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Travel safety & Insurance

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Customer and staff safety is the single most important factor in everything that Explore does. We always consider the safety of our tours, and have extremely experienced Senior Management and Operations teams who know intimately the countries in which we operate. We monitor and assess the threats operating in every country as an integral part of our work.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

As a UK-based company, we rigidly monitor the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel warnings and advice, and where we consider it appropriate to do so, we may cancel tours prior to departure, or terminate, re-route or otherwise make changes to tours operating in or through the country or part of the country concerned. Any such decision we make will always be made in the interests of safety and security. Occasionally we will pre-empt the FCDO and decide to leave a region based on our own feedback from tour leaders or local agents on the ground. We make no apologies for this - safety always has and always will come first. 

Get up-to-date travel information about changes in FCDO advice on our Travel Updates page.

Staying up-to-date before your trip 


We strongly recommend that customers visit the FCO website to read the comments on the country they are planning to visit, at the time of booking and also prior to departure, as well as sign up  to receive updates to the travel advice for your chosen destination. The FCO website provides a travel summary for every country, together with advice on safety and security including crime and terrorism, local laws & customs, entry requirements and health, as well as general information. It also has contact details for embassies and consulates of those countries where lone parents may require extra documentation. We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. A hard copy of the current FCO Travel Advice for your chosen destination is available by contacting cr@explore.co.uk or calling 01252 379438.


Other government travel advice websites

If you're not a UK citizen, we recommend you check your own government website. Here are links to some of the larger ones:

Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau 
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs 
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Travel insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.

Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter rescue in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.

If you have not already arranged cover, please contact our recommended Travel Insurance providers, Campbell Irvine who offer travel insurance specifically designed to cover travel with Explore, or call on 020 7938 1734.

Campbell Irvine policies purchased from 14 July 2020 onwards include cover for COVID-19. If you are diagnosed with Coronavirus whilst travelling overseas with this policy, all necessary medical emergency and associated expenses will be covered. Unlike many other policies, you will also be covered if you have to cancel your holiday if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 or if you personally have to self-isolate. Find out more on the Campbell Irvine website.

Travel safety on tour

Your fitness and ability to participate

All Explore adventures require some level of active participation. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen tour. With this in mind, travellers should be aware, if it is felt that any customer is not able to participate in a tour without endangering the health or safety of themselves or any other person (including other group members), or that the presence of the customer on the tour means we will be unable to provide the tour in whole or part to other members of the group as advertised and contracted, the tour leader at any stage has the right to require them to leave the tour. 

To ensure that this is never necessary, please make sure that you have fully understood the level of fitness and ability required to complete the tour on which you are booking. Tour trip notes are quite specific about the level of fitness and ability required on any given tour. It is your responsibility to let us know if you have any concerns related to this subject. If you have any medical condition or disability that may affect your tour arrangements in any way, you must provide us with full details at the time of booking.

In certain circumstances, usually on more strenuous tours, we may require you to provide proof of medical fitness before travelling.

Optional activities

On many Explore tours, we include a variety of different activities which have been thoroughly checked by us. However, some tours do also include free time for customers to do their own thing. Customers should use their discretion when considering optional activities, and safety should always be the key consideration. 

Free time

Every country has its own issues with crime, and when on holiday we tend to be more vulnerable – partly due to being in a more relaxed frame of mind. It is therefore important that you are extra vigilant in areas where thieves may operate. 

• Take care not to flaunt your wealth – such as jewellery, cameras, phones and computers
• If you are carrying a bag, make sure its securely fastened to you and not loosely slung over your shoulder
• Unless you are required to do so, never carry your passport and flight tickets with you on the streets, and only take as much money as you need. Your money and valuables will be much more secure in the hotel safety box. If you can, scan your important documents (such as passports) and store them on your webmail account. 

High altitudes

Some of our tours take place at a high altitude, reaching elevations of 2500 metres or more. We allow time for acclimatisation and usually the body acclimatises well to spending extended periods of time above this altitude, however it is difficult to predict who is at risk from altitude sickness. Effects of altitude on the human body begin to appear at 1500 meters above sea level, and can lead to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) also known as altitude sickness. In more serious cases AMS can progress to High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal. It is very important therefore that all travellers are aware of, and able to recognise, signs and symptoms of altitude on their body.

Common mild symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, stomach illness, dizziness, sleep disturbance and shortness of breath. More serious symptoms include fever, dry cough, vomiting, bluish color on lips and fingers, difficulty breathing even when resting, lack of balance, loss of consciousness. 

For those travelling with pre-existing medical conditions, we advise customers seek advice of their doctor regarding travelling in high altitude, especially travellers with heart or lung conditions, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure or on the pill. 

Related pages: 
Travel health

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