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Travel essentials

Aim to see a healthcare professional at least 8 weeks before you travel abroad, and visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for safety advice. We also recommend that you:

Remember to sort travel insurance and check the details for medical emergencies, repatriation, countries, length of stay and planned activities e.g. climbing, skydiving, snow sports and water sports. If an injury happens after taking drugs or alcohol, or during undeclared activities, your cover may be invalidated.

3 top holiday destinations for 2019

For 2019, we have selected some unusual and breath-taking destinations sure to give you a unique experience:

1. Saba island – a diver’s paradise

The unspoiled ‘Queen of the Caribbean’ offers a unique experience and a great escape from the region’s more touristy islands.

Saba, the Netherlands’ smallest municipality, sits east of the Virgin Islands. Its airport runway is the shortest in the world! Visitors head to Saba for the chance to snorkel with turtles and tropical fish, surrounded by protected coral reef.

Saba is well known for its peaceful atmosphere and Mount Scenery, the highest point of the pyramid-shaped isle. Climb a stone stairway, through a rainforest full of bromeliads and orchids, to reach the top of this dormant volcano and enjoy a wonderful view of the island.

Best time to visit: (UK) winter months.

Visa requirement: EU passport holders only need to show proof of onward travel arrangements; no visa is needed.


  • Confirm your standard courses and boosters are up to date, as recommended in the UK
  • You may need to consider hepatitis B, tetanus (only if you are at ‘high risk’) and hepatitis A vaccination so make sure you discuss this with your healthcare professional or a travel medicine specialist

2. Suriname – unspoiled nature

Off the beaten path – north of Brazil and east of Colombia and Venezuela – Suriname is the smallest country in South America and boasts a unique multicultural heritage.

Around 80% of its land is covered with luscious tropical rainforests.2 Visit Raleigh Falls, a staircase of water that cascades down from the Coppename River. You may be surprised by some of the resident wildlife, including spider monkeys, electric eels and the Guiana cock-of-the-rock – a spectacular blood-orange bird.

The Coppename River is also home to the endangered manatee, while its banks attract hundreds of turtles in April and August – the egg-laying seasons. You may also want to explore the plantations along the banks of the Commewijne River.

Don’t miss Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the city’s colonial architecture and grassy squares, and sample its cuisine – influenced by Chinese, Javanese and Hindustan traditions.

Photo credit: CC BY 2.0. -JvL-

Best time to visit: all year but especially in the dry months (February to March and August to November).

Visa requirement: no visa needed but you must pay for a single-entry tourist card on arrival (credit cards not accepted).


  • Confirm your standard courses and boosters are up to date, as recommended in the UK
  • You may need to consider diphtheria, rabies, typhoid, hepatitis B and hepatitis A vaccinations so make sure you discuss this with your healthcare professional or a travel medicine specialist
  • Travellers aged 1 year or over need a yellow fever vaccination certificate if they’ve arrived from or travelled through a country at risk of yellow fever transmission

3. Croatia – the jewel of the Adriatic

From walled towns to dramatic turquoise seascapes and stunning national parks, Croatia is a must-visit destination.

Its coastline is flanked by picturesque islands, some of which can be easily visited by boat. The clear waters of the Adriatic Sea make it an ideal spot for diving, snorkelling and sailing.

Stop at Plitvice Lakes National Park, set in a forested canyon. Its 16 lakes are connected by waterfalls and cascades that’ll take your breath away.

Take a walk along Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls for a perfect view of its quaint baroque buildings and cobbled streets.

Visit Pula for some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world, and the capital Zagreb for its quirky Museum of Broken Relationships; also well worth a visit is the Biokovo mountains, where Mediterranean and continental plant species grow together. 

Best time to visit: May, June and September for pleasant sunny days. The Adriatic Sea is warm enough for swimming and not as crowded as in high season.

Visa requirement: No visa required for EU passport holders.


  • Confirm your standard courses and boosters are up to date, as recommended in the UK
  • You may need to consider rabies, tetanus and tick-borne encephalitis vaccinations. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are selectively advised for people at high risk. Be sure to discuss this with your healthcare professional or a travel medicine specialist.


Date of preparation: April  2019




  1. Fit For Travel. Saba.,

  2. FAO Country Profile – Suriname.

  3. Fit For Travel. Suriname.

  4. Fit For Travel. Croatia.

All accessed April 2019.