Holidaymakers are being urged to prepare properly for foreign travel, as a report from the Foreign Office (FCO) reveals Brits are still getting into trouble abroad.
The report shows that between April 2008 and March 2009, 5,430 Brits needed consular assistance in Spain. There were 1,534 British arrests in the US, 2,446 passports were lost or stolen in Australia and 433 Brits were hospitalised in Greece.
There were nearly 7,000 arrests worldwide, a fifth of which were on drug offences. Other actions which could lead to arrest include topless sunbathing, swearing and public displays of affection, warned the FCO.
The FCO said these problems could be avoided if holidaymakers spent time researching their destination.
FCO minister Chris Bryant said: “Helping those who do get into trouble is a vital part of our job, but so many of the problems we deal with can be avoided with a little bit of preparation.
“Researching the local news and customs before you travel could avoid time in a foreign jail. Getting comprehensive travel insurance means that while an accident may disrupt your holiday, it won’t bankrupt you in extortionate medical or repatriation bills.
“The message is clear – have a great time while you’re away, but make the necessary preparations before you go.”
The FCO is working with more than 300 travel industry partners to communicate travel advice through its Know Before You Go campaign.
In June, the FCO advised holidaymakers to check local sex and nudity laws before travelling abroad. Brits who moon, streak or sunbathe topless on holiday are at risk of arrest or fines, it warned.