Vietnam travel guide
Some destinations evoke mental images the moment their names are mentioned, and Vietnam is one of them. A frenetic and fascinating country, it calls to mind conical-hatted street vendors, water buffalo plodding across rice fields, mopeds buzzing through cities and floating markets on the Mekong River.
The days when Vietnam was best known for its conflict with America are long gone. From the temples of Hanoi and the islands of Halong Bay to the beaches of Nha Trang and the palaces of Hue, it is a country now firmly etched in the travel psyche.
At times, Vietnam is an assault on the senses. Life in its feverish cities is conducted largely on the streets, among chattering bia hois (pavement pubs) and steaming pho (noodle soup) stands. The country’s two main cities – Hanoi in the north, Ho Chi Minh in the south – are different in many ways, but they share an intoxicating energy. Ancient pagodas and colonial houses jostle for space with new-build skyscrapers, while labyrinthine back-alleys hum with life. These narrow streets are atmospheric places to spend time, day or night.
The country’s long, thin shape, sometimes compared to two rice baskets at either end of a pole, means these two cities form natural start and end points to an itinerary. The highlights along the way, meanwhile, are as well packed as the spring rolls which adorn market stalls: nature-lovers, history buffs, beach bums and foodies are all catered for in singularly Vietnamese style.
Those heading into the countryside can expect not only glorious scenery, but a rich cultural web of different ethnic groups. The US wartime legacy can still be readily explored – perhaps most notably at the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh – but this is a country to enjoy for what it is today, whether you’re here for a few days or a month.
331,230 sq km (127,889 sq miles).
94,569,072 (UN estimate 2016).
276 per sq km.
President Vo Van Thuong since 2023.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh since 2021.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Vietnam’s current entry restrictions and requirements. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to travel to Vietnam or return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
High levels of air pollution, up to and including hazardous levels, occur in Vietnam particularly in the biggest cities and may aggravate heart, lung or respiratory conditions. See Health
Most visits to Vietnam are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings in big cities and tourist areas. See Crime
Travelling by motorbikes in Vietnam carries significant risk. There are frequent road traffic accidents and fatal crashes. Before choosing to ride a motorbike in Vietnam, it is essential that you’re an experienced motorbike rider, have a good quality motorbike helmet, check that the motorbike you rent is safe and only rent from a reputable organisation, have the correct international licence(s), understand the roads on which you plan to travel and that your travel insurance covers your planned activity. See Road travel
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Vietnam, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
Vietnamese law requires everyone to carry photographic ID at all times. See Local laws and customs
You can contact the emergency services by calling 113 (police), 115 (ambulance) or 114 (fire).
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Vietnam on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vietnamese authorities have issued information on testing facilities and procedures (only available in Vietnamese). The testing facilities can be contacted directly.
Entry and borders
Vietnam has lifted COVID-19 related entry requirements. See Entry requirements for more information.
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport and/or rule changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover, including COVID testing and treatment
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Public spaces, transport and services
While mask wearing is encouraged in all settings, it remains mandatory to wear a mask in the following places: in areas where the government has declared an epidemic level of three or four, at a medical facility, on public transport, and at cultural sites with large crowds. This also includes travel by air.
Healthcare in Vietnam
For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our lists of healthcare providers for Hanoi and northern provinces of Vietnam or Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces of Vietnam.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
View Health for further details on healthcare in Vietnam
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
Testing and self-isolation/quarantine
If you are asked to undertake testing, you should comply. Failure to comply can be an offence with significant punishments.
Self-isolation periods and testing requirements can change at short notice and may vary between locations.
If you test positive with COVID-19 you may have to self-isolate for 7 days. Most provinces permit self-isolation at your place of residence if it meets the requirements of local authorities, but you may be required to self-isolate in a designated quarantine centre or hotel.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
Most visits to Vietnam are trouble free but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings in big cities and tourist areas.
Don’t hand over your passport to third parties as a guarantee (e.g. to motorcycle rental shops, landlords) as there have been many instances of companies holding on to passports against claimed damage.
You should remain alert and take care of your belongings, particularly in crowded areas and places visited by tourists where pick pockets and bag snatchers operate, including on motorbikes. Consider splitting key items between bags.
British nationals have reported a number of personal attacks, including rape and sexual assault in areas popular with expatriates and tourists. When reporting such attacks in Vietnam, compared to the UK there is a high burden of proof on the victim to demonstrate that the sexual relations were not consensual, especially when the victim had consumed alcohol or where the alleged attacker was known to the victim.
There have also been some reports of foreign women being victims of indecent assault and harassment (including inappropriate touching and groping), particularly while walking alone. You should take sensible precautions.
There have been reports of arguments over hotel, restaurant or taxi bills turning violent or abusive. It is well worth researching places to stay before you arrive. To avoid potential disputes, make sure you are clear about the level of service you can expect to receive and any associated charges.
