Travel warning for young Brits travelling abroad

By Jim Reed
Newsbeat reporter


More young holiday makers are getting in trouble when they go abroad, according to the latest figures from the Foreign Office.

The number of people needing government help after ending up in hospital overseas was up 15% to 3,689 in the 12 months to April 2010.

"Young people are less likely to think they will need help and more likely to need it," said Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne.

Holiday makers are being warned to research destinations properly before they go and make sure they have decent travel insurance.


Road accidents and alcohol are the main reasons why young Brits are likely to end up seriously hurt on holiday.

Tourists were most likely to need hospital treatment in Thailand followed by Greece, Egypt and India.

The Foreign Office said a growing number of cases are down to moped and motorbike accidents with Greece and Thailand particularly dangerous for drivers.

Twenty-five-year-old Dean from Derby was working in Malia, Crete, as a DJ when he was knocked off his moped on his way back home.

"I had just finished my set and was dropping a friend off home when the car hit me," he told Newsbeat.

"The moped in front of me swerved and all of a sudden the car was there. Before I knew it my head was in the window and my bike was bouncing all over the place."

The driver ran off and he was pulled from the wreckage by a local worker in the apartment block nearby.

"My left femur snapped in half, I badly burnt my legs, my left arm didn't work, I had plastic burns all over my body and my neck was badly cut," he said.

After a week in the local hospital in Crete, Dean was transferred to the capital Athens and eventually back to a specialist burns unit in Nottingham.

He had private Greek insurance to pay for some medical expenses but no travel insurance to cover the transfer home.

In total his friends and family had to raise more than £8,000 to pay for the flight, a medical escort and transport from the airport to Nottingham hospital.

"Anyone who has a bad enough broken bone or motorbike crash will know how long it takes to get better. But eventually it will happen. There are a lot of people worse off than I am."

Young tourists are most likely to lose their passport or get it stolen in New Zealand followed by South Africa, Thailand and Australia.

The Foreign Office said some countries still refuse to accept a British driving licence as proof of age, making it more likely that younger tourists will carry their passports on a night out.

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