Be smart when travelling abroad
Finns are once again actively travelling abroad. Over the years, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been reminding travellers of things to take into account when travelling abroad to make sure their trip runs as smoothly as possible.
We have put together a checklist of things to do before travelling.
Travel advice notice
Read the travel advice notice (Opens New Window) (in Finnish or in English) for your destination to learn about the country before your trip.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs publishes travel advice notices on nearly 160 countries. They contain information on factors affecting safety, such as traffic, natural conditions, health risks and local legislation, along with practices that must be respected in the country but that may be foreign to people from Finland.
Submit a travel notification at matkustusilmoitus.fi(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). Unexpected events or situations can occur while abroad, such as major accidents, natural disasters or unrest in the area. Submitting a travel notification helps to ensure that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs can reach you in an emergency or crisis.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs uses the travel notification service to send information, warnings and instructions to people in the affected area and to inquire about their situation.
Everyone should have travel insurance when going abroad. An accident or illness is always unexpected, and even a minor problem may require attention. Anyone can trip and fall, get food poisoning or step on a jellyfish or sea urchin while walking on the beach. Insurance usually enables you to receive higher-quality medical care and allows you to save your travel funds for better purposes.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your insurance carefully. If you have a chronic illness, are travelling to a high-risk area or plan to engage in extreme sports during your trip, contact your insurance company to find out if you need to supplement your insurance with additional coverage.
An official identity card issued to a Finnish citizen is accepted as a travel document within the EU. A driving licence is only valid as a travel document within the Nordic countries. A passport is valid for all travel.
Remember to check well in advance that your passport or identity card is valid, and make sure you have it with you before leaving home. Some countries require your passport to be valid for six months from your date of arrival. Contact the embassy of your destination country to find out whether you need a visa to enter and how to apply for one.
A very common problem while travelling abroad is that a passport is lost or stolen. Keep your passport in a safe place, and if it is lost, report it to the local police. You can apply for a new passport at the nearest Finnish mission or, if Finland does not have a mission in the country, you can contact the embassy of another EU country. A copy or photograph of your passport may help you get a new travel document more quickly.
Make sure you have enough funds to cover the cost of your trip. If you have a credit card with you, be sure to keep it in a safe place, as it may be difficult to get a new one while abroad.
Travel plans can always change for reasons beyond your control. Make sure you have sufficient funds to cover additional costs that may arise due to an unexpected event or situation. These may include additional accommodation fees, the cost of a new passport or plane ticket, or medical and healthcare expenses.
Family members or close friends in Finland can also help by sending money abroad through a money transfer agency, paying for accommodation online or purchasing an electronic ticket for your journey home.
If you are on regular medication, remember to take the necessary medicines along on your trip. You should also take your prescription with you.
Check whether there are any restrictions or prohibitions on bringing medicines into your country of destination that could result in a penalty if violated.
Remember that it may not be possible to purchase all medicines locally. If necessary, a local doctor can prescribe a similar medicine that is available at the pharmacies in your destination country.
If you have a problem, stay calm and think about what you would do in a similar situation at home. Often, the same thing also works abroad. Common sense goes a long way. In case of emergency, you can contact the Foreign Ministry’s 24/7 service by phone at +35816055555 or by email at päivystys.email@example.com.
The consular services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs wish you a safe and pleasant trip!