For adrenaline junkies, adventure holidays are an exciting getaway to conquer fears and make memories. But they can pose risks for holidaymakers because of the dangers some activities come with and the lack of safety standards in some countries.

Whether you’re trekking, bungee jumping, canoeing, or exploring a country by air, you should take the necessary safety steps to make sure your adventure goes to plan:

Background Checks

  • Do a background check on the company carrying out your trip before booking any excursion, looking at how long they’ve been in service and reading reviews
  • Check if the organisers comply with and adhere to safety standards, such as the British Standard for Adventurous Activities (BS 8848), or the local equivalent. This aims to reduce the likelihood of accidents, and gives overseas organisations minimum standards to follow. It also makes sure adventures are planned thoroughly and carried out as safely as possible. If they don’t comply, ask the organisers why they don’t, and reconsider your booking
  • Check whether the trip organiser or provider has appropriate insurance in place to cover any injuries you might suffer if things go wrong 
  • Before your trip, make sure you get clear information on timings, itineraries, potential risks, the expertise of staff, and health and safety information, including what to do in the event of an accident. Don’t be afraid to ask any further questions and to see a copy of their written incident and emergency plan
  • Before signing up to a venture, read all the terms and conditions of the contract carefully, and ask questions if points are unclear. Ask for these if they aren’t sent to you automatically after booking
  • If your excursion involves the use of equipment, make sure the organiser has provided efficient safety gear. Ask when the equipment was last renewed or checked by officials 
  • Ask the excursion organisers what level of fitness, experience and skill is needed to take part in the activities, as you may not fit the criteria If you don’t, you could be held liable in the event of an accident. Remember to pack any medication on trips, including Epipens and inhalers 

Insurance

  • Before travelling, make sure you have travel insurance with good medical assistance cover for the whole duration of your trip
  • Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if your holiday’s in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC gives you secure access to state healthcare in other EEA countries up until the expiry date shown on the card. If yours has expired, you’ll need to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace an expired EHIC. You can get one online or at your local post office for free
  • Don’t rely on an EHIC or GHIC alone. This doesn’t cover all expenses if something happens to you. For example, it wouldn’t cover the cost for you to be repatriated by air ambulance back home if you were seriously injured
  • Read the fine print of your insurance policy and make sure that it gives you the right level of cover. Many policies don’t cover adventure accidents
  • Keep a copy of any paperwork that you’re asked to sign on the day of your trip or excursion.   

If You Have An Adventure Accident...

  • You must report the incident as soon as possible to the staff working on the trip or activity
  • Contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident to get advice on your medical cover. Some companies have a set period for making a claim from the time of the accident, which is worth checking before you travel. It’s also useful to have the contact number for your provider to hand
  • Read the activity organiser’s insurance policy to see what they’re covered for in the event of an accident 
  • Make sure that your accident has been recorded by the excursion providers, and keep a copy of this. If possible, take photographs of where the accident happened and what might have caused it. If there are any witnesses at the scene of the accident, take a note of their names and contact details
  • If you seek medical attention, keep a report of any doctor’s notes, hospital documentation, and medical treatment receipts
  • Try to keep a diary of your appointments or any discussions with hotel staff or management
  • Keep a copy of any complaints correspondence you send.

If you are injured in an adventure accident that wasn't your fault, our lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation. Learn more about accident abroad claims.

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