Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us and we treat all matters relating to this issue very seriously. We want you to have a pleasant holiday, and this can be made all the more enjoyable by exercising care and caution whilst abroad.
Whilst we actively encourage high hygiene practices and safety standards with hoteliers and suppliers, you should note that the laws and regulations we are used to in the UK may be of a lower standard in foreign countries.
We work closely with hoteliers and suppliers, to raise the standards we expect for our clients and to maintain a high level of health and safety for you whilst you are on holiday.
Please also see Health Advice.
Below is the contents of our 'Essential Safety' leaflet, which is sent to you with your travel documents.
Essential Safety: Staying Safe on Your Holiday
Longwood want you to have an enjoyable holiday, but please remember that when in a foreign country, you should exercise more care than at home. Part of the enjoyment of travelling abroad is experiencing a different way of life and cultures, but it may also mean experiencing different safety and hygiene standards than those found in the UK.
At Longwood Holidays we are continually working to raise safety standards overseas and will of course do our best to ensure that your holiday is safe and trouble free, but we do ask that you take extra care while you are away.
Care in the air; in-flight safety
Passport, tickets, money, valuables and medication should be kept with you at all times - do not pack these in your hold baggage.
Please note that airlines have the right to deny boarding to any passenger who appears to be intoxicated or whose behaviour could be considered disruptive. This includes any inappropriate comments or remarks made by a passenger indicating they may be carrying a bomb (or other such explosive device), a firearm or weapon, regardless of intent or reason for making such a comment or statement.
Pay attention to all safety information given on board the flight. If you have a pre-existing condition you should check with your doctor regarding fitness to fly. Certain medical conditions may be affected by flying, such as recent illness, injury or hospitalisation, surgery, instability or where special services are required. Any concerns regarding risk of deep vein thrombosis should be discussed with your doctor prior to flying. Drink plenty of water during the flight to avoid dehydration.
Never leave your key where someone can note the room number. Do not leave your window open, especially if your room is on the ground floor or has a balcony. Remember to lock your room door, even when you are inside the room.
All Inclusive hotels
When you arrive at your hotel you are likely to be provided with some form of identification (for example, a card, necklace or bracelet) which will have to be shown when ordering drinks, meals and other included facilities. Ensure that you take care of this as a penalty charge may be imposed if lost.
Having some alcoholic drinks freely available throughout the day can be a temptation to over-indulge. please therefore consider your fellow guests and your own health, and bear in mind that hotel managements have the right to refuse service to guests they believe to be intoxicated or under age (in accordance with local law).
It is standard practice worldwide for a hotel to ask for a credit card imprint to cover incidentals like room service, telephone calls or other hotel service being charged to your room. If you do not have a card and wish to use the charging facility, a cash deposit will be required.
Please be aware that some ATM machines may not have been updated yet to accept "chip & pin" technology, and you may therefore be unable to withdraw cash against your debit or credit card. Usually this is not the case, however we recommend that you take sufficient cash or travellers cheques for your needs. You should be able to exchange sterling for local currency at hotel reception or at the local bank.
The design and height of balconies may differ - children should never be left unsupervised on balconies. Do not climb or stand on balcony furniture, and keep all furniture away from the railings or edge of the balcony so that young children are not encouraged to climb up. Never lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall/railings, and do not attempt to jump between balconies.
Glass windows and doors
Hotels are not usually legally obliged to install toughened or safety glass in doors and windows, so caution should be taken at all times. Take extra care in bright sunlight as it may not be obvious whether the window/door is open or closed.
Please take extra care when floors become wet to ensure that you do not slip. Condensation and water spray can make surface slippery and bath floor mats may not be provided. Do not use mains electrical appliances near water.
For your own safety, do not smoke inside lifts and do not use in the event of a fire. Children must always be accompanied by an adult when using lifts. Not all lifts have internal doors - when using this type of lift stand well back from the exposed wall as there is no protection from the lift shaft when the car is in motion.
Cots & HighchairsSafety requirements for these differ overseas. Please ensure that any cots and highchairs are safe and sturdy before use.
Please read all fire safety notices carefully. On arrival, always familiarise yourself with emergency exit routes, the location of fire extinguishers and alarm call points - you will usually find your exit route detailed on the back of your room door. Ensure that all smoking materials are safely extinguished and do not smoke in bed.
If a fire occurs, evacuate the room/area immediately - do not stop to collect personal belongings. Close any doors behind you, raise the alarm and proceed to an assembly point outside and well clear of the building. If you cannot leave your room, close all doors, put wet towels or clothes around the door seals and shout for help from the window or telephone reception.
In the unlikely event of a fire, please do not take any risks that may endanger yourself or others. Please do not use lifts.
Power and Water Supply
Hotels situated in some destinations are sometimes subject to power or water cuts, although they do endeavour to keep inconvenience to a minimum.
