Escaping the monotony of daily life on a well-earned break is alluring to anyone. Whether you want to relax on a beach on an exotic island somewhere in the South Pacific, or you prefer the challenge of an adventure break in the Himalayas or one of Patagonia's famous national parks, there is nothing that stirs excitement and anticipation like the prospect of a holiday.
So therefore, you want to do everything in your power to make sure that you are aware of any events that may take place in your destination while you are there, how stable the region is politically and how tourists are viewed and subsequently treated by local residents and business owners. If there is an area of the town you should avoid, wouldn't you want to know about it before you go rather than learning the hard way? Exactly.
That's why you should start viewing websites that cater to the holiday travel industry and searching for your holiday destination, the name of your hotel or resort and any other pertinent local news that may be relevant. The best source of information for the political and safety aspects of travelling is the Foreign Office's website. This site lists all potential destinations for British holidaymakers and advises on whether travel is recommended or not. If travel to your proposed destination is listed as not recommended, you should sit down and consider whether you want to risk your personal safety just to tell people in the future that you've been somewhere. Your holiday may have cost a lot money, but can you honestly put a monetary value on your personal safety?
If you are travelling to the Middle-East, central or southern Asia or South america, it is also worth reading up on local customs. Even a simple hand gesture can have a different meaning in a different continent, for example, the hand gesture that represents the term 'OK' in various English speaking societies is extremely offensive in Brazil. Knowing about these customs and traditions can make all the difference between a good time and some awkward situations!
A relaxing or exhilarating break can be a great remedy for weary bones, provided you respect the place you are visiting. British tourists that visit holiday resort towns along the Costa del Sol in Spain and certain Greek islands have given the British holidaymaker a bad name in some parts, with boozy antics and general bad behaviour souring relationships with places that once welcomed families for their annual breaks.
By doing a bit of research and learning a little about the history of the area before you travel and showing your respect once you arrive, the reputation of the UK traveller can once again be restored. Just don't mention the Empire!