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Holidays abroad are risky business for Brits

The research also highlights the extent Brits put themselves at risk for a good time, often not giving their health and personal safety a second thought, identifying the top holiday misdemeanours as:

* All-day drinking (24%)
* Serious sunburn (20%)
* Walking home alone late at night (17%)
* Having a holiday fling (16%)
* Suffering sunstroke or heatstroke after too much sun and not enough water (15%)

Worryingly, top excuses given for reckless behaviour abroad are the mix of alcohol, sun and a holiday atmosphere leaving people more relaxed (60%), the opinion that holidays are about having fun so they’ll do whatever they want (55%) and a lack of knowledge about local laws and customs (9%).

Bob Atkinson, travel expert from travelsupermarket.com, said: "It’s not hugely surprising that many holidaymakers are a bit more ‘relaxed’ about things on holiday – it’s usually why people go away in the first place.

"However, they do need to be very careful and think about what they’re doing and more importantly the impact this could have on their holiday.

"Risking your health by drinking too much alcohol and not enough water, or staying out in the sun too long is one thing, but putting personal safety and security on the line could put holidaymakers in danger – and on the wrong side of the law, as recent media reports have shown."

To help navigate the potential dangers, travelsupermarket.com has come up with a handy holiday safety checklist:

* Buy a guide book or have a look online to find out a bit about the country you are visiting. Try and learn one or two basic phrases in the local language;
* Don’t look too much like a tourist – don’t flash the cash or wear expensive jewellery and look after any expensive camera equipment as tourists are easy targets;
* Avoid poorly lit streets late at night;
* Dress appropriately when out and about unless you’re in an area where it’s ok to wear what you like – cultures can be different and "bling" can attract crime;
* Never carry luggage or any items for someone else through customs;
* If you are driving always check the licence requirements of the area – always carry your driver’s licence with you, do not give lifts to strangers and never drink and drive;
* Always find out what the local laws and customs are regarding alcohol. Many countries have strict laws and penalties for breaking them. Never bring alcohol into a country where it is prohibited
* Always keep your passport and tickets in a safe place – in some countries you are required to keep your passport on you at all times. Make sure you take a photocopy of all your important travel documents and leave with your parents or friends at home;
* Be aware of sexual health risks – make sure you use protection and take items such as condoms with you. Even if you don’t use them you might help a friend. It’s better to be over prepared;
* Use high-factor sun creams and reapply regularly, especially after going in water. Take a hat and try to stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day from 11am – 3pm. Drink plenty of water. If you do show symptoms then stay inside and keep cool. If these persist consult a doctor using your travel insurance policy if required;
* Use common sense and don’t take any unnecessary risks and you’ll then have a holiday to remember for the right reasons.

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