Food and Drink
Nobody wants to be ill on holiday; however, the heat combined with alcohol and new foods can cause stomach upsets. Hotels take food hygiene very seriously and endeavour to maintain high standards. By taking a few precautions and following the advice below, you can reduce the possibility of being affected by stomach upsets.
It is quite easy to over-indulge whilst on holiday. We suggest that you maintain similar eating and drinking patterns that you follow at home. Take it easy, as you may find that indulging, together with the heat, will make you feel unwell, lethargic and cause stomach upsets.
Many new foods will be on offer to you in resort. If there is food at home that disagrees with you, (i.e. spicy food), it is most likely that it will disagree with you on holiday too. Please take care when sampling local dishes. Make sure that your food has been cooked thoroughly and is still hot when served, or chilled as appropriate. Avoid any uncooked food (apart from fruits and vegetables - food that can be peeled or shelled).
We advise you to only drink bottled water, making sure that the seal of the bottle is intact. It is very important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not drink tap water and avoid ice in your drinks. Alcohol is best avoided whilst sunbathing or before swimming as it speeds up the dehydration process.
If you become unwell
If you become unwell with dehydration or stomach upsets, please refer to the doctor in the hotel as soon as possible.
We advise you to have nothing to do with drugs. Possession of even small amounts for personal use may result in severe penalties, including the death sentence in some countries.
In case of need we advise you to take with you a suitable insect repellent.
Personal Safety & Security
Prior to undertaking any activity whilst on holiday, please ensure that you are adequately covered by the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. We act as an agents on excursions and activities for independent local suppliers and we endeavour to promote appropriate safety standards.
If you choose to organise independent excursions, please check that the supplier's insurance and the safety standards provided are satisfactory. Many activities may be considered high risk or hazardous and may not be covered under the terms of standard travel insurance, so please check that you are covered before participating.
Avoid walking in poorly lit areas. Be aware that alcohol and drugs can lead to you being less alert, less in control and less aware of your environment. Never accept a lift from an unlicensed taxi, stranger or someone you do not completely trust.
Please take care of your valuables at all times, as unfortunately there are always some 'undesirables', wherever you travel. Look after your belongings and only take with you what you need for the day. Avoid carrying too much money or wearing excess jewellery when you are out and about and keep valuable items close to you at all times - ensure wallets and purses are not easily accessible.
Check that your room is left secure when going out. You should lock all money, valuables and important documents in a safety deposit box. There may be a safe in your hotel room, an individual safety deposit box available at reception, or your hotel may allow you to use their main safety deposit box. Please note that there may be a charge made for the use of a safe, or you may be required to leave a deposit. It is a condition of most travel insurance companies that you make use of a safe where available. Please remember to check and empty your safe before leaving the hotel to return home.
We recommend that you keep a photocopy of your passport details, and that you and all members of your party have details of your travel insurance readily available in case of an emergency.
Swimming Pools and Watersports
Swimming pools and all water sports can be dangerous, but following simple rules will help you to safely enjoy your time at the pool. Lifeguards are not always employed by hotels and therefore you need to adopt a sensible attitude around the pool. In the event of an emergency, know how to summon help.
- Do not swim (or allow children to swim) if suffering from a stomach upset.
- Pool surrounds can be very slippery - do not run in these areas.
- Shower before entering the pool to help prevent any potential infections and keep the pool clean.
- Always supervise children.
- Ensure that children use the toilet before entering the pool and take regular toilet breaks. In the event of a faecal accident in or around the pool, please report it immediately to assist the hotel management in ensuring the highest levels of pool hygiene. Do not change nappies at the poolside.
- Young children and babies must wear appropriate swimwear e.g. rubber lined swimming trunks. Swimming in nappies and nude bathing is unacceptable.
- Avoid unruly behaviour and observe pool rules and information signs at all times.
- Always check the pool design and layout before use; check your height in relation to pool depth (metric) and find out where deep or shallow areas are, plus any slopes or steps.
- Do not jump or dive into the swimming pool.
- Never enter the pool from bridges, rocks, decorative features or from poolside furniture.
- Do not use the pool if you cannot see the bottom.
- Do not swim immediately after eating and drinking, and never swim when you have been drinking alcohol.
- Do not swim at night or when the pool is closed, even if it has underwater lighting.
Please take the necessary precautions and measures in all water sport activities for your own safety. Only use PADI dive schools for diving and note that high risk activities such as jet skiing or parasailing or any other activities that could be considered as hazardous are not usually covered under the terms of a standard travel insurance policy.
Everybody likes to go home with a tan, but the strong sunshine & high temperatures can be dangerous. Take it easy during the first few days of your stay, and build up your tan gradually.
- Ensure you always use a high factor sunscreen and re-apply frequently.
- Avoid sun during the middle of the day, or cover up with loose, comfortable clothing and wear a hat.
- Do not expose babies or young children to sunlight.
- Protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses.
- Drink plenty of water during the day.