A number of British and foreign visitors have died or been injured in Vietnam while engaged in adventure tourism in rural and mountainous areas. Some terrain can be hazardous and remote from rescue services of any kind. And the rainy season - see Natural Disasters - can quickly and significantly increase risk, especially for localised flooding, navigating swollen streams and rivers and landslides.
Safety standards are generally lower than in the UK and compliance varies. Don’t stray off main routes and, where required, take a reputable guide. Always follow safety guidelines, check local authorities’ websites for adventure tourism companies that are approved and meet safety standards and check local weather forecasts before travelling.
You should avoid illegal tour guides who have been known to offer tours and activities prohibited under local regulations. In some areas local regulations require the use of a guide. Make sure your travel insurance covers your planned activity fully.
Travel is restricted near military installations and some areas of Vietnam are fairly inaccessible. If you wish to visit a village, commune or ward that is close to the border you may need to get permission from the provincial police department. Contact the relevant local authority for more information.
Unexploded mines and ordnance are a continuing hazard in former battlefields, particularly in central Vietnam and along the Laos Border, formerly traversed by the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Mined areas are often unmarked.
Undertake any leisure activities that include firearms at your own risk and make sure you are supervised by a reputable guide. There have been reports of hearing loss from those close to these activities.
Travelling by motorbikes in Vietnam carries significant risk. There are frequent road traffic accidents and fatal crashes. According to World Health Organisation statistics, you are over 8 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident in Vietnam than in the UK (an estimated 26.4 deaths per 100,000 people in Vietnam compared to 3.1 per 100,000 people in the UK).
A number of British nationals have died in motorbike accidents in Vietnam, and many more have been involved in accidents, with some injured very seriously. Before choosing to drive a motorbike in Vietnam, it is essential that you’re an experienced motorbike rider, check your motorbike thoroughly and rent from a reputable organisation, have a good quality motorbike helmet, understand the roads on which you plan to travel and that your travel insurance covers your planned activity.
Compliance with local road regulations is poor. You’re advised to keep your speed down and to be prepared for the unexpected. If you’re planning on travelling as a passenger on a motorbike, you should wear a good quality helmet and make sure your medical insurance is comprehensive. It’s illegal to be on a motorbike without a helmet.
If you’re involved in a traffic accident, you could face criminal charges and you may need to pay compensation to the injured person even if the injuries are minor. If you’re involved in an accident or subject to an investigation, offer the police your full co-operation and inform the British Embassy in Hanoi or Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
If you wish to drive cars or ride motorbikes in Vietnam you will need to present your UK driving licence and a UK-issued International Driving Permit (IDP). If you’re a long term resident in Vietnam, you can qualify for a Vietnamese driving licence with a diplomatic ID, temporary residence card or residence card validity for 3 months or more and also a valid UK driving licence or UK-issued IDP. Applications for a Vietnamese driving licence can be made at the local offices of the Department of Public Works and Transportation.
You should also make sure you have third-party insurance as required by Vietnamese law.
Don’t use your passport as a deposit for hiring vehicles or in place of a fine in the event of a traffic offence.
Metered taxis from larger firms are generally reliable. There are many taxi operators and meters are set at different prices. The meter should start at around 8,000 to 20,000 VND, depending on the size of the taxi and the taxi company. Where possible get hotels or restaurants to book you a reputable taxi. Always make sure the driver identifies themselves before setting off. If you book a taxi online or through an app, make sure the details of the vehicle and driver match those provided by the company.
Overcharging for taxi journeys in and around the tourist hotspots in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and at Hanoi Airport is regularly reported. The same occurs at Ho Chi Minh City’s airport and popular tourist attractions. Check the published fares near the taxi stands or an online app before starting your journey or consider booking a taxi or ordering one via an online app.
Bus and coach crashes are not unusual and increase in regularity at night. Vehicles are often poorly maintained. When travelling by bus, be vigilant against petty theft as there have been reported cases of people losing passports and personal belongings while travelling on night buses. Be cautious about offers of free transfers to hotels unless organised in advance, as these may be bogus.
Driving cars or riding motorcycles when your blood alcohol concentration is more than zero is illegal. This is enforced rigorously.
Rail travel in Vietnam is generally reliable. Be aware of the risks of petty theft, particularly while asleep on overnight trains.
Safety regulations and standards vary greatly and are not at the same level as the United Kingdom. Check with your tour guide about the safety record and registration of boats, and the certification of personnel before setting off. Make sure you receive a full safety briefing when joining any boat. Consider safety standards carefully before taking an overnight boat trip on Halong Bay as some boats have sunk quickly and without warning.
Piracy in coastal areas off Vietnam is very rare. Mariners should, however, report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities. See Piracy and armed robbery at sea.
