Council of Europe meetings. The site offers on-line information on the work of the REU and the report of the REU working group on forced marriages.

  • Office of Telecommunications (Oftel)
    Oftel is the regulator for the UK telecommunications industry. Its aims are to promote the interests of consumers and to ensure fair competition. The site offers on-line publications and research by Oftel on mobile telephony. The Oftel report on the costs of international roaming highlights ways to save money on mobile use abroad.

  • Health And Safety Executive (HSE) Hygiène Sécurité au Travail
    The HSE ensures that risks to people's health and safety from work activities are properly controlled. The site links to organisations concerned with health and safety and related areas in both the UK and internationally, and offers guidance on the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 for employees being sent overseas and their employers.

  • Inland Revenue
    The Inland Revenue produces guidance for non-resident taxpayers that live or work abroad, or plan to do so. The site links to other UK Government sites and to overseas tax authority websites, and offers a range of on-line information and guidance (eg on National Insurance liability, healthcare, and retirement pension forecasts).

  • Home Office
    The Home Office Crime Reduction website provides helpful tips on how to make your home look lived in when you are away, getting your neighbour to help and a checklist of things to remember.

  • Department of Health (DOH)
    The DOH provides essential information on planning for a healthy trip, avoiding health risks when overseas, obtaining emergency medical treatment abroad, and on form E111 which will give you free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in most European countries.

  • Scottish National Health Service
    The 'fit for travel' website provides travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK. The website has current news, general advice for travellers and advice on malaria prevention, and provides links to further information.

  • National Blood Service (NBS)
    The UK's Blood Services in Scotland, England and Wales encourage people to give blood before they go on holiday. The NBS depends entirely on voluntary donations from the public, and encourages existing donors to give three times a year.

  • Hospital for Tropical Diseases
    The Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) is a world centre of excellence dedicated to prevention, treatment and training. The site provides general advice and tips on travel health for short- and long-stay travellers, and information on travel health products such as first aid kits for backpackers.

  • Sun Know How
    A Department of Health (DoH) campaign for the prevention of skin cancer. The Sun Know How campaign aims to give practical advice to reduce people's risk of skin cancer caused by overexposure to the sun's rays. The site provides a five-point Sun Safety Code and links to other related sites.

  • Road Haulage Association (RHA)
    A trade association representing the road haulage industry. The RHA offers its members working abroad a range of international services and information.

  • Freight Transport Association (FTA)
    A trade association representing the freight transport industry in general. The FTA offers its members working abroad a range of international services and information.

  • Airline Safety
    The site provides information on airline safety by airline and by aircraft model, and provides additional safety advice on different airports. It also has advice and tips for airline passengers and children. The site links to other travel and travel-safety sites.

Charity Organisations
  • Prisoners Abroad
    The charity Prisoners Abroad provides information, advice and support to Britons detained overseas, to their families and friends, and to released prisoners trying to re-establish themselves in society. It can help to find lawyers, negotiate with prison authorities, and advise on prison transfers.

    The charity Reunite helps in cases of parental child abduction and international custody disputes. Their confidential telephone advice line offers practical information on the issue.

  • The Samaritans
    The Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support to any person who is suicidal or despairing.

  • Victim Support
    Victim Support is an independent charity that helps people cope with the effects of crime. It provides free and confidential advice through its centres throughout the UK and contacts with other victim support groups across the world.

  • National Missing Persons Helpline (NMPH)
    The charity NMPH helps find missing persons and provides information, advice and support to their family & friends. They run two confidential helplines: the Message Home Helpline (Tel: 0800 700 740) and the Missing Persons Helpline (Tel: 0500 700 700 / +44 (0) 20 8392 4545).

  • The Royal Association for Disability & Rehabilitation (RADAR)
    The charity RADAR provides information and advice for disabled people. It publishes guides on holiday planning, transport and accommodation. The site offers news, information on events and links to other sites providing disability-related information, services or research.

  • Diabetes UK
    The charity Diabetes UK helps people with diabetes and funds research into the condition. The website offers up-to-date news, information on events and research, links to other sites, and advice on managing diabetes (FAQs, treatment, diet, and pregnancy).

  • National Asthma Campaign (NAC)
    The NAC helps people with asthma and funds research into the condition. The website offers up-to-date news, information on events and research and on-line publications. The NAC runs a confidential helpline (Tel: 0845 701 0203).

  • Age Concern
    The charity Age Concern provides information, advice and support to older persons. The website offers information on events, news, links to other sites, and on-line publications, including a factsheet called 'Holidays for Older People'.