Remember that you can still burn, dehydrate and get sunstroke in the shade and in the water. If you do burn, apply cool water and cover the burn with light gauze to allow the skin to breathe. If there is an infection, seek medical advice - doctors are available and should be contacted via your hotel.
Longwood representatives cannot distribute medicine or offer medical advice; however they can point you in the right direction of the nearest pharmacy or contact the doctor for you.
Please ensure that you wear appropriate beach footwear as necessary to protect your feet from hot sand, stones or any other potential hazards that you may encounter on the beach or in the sea.
We want you to enjoy your leisure time on the beach. However, tides, winds, currents and local conditions can turn the safest looking beach into a hazard. Follow the four point National Water Safety Code for staying safe whilst on the beach:
1 Spot the dangers
Check out the beach when you arrive, take care when bathing and swimming, be aware of dangerous rip currents and strong tides and do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwaters and coral.
2 Take Safety Advice
Swim where there is a lifeguard on patrol (where available), and take their advice. Look out for information, such as warning flags and signs, and adhere to them at all times. Never swim where a sign says not to, for example zoned areas for high speed vehicles such as jet boats or jet skis.
3 Don't Go Alone
Never swim alone - make sure there are other people around. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Never swim at night, after drinking alcohol or on a full stomach.
4 Learn How to Help
If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody - preferably a lifeguard if there is one nearby. Find out what to do in an emergency - call the local coastguard or equivalent, and alert hotel staff.
The Dead Sea
When entering the Dead Sea please ensure that you wear protective footwear, as in some places there are rocks or salt formations which could hurt your feet. When bathing in the Dead Sea or in pools containing water from the Dead Sea, take great care not to swallow the water, and do not allow the water to get into your eyes.
Please note that if you have any cuts or sensitive skin the very high salt and mineral content of the water can also cause temporary stinging.
Important: Conserving the Coral Reef & the Red Sea
The spectacular coral reefs and the many creatures that inhabit them are a very large part of what makes holidays to the Red Sea so special. Caring for the reef and the beaches is something everyone can help with, by following some basic rules.
- Don't walk on the coral, even with protective footwear. Apart from hurting your feet, you will also damage, or even kill, the coral itself.
- Don't touch the coral, shells or marine life when swimming, snorkelling or diving; it's dangerous for both you and the coral.
- Don't feed the fish or other marine life.
- Don't leave any litter on the beach, including cigarette butts and leftover food.
- If out on a boat, never throw anything overboard, and be sure to observe the captain's instructions regarding the toilet.
Please not that all corals are protected and the removal of any marine life is illegal. Tourist police carry out extensive checks at airports and anybody found to have removed these items will be subject to very heavy fines or imprisonment.
Longwood's dive team participate in some clean-up initiatives in Egypt; If you are a diver and would like to get involved, contact us on 0844 770 4877 2570.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are fit to dive. If you are unsure, please see the PADI medical statement and contact your GP to arrange a medical prior to your departure.
Only dive within the limits of your training, and do not dive for a minimum of 24 hours prior to taking a flight. Please see our dive brochure for full checklist of all matters relating to diving.
Children are naturally excited and curious. They forget where they are and have no fear. At the start of your holiday please take some time to explain to your children about safety in and around your hotel.
Bring to their attention glass doors, balconies etc and please ensure that they are supervised by you at all times, especially whilst in the pool, on the beach, in play areas and in lifts, in restaurants and in all public areas.
Out & About in Resort
Please be aware that paving can be quite uneven at times and kerbs can be much higher and care should be taken whilst walking around the resort.
In some resorts you may be approached by locals with a view to showing you around and claim to work for Longwood Holidays or your hotel. You will not be approached in this manner by genuine staff so please take care. A firm but polite “No thank you” could save you a headache in the long run.
Please take note of local customs and culture so that your dress and actions do not cause offence.
Further information on your chosen destination can be found on our website and in our brochures.
Pedestrian Road Safety
Please be vigilant at all times. Take extra care when crossing roads - familiarise yourself with the direction of traffic, and be aware of different driving standards and speeds used abroad.
Please note that if you use any form of public transport whilst on holiday safety standards will not be the same as in the UK. Some vehicles may be open-sided and have unpadded seating. It is also unlikely that seat belts will be provided, and you undertake such journeys at your own risk.
Conditions, speed limits and road structures/signage are very different to that used in the UK. Anybody wishing to hire a car requires a valid international driving license and should be wary of convoy and visa restrictions in Egypt. Please hire a car from a reputable company, although it is not something we recommend in some destinations due to general traffic conditions and differing standards of road safety. Please speak to your local representative for more details about this issue.
Remember, do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt.
We do not recommend the hire of mopeds or motorbikes in any of the destinations that we feature.
Any issues regarding accidents or injury should be reported immediately to the hotel or excursion provider and also to our resort representative or local independent partner. The report issued by us will be for internal use only.
For further destination-specific health and safety advice, please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.