Vietnam has a single party political system, which does not welcome dissent. Some protests in recent years have turned violent, or been violently suppressed by the authorities. You should avoid all protests.
Providing prompt consular assistance can be difficult outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is a large country and some areas don’t have well developed infrastructure or frequent flights.
Although there’s little history of terrorism in Vietnam, attacks can’t be ruled out.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those visited by foreigners.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
You should follow the instructions of local authorities. There are penalties for non-compliance.
Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs can be severe. Anyone found in possession of even a small amount of drugs can face the death sentence.
Illegal drugs are often tampered with or spiked and can be much stronger than in Europe. There were seven deaths at a music festival in Hanoi in 2018 connected to illegal drugs. A number of British nationals in Vietnam have suffered severe psychiatric problems because of drug use. Don’t take illegal drugs.
Crimes like sex offences can attract very long prison terms, or a death sentence. The Vietnamese legal system is not well developed and the standard of prisons is very poor.
Reporting a crime to the police can be a long and difficult process. You should consider taking a Vietnamese-speaking person with you to assist with the translation. You will usually be required to sign documents in Vietnamese. You should take care to only sign documents that you are confident have been translated accurately.
Foreign nationals subject to criminal investigations can legally be detained for long periods prior to evidence being presented. There can be long delays before contact is allowed with legal advice, British Consular officials or family. Legal representation is also far below the standard you can expect in the UK.
Foreign nationals involved in traffic accidents have been stopped from leaving Vietnam subject to police investigations being completed. This process can take a long time and foreign nationals have been asked to agree out of court financial settlements. British nationals in such situations are advised to seek professional legal advice and representation.
Vietnamese law requires everyone to carry photographic ID at all times. You should carry a photocopy of the pages from your passport with your personal details and visa for ID, and leave the original document in a safe place.
When entering religious or cultural sites respect local customs and dress in appropriate clothing.
Vietnam is a generally tolerant and progressive place for LGBT travellers. Same-sex relationships are not criminalised by law and changing gender is recognised by Vietnam’s Civil Code. Vietnam abolished a ban on same-sex marriage in 2015, although same-sex couples are neither recognised nor protected by law. In parts of society LGBT rights and issues are still more tolerated than accepted, but Vietnamese society has become significantly more tolerant in recent years. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or collect protected wild animal or plants. Vietnam is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Those caught buying or trafficking these items could be prosecuted and receive lengthy prison sentences or fines.
Never take photographs near military installations.
There are restrictions on internet use, which can affect access to social media websites.
This page has information on travelling to Vietnam.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Vietnam set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Vietnam’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy
If you plan to pass through another country to travel to Vietnam or return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
Covid-19 Entry Requirements
Vietnam has lifted entry requirements connected to Covid-19. You do not require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or testing to enter Vietnam.
This may change in response to new variants, therefore you should monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
Travellers to Vietnam must wear a mask and follow handwashing and other COVID-19 requirements. If you show symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, loss of taste, loss of smell, headache, diarrhoea, breathing difficulty, etc.) you must notify the health agency at the border gates.
Airlines and transit points may stipulate additional requirements to these so you should consult with your travel company/airline as to what is required, before travelling.
If you’re transiting through Vietnam
Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.
If you are transiting from an international flight to a domestic flight at Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City airports, you will be required to pass through immigration and enter Vietnam, even if your final destination is outside of Vietnam.
Check with your airline before departing.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you are visiting Vietnam, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.
A number of British nationals have been refused entry and exit due to their passport being damaged. Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you want to stay in Vietnam, you should only do so legally and with the right visa and permission to stay.
British Nationals can enter Vietnam for up to 15 days for tourism, transit and business (but not paid or voluntary work) without needing to apply for a visa.
If you wish to remain in Vietnam as a tourist for longer than 15 days, there are two visa options:
Book a tour with a travel agent in Vietnam requesting that the agent applies for a visa pre-approval letter for your travel to Vietnam. On receipt of the pre-approval letter by the Vietnamese Embassy your agent will inform you when to collect your visa from the Embassy;
Apply for an e-visa online through the online portal. E-visas are issued for stays of up to 30 days, single entry only. Use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points which you must select at the time of application. You cannot make any amendments once your application is completed.
If you apply for the 30 day e-visa while in Vietnam and are successful, you must leave the country before your initial 15 day stay expires to validate the 30 day e-visa.
If you are travelling to Vietnam for business for longer than 15 days, or are an expert and/ or a high-skilled worker you will need to contact your business partner/ employer/ sponsor in Vietnam to work with relevant authorities of Vietnam to arrange the issuance of your visa.
Those needing to renew their non-tourist visas can do so by completing the support request format or by telephoning the following number: 0283 920 0365 (ideally with the help of a Vietnamese speaker).