  • The Suzy Lamplugh Trust
    The Trust is the national charity for personal safety. It assists people to lead safer lives by promoting understanding of potential dangers and how to tackle them. The site offers personal safety tips and guidance for young travellers through the World Wise website.

  • Support after Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM)
    The charity SAMM offers support to those bereaved through murder and manslaughter and runs a confidential telephone Help Line (Tel: 020 7735 3838). The website links to sources of further information and to other centres of support.

  • Cruse Bereavement Care
    The charity Cruse Bereavement Care helps and supports anyone bereaved by death. Cruse provides support and counselling and runs a confidential Help Line (Tel: 0870 167 1677). The website offers information on publications, events, and advice on bereavement

  • Rape Crisis Federation (RCF)
    The Rape Crisis Federation (RCF) offers advice and/or support to individuals around the issues of rape and sexual abuse/assault. The RCF acts as a referral service and puts individuals in contact with their nearest/local rape and sexual abuse counselling service (Tel: 0115 934 8474). The website links to other centres of support and offers information on RCF member groups throughout England and Wales.

  • The Compassionate Friends (TCF)
    The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is a charity organisation of bereaved parents and their families offering support to others after the death of a child or children. The website offers a range on information on publications, TCF events and links to other sources of information and centres of support.

    The charity Information Network Focus On Religious Movements (INFORM) aims to help people by providing them with accurate, balanced, up-to-date information about new and/or alternative religious or spiritual movements. The website offers guidance and information about seminars and events.

  • Tourism Concern
    Tourism Concern is a membership organisation that campaigns for more ethical and fairly traded tourism, and for change in the tourism industry. It offers an extensive range of information in different media for tourists, students and teachers on being sensitive to environments, cultures and communities. The website offers information on campaigns and publications, on-line articles, a responsible travel code, and links to sources of further information.

  • The Rory Peck Trust
    The Rory Peck Trust exists to promote the safety and security of freelance newgatherers around the world, and to help the dependants of those who are killed or seriously injured in the course of their work.

Other Related Links
  • Worldwise Travel Information
    The World Wise Directory provides country-by-country practical tips on health, safety, visa and currency requirements as well as information on local codes of dress and behaviour.
  • European Central Bank (ECB)
    The ECB website provides information on all aspects of the euro, including up-to-date news, background information, conversion rates and designs for euro banknotes and coins. The 'Getting Ready for the euro' section has FAQ's and offers links to other sources of information and advice.
  • The Association of Retired and Persons Over 50 (ARP/O50)
    The ARP is membership organisation that campaigns on behalf of people over the age of 50. The site offers information on travel, on doing voluntary work abroad and a checklist for persons wanting to live and retire overseas.
  • The Electoral Commission
    The Electoral Commission reviews UK electoral law and practice and promotes public awareness of the electoral process. The website offers FAQ’s on subjects such as overseas voting, and provides a wide range of information and on-line publications on the 2001 General Election. The site also list donations made to UK political parties. (To register as an overseas elector British citizens must contact the electoral registration officer at the local council where they were last registered as an elector when living in the UK. However, the necessary forms will soon be made available over the Electoral Commission website.)
  • The Press Complaints Commission:
    The Press Complaints Commission is an independent body which deals with complaints from members of the public about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines. Their service to the public is free, quick and easy. They will be able to help if you feel you are being harassed by members of the media.
  • Need2Know:
    Need2Know is a new portal that provides a ‘first-stop-shop’ for areas of life such as travel, with relevant sign-posts to valuable websites in the public, private and charitable sectors.


This Airport Essentials Directory gives information country by country to help you prepare and plan for safe traveling. It gives an overview of security conditions. It tells you about basic health, safety, visa and currency requirements as well as things you should know about local codes of dress and behavior.

When you are traveling you will need to know about basic food hygiene, good means of transport, public holiday dates and essential contact points for help in each country if things go wrong. All this will help you travel with confidence and cut down on risk.

It's wise to get World information before you hit a problem, not after you have lost your money or got really sick! This Directory exists to give you a quick and easy reference for essential safety information. It is not a tourist guide and it's no substitute for reading as much as you can and talking to people about the places you want to visit before you go.

We have also provided you  with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to do all that we can to help British travelers stay safe overseas. Before you go overseas, check out the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK) Website Travel Advice.[FCO] website at
For up-to-the-minute news of trouble spots and related safety issues


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Please Note:

All information made available from this page is provided without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, any warranties as to merchantability, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from this information.


 Airport Essentials: the right choice every time