Travel News » June 2012 » Know your limits: Be careful with alcohol on holiday

Know your limits: Be careful with alcohol on holiday


Having a few drinks on holiday is a must for many of us, but it's important to take care and know your limits especially when you are in a foreign country.

To put it bluntly if you drink excessively and let things get out of control, you could be spending the next day in prison or in hospital facing large medical bills because you have invalidated your travel insurance policy, not just in bed with a bit of a hangover.

Many holiday resorts have a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour

Before you overindulge on holiday in you should be aware of the local laws and customs with regards to alcohol and public order.

The latest figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office show that the number of British nationals getting arrested abroad has risen by 6% in the last year, with evidence suggesting that many of these are related to the over consumption of alcohol, particularly in destinations popular with younger holidaymakers such as Spain, the Canary Islands, Balearics and Cyprus.

The police in many resorts including Mallorca and Ibiza have a zero tolerance attitude towards alcohol fuelled offences; as a result many young British holidaymakers are getting themselves arrested for causing trouble outside bars and clubs at night.

Whilst the FCO work hard to ensure the safety of British nationals abroad and can help in contacting family or finding local lawyers to act on your behalf, they cannot interfere in another countries legal system and can't do anything to get you out of prison.

David Thomas, Consular Regional Director covering Spain, based in Madrid, said:"It's particularly sad to see younger people throwing away years of their lives, often as a result of a risky decision made in the heat of the moment and after a few too many drinks. Not only can you end up with a criminal record but the effects on your family can be devastating."

Travel insurance can also be affected by excessive alcohol consumption

In addition to the risk of arrest, the FCO have also said that many hospitalisations of British nationals abroad are also connected to excessive alcohol consumption.

The cost of medical treatment in hospital abroad is normally covered by your travel insurance, that's what it's for, but you should be aware that if you require medical treatment because of an accident which was found to be a direct result of excessive drinking or drug taking, it could invalidate your travel insurance cover - leaving you with some hefty medical bills.

Everyone wants to enjoy themselves on holiday and you should, but you should also know your limits and be careful not to take things too far or get out of control as a result of excessive drinking or drug taking.

Check the local laws before you travel

The FCO publish travel advice by country, including information on local laws and customs, you should check these every time you travel.

FCO travel advice by country >>

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