From 15 January 2022, those who entered Vietnam on visa waivers, e-visas or tourist visas from 1 March 2020 are no longer entitled to an automatic visa extension. If you now plan to leave Vietnam permanently and entered before 1 March 2020 without undergoing mandatory quarantine or treatment for COVID-19, you should contact your local immigration office in order to apply for your exit visa and pay any overstay fees. Going to the airport without an exit visa will result in you being denied boarding for your flight.
Vietnamese visit visas are issued for a limited duration, printed on the visa, and on the basis that visitors must leave on or before the date of expiry. Those who come to Vietnam to work are required to apply for a work visa/ permit. You should check the visa validity and conditions carefully. Overstaying your Vietnamese visit visa or working illegally is a serious matter and you may be delayed from travel until a fine is paid, deported and may be prevented from visiting Vietnam in the future.
The British Embassy and British Consulate General will not be able to assist with individual visit visa extensions should you wish to stay in Vietnam, nor sponsor individual applications or sign NA5 forms (which has the same effect) as this involves legal and financial obligations. For those with a valid work visa or resident cards, you can extend these at immigration offices with the assistance and support of your family or employer.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are not accepted for entry into Vietnam but are accepted for airside transit and exit from Vietnam. Please contact the nearest Vietnamese Embassy to obtain an appropriate visa before travel. If your ETD has been issued in Vietnam, to replace a lost/stolen passport, you will need an exit visa from the Vietnam Immigration Department before you can travel out of Vietnam. This process normally takes 5 working days. Contact the Immigration Department directly for further information.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines.
If you’re taking prescription medication into Vietnam, carry it in your hand-luggage with a copy of the prescription. If it has a total import value greater than US$100, you should declare it at customs. Some specific medicines can be hard to find in Vietnam and many medications on sale are counterfeit.
Vietnam has restrictions on medicines which it classifies as “addictive” or “psychotropic” medicine. These include medicine that can be used for the treatment of addiction, to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and other conditions. The rules say that you must not have more than the quantity prescribed by a doctor for 7 days (addictive medicine) or 10 days (psychotropic medicine). The prescription should be in English or Vietnamese and include your name and age and list the name, volume and dosage of the medicine(s). It must also include the doctor’s signature or address. If you’re unsure if your medication falls within these categories or if you need to bring in more medication than is usually allowed you should contact the Vietnamese Embassy in advance of travelling.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 115 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
The healthcare system in Vietnam is resilient and effective for the majority of medical care across the country as a whole. However, there are differences in capacity and capability between medical services in cities and some rural areas. More complicated treatment may require evacuation to a central hospital (in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City). The most complex medical cases may require evacuation to another country. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Complete the next of kin details in the back of your passport.
High levels of air pollution, up to and including hazardous levels, occur in Vietnam particularly in the biggest cities and may aggravate heart, lung or respiratory conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can find advice on air quality and possible mitigation on the World Health Organization (WHO) website. You can check air quality levels for some cities in Vietnam in real time on the World Air Quality Index website.
Some rice wines sold without recognised brand names have been found to have very high and sometimes fatal levels of methanol.
UK health authorities have classified Vietnam as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Dengue fever is prevalent in the summer and wetter months. The majority of cases are in southern Vietnam, though you should take sensible precautions throughout the country. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Further mosquito borne viruses such as malaria and Japanese encephalitis occur in Vietnam particularly in the rainy season. Take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
There have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Vietnam but the risk to humans is low. Risks can be mitigated by avoiding visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and making sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
Tropical cyclones affect the eastern coastal regions. In addition to strong winds, the associated rainfall frequently leads to flooding and disruption to transport. The season normally runs from May to November, but tropical cyclones can occur outside this period. Monitor approaching storms on the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting website and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate which produces large amounts of rain in short periods of time over and above rainfall associated with cyclones. Localised flooding, flash floods and landslides are common and care should be taken if trekking in rural and mountainous areas.
The local currency is Vietnam Dong (VND).
Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Changing money elsewhere is illegal and while higher rate may be on offer you may risk losing your money.
Credit cards are widely accepted but, in rural areas particularly, you should carry cash as a back-up. It may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
You can have funds transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.
If you plan to take money out of Vietnam, you can take out amounts of less than 15 million in Vietnamese dong or USD5000 (or equivalent in other foreign currencies) without declaring this. Any amount in excess of this will need to be declared to Customs at the airport. You must also present one of the following documents:
- confirmation of carrying foreign currency or Vietnamese dong in cash abroad, issued by an authorized credit institution in accordance with the current provision of the laws on foreign exchange control
- written approval to carry foreign currency or Vietnamese dong in cash abroad, issued by the State Bank of Vietnam
If you need urgent consular assistance, you can contact the British Embassy in Hanoi on +84 (0) 24 3936 0500 or the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on +84 (0) 28 3825 1380. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.