From hot air balloon accidents to the dangers posed by fire-eaters – a lawyer has lifted the lid on common injuries and maladies which befall the shit abroad.
The most dangerous holiday destinations for British tourists have been revealed, and you might be surprised by the results.
From hot air balloon accidents to the dangers posed by fire-eaters – a lawyer has lifted the lid on common injuries and maladies which befall the Brit abroad.
Nick Harris, head of travel at Simpson Millar solicitors in Manchester, dealt with more than a thousand serious injury claims last year.
He said: “There are lots of inclusive holidays in the peak of summer that mean incidents around the swimming pool and huge outbreaks of illness.
“Last year, one hotel had 260 all fall ill at the same time.
“We claim millions and millions from holiday operators every year. People get between £3,000 and £50,000 – if they get life-long conditions as a result.
“A nasty stomach infection can attack the lining of the stomach, dehydration can affect the kidney and liver.”
And he says the most dangerous countries for injury and sickness are Spain, Turkey and Greece, Manchester Evening News reports.
Outside Europe, other troublesome countries that are popular tourist destinations include Egypt, apparently known for the world’s ‘filthiest money’ thanks to the habit of storing it in shoes.
Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Kenya also rank among the worst.
Key hazards in Spain include balcony falls, roadside and station robberies and swimming pool bugs.
In Greece, holidaymakers are warned of quad bike, moped and car accidents, sexual assault and violence.
Because their water pipes are shut down in winter, Mr Harris claims, holidaymakers are at risk from Legionnaires’ disease at the start of summer.
Later in the season, he says, more sinister stomach bugs sweep through the hotels.
While in Turkey, major dangers include water slide accidents, trips, slips – and fire eaters.
Hot air balloons and camels feature high up in Egypt’s top warnings.
In the last five years, more than 17,000 Brits have ended up in A+E abroad after being injured in the sun through accidents, illness or violence according to the Foreign Office.
Nick says people need to be on their guard when holidaying abroad.
He said: “We represent lots of people from the Manchester area who unfortunately get into trouble when they are on holiday. Certain countries seem to have more than their fair share of accidents and illnesses. The map shows the places where we see the most incidents.
“As soon as we unpack that bag and lie down on the sun lounger we forget all the rules we follow when at home.
“Most accidents occur because people let their guard down and act in a way they wouldn’t normally.
“When something happens it can have very serious consequences and can be life changing.
“At best it can mean a ruined holiday and at worst it can affect the rest of that person’s life.”
“There literally is danger at every turn, be it in the pool, in your food, on the stairs or outside the front of your hotel.”
This map collated in conjunction with Simpson Millar shows some of the biggest problems that tourists may face at the most popular holiday destinations this summer.
The most common complaints Nick handles include dirty, bug-ridden pools and undercooked food, as well as trips and slips in and around hotels and accidents in hotel rooms.
Nick, whose offices are based in Oxford Road added: “I have handled lots of cases of people who have been seriously ill after swimming in a contaminated pool or eating half cooked food from a hotel buffet or injured in an accident during their summer break. These people sometimes end up with serious medical conditions that affect their whole life.
“Accidents in hotel rooms where children fall against glass balcony doors which shatter are also common and they leave horrific injuries for life as the safety standard of the glass isn’t the same as in the UK.
“People also regularly get injured on waterslides at water parks with poorly maintained or designed equipment or by slipping while walking on the grounds.
“Health and hygiene standards abroad in food places are also often inferior to those in the UK and this sometimes leads to outbreaks of illness which can affect all the family and ruin any holiday.”
Nick added: “When you are on a package holiday it is the travel company’s responsibility to look after you and this includes ensuring that you are reasonably safe. If you do get ill or have an accident or something happens make sure you keep a note of everything that happens and any poor hygiene practices. Make a note of who you speak to and get photos or video evidence if you can.”
Top ten tips for holidaymakers to stay out of trouble this summer:
- Avoid eating from a buffets where the food is barely lukewarm and to watch the food trays as some of them may have been out for long periods and be harbour bacteria . Also keep an eye on the chefs to ensure they are carrying out basic hygiene practices and appear clean.
- Fruit may not always be the best option as it may have been washed in contaminated water. Vegetables may have been grown in fields contaminated by sewage. So wash any fruit in bottled mineral water if possible.
- Check the pool is clean and that the water is clear and there is no algae or debris – if you have any doubts avoid it until you are satisfied it has been treated.
- Look around the dining areas for animals or insects – including birds and stray cats. These can harbour disease which humans can catch.
- Make sure you run the taps on your shower and bath for ten minutes when you arrive in your room with the doors open as they may be harbouring potentially deadly legionnaires disease.
- Keep an eye on kids at the start and end of the holiday when they are in the pool as these are the days when accidents are most likely to occur.
- Pack a carbon monoxide detector in your case as many tourists find themselves suffering from CO2 gas poisoning every year when they go on holiday.
- Take a mixture of currency and cards in case either is lost or stolen.
- Check your insurance policy covers water parks and water sports such as jet skiing or camel rides as often they are exempt as ‘hazardous activities.’
- Check the Foreign Office website before you go away to see the latest advice on the country you are travelling to.
- Take out insurance