Sports Travel Keeping Safe
Sports Tours International offer travel packages to many different events in the UK but mainly to overseas destinations. The joy and excitement of competing in a marathon or cyclo-sportive in iconic overseas locations is sometimes enough to slightly distract people from taking normal precautions.
To follow below are some handy tips and recommendations to allow you to depart knowing that you are the best prepared that you can be. You also want to be sure that if you travel alone, your next of kin can rest assured.
Sports Tours International is the UK’s leading provider of travel packages to the World’s best Marathons and Cycling Events. For some inspiration for your next challenge, please have a look here for our cycling calendar and here for our running calendar.
As soon as you have made your booking, you should have your travel insurance sorted as well. Travel insurance is not only there to cover you and your possessions whilst travelling but the policy can also cover you in case you have to cancel your trip for any reason.
There are a few things to look out for when you take out travel insurance:
What are you insuring? Expensive bikes, wheels or luggage may not be covered in case they are damaged in transit or get stolen whilst you are on a trip.
Activities that are covered. Cycling or running in competitions has to be declared to the insurer
The excess. These can be very high which makes claiming for smaller items not worth your while.
For some information on Sports Tours International travel insurance in cooperation with Endsleigh have a look here. To complement your travel insurance, get an EHIC card.
There is a reciprocal agreement in place within the EU and Switzerland which entitles citizens of member states tomedical treatment in non-private, state-run medical facilities whilst overseas. The EHIC card is free and if you haven’t already got one you can apply for one here. Don’t pay a company to apply for it for you as it is a totally free service provided by the NHS.
Please note that you still need travel insurance as private services like ambulances, helicopter evacuations and physiotherapy may not be covered and will have to be paid for. Also if you need repatriation, this is typically covered by your travel insurance as well.
In general if you do have treatment in a hospital overseas, the EHIC card will cover 80% of your medical expenses. Your travel insurance should cover the rest but it maybe that you have to pay this first and claim back after.
Race Gold membership of British Cycling also gives you personal accident insurance that covers overseas events. Should you be the cause of an accident, third party liability insurance is available for Race Gold, Race Silver and Ride Members.
For more details of the legal and insurance benefits of British Cycling membership go here.
In case of emergency
When you make a booking with Sports Tours International we ask you to give us a number for us to contact in case of an emergency. It is extremely important that this number is up to date.
There are companies on the market who produce bracelets or necklaces with important emergency info on it like name, blood group, allergy information and ‘in case of emergency’ contact numbers on. It is also worth remembering to put emergency contact details in your mobile phone (don’t put a key code on whilst you are competing). We recommend OneLifeID.
When running a Marathon or riding a Cyclo-Sportive, you will be given a number plate or paper number to wear. On the back of the number you can fill out emergency details as well. Don’t forget to do this.
Pan-European emergency number
112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.
It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.
When a person dials 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the national organisation of emergency services, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.
Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their national language, but also in English or French. If the caller does not know where he is, the operator will identify where the person making the call is physically located and will pass it to the emergency authorities so that these can help immediately.
Safety of you and your possessions
As a travelling cyclist or runner you have the opportunity to take part in events in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Whilst overseas take the normal steps and precautions you would do at home. Some advice on personal safety abroad can be found on the FCO website.
On many of our cycling trips you will either travel with your bike on a coach or you will fly with your bike. To keep your bike safe from damage, we advise you to invest in a bike bag or box. Scicon have the best bags and boxes and we can offer you a 25% discount if you buy a bag or box from them. More info here.
Not all of the Gran Fondos and Cyclo-Sportives we offer take place on closed roads so you need to be aware of the local traffic rules. The FCO has an overview on road rules in various countries in the world here.