Travel advice for Leaving Cert students
The Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon T.D., today called on students planning to celebrate their Leaving Cert results by travelling abroad to familiarise themselves with the travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on its website (http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=284). The key piece of advice is to have travel insurance, behave sensibly and avoid unnecessary risks.
The Department is encouraging students to take a number of precautions to ensure their trip passes off safely said the Minister.
· It is strongly recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, to cover medical treatment for any dangerous or extreme sports activities, accidents and unexpected losses such as cancelled flights, stolen cash, cards, passports or luggage.
· In addition to travel insurance, obtain a European Health Insurance Card (formerly E111 form) which allows the holder to access health care services when travelling to other EU or EEA countries. This service is provided free by the HSE. www.ehic.ie/
· Check passports and other travel documents now and keep them in a safe place when abroad. Email copies of travel documents to yourself before departure in case they are lost or stolen while travelling.
· Make a note of the contact details of the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate in case you need to contact them urgently.
· Have some knowledge of local laws and customs, remember what may be regarded as a minor offence at home can lead to arrest and large fines in other states.
· Do not drink to excess and do not use drugs. Remember in many countries being drunk or being found in possession of drugs can carry heavy penalties. Also remember that your insurance will not cover you if you’re injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
· Download the free Holiday Survival Guide prepared in consultation with the Department from www.drinkaware.ie
· Do not rent or use motorbikes or quads that do not meet normal safety standards or come with safety gear – remember if an accident happens and you did not follow the rules your insurance is void.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has had a busy year so far with over 700 serious incidents requiring consular assistance abroad. Thousands of Irish people travel safely every day of the year. By taking care and using commonsense and following the simple steps outlined above, students can help ensure their own well-deserved break is remembered for all the right reasons.