Know Before You Go campaign

The Know Before You Go (KBYG) campaign launched by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is a phenomenal project aimed at benefiting global British travellers. Introduced in 2001, the campaign is aimed at helping British travellers to stay out of trouble and within easy reach of assistance while exploring foreign countries.

These days, the international travel industry is booming. Statistically speaking, British citizens are now travelling aboard more than ever, even in the face of global economic hardships. Unfortunately, touring the world can bring about more than just pleasure and enjoyment. Accidents happen, and with the melting pot of differing cultures and beliefs that is our world, travellers can find themselves in trouble when they are far from home. This is where the KBYG campaign comes into effect.

There are several primary areas that the campaign focuses on. These include recommendations towards the purchase of travel insurance and carefully reading the fine print, reading the country of travel’s travel advice as outlined by the FCO, understanding the ‘dos’ and ‘do nots’ of the local culture, identifying health risks and necessary vaccinations, copying important travel documents, informing others of where you are going and having enough money for the journey and access to emergency funds.

By taking these basic precautions, travelling overseas becomes a much safer prospect. Sadly, thousands of travellers from the UK fail to follow some or all of these steps, landing themselves in trouble abroad as a result. However, with the continued promotion of the KBYG campaign, many travellers are overcoming these issues.

The problems and issues that may arise during travel abroad are as unique as the people who travel. Research suggests that some travellers are more susceptible to experiencing trouble abroad than others. The KBYG campaign targets specific groups of travellers for mini-campaigns, which are designed to assist those most in need.

Young travellers, especially those who travel independently during a gap year, make up one of the more susceptible groups for problems abroad. This is largely due to their overall inexperience with overseas travel and their naivety when it comes to international culture. The FCO is currently working with schools, universities and travel companies around Britain to advise youngsters on the KBYG campaign and preparing for life abroad.

It isn’t just travellers who find themselves in problem situations abroad. Expatriates working overseas, or about to work overseas, can also find the information provided through the KBYG campaign tremendously useful.

The mini-campaign for gap year travellers is one of many different sub-campaigns used by the FCO. Some of the other high risk groups include elderly travellers and retirees, package holiday travellers, independent travellers, visitors travelling to meet friends or family and sports tours and travellers.

Publicity through the British Behaviour Abroad report and the FIFA World Cup 2010 are just two other ways in which the KBYG campaign has tried to get its message across. The campaign is also being advertised through more than 500 travel industry partners, all with the shared goal of keeping British travellers free from harm while visiting other parts of the world.

One of these partner companies is the popular website www.cheaphotelbookings.com. This webpage is a great source for booking accommodation, regardless of a traveller’s budget. With rooms at more than 20,000 hotels across the planet, all at the lowest possible rate, this site is an ideal partner for the KBYG campaign, as millions of cyber visitors view it each year.

In addition to the partner companies embracing and supporting the KBYG campaign, the project is highlighted in numerous publications. Some of these include the Support for British National Abroad: A Guide and the Lonely Planet Travel Safe.