The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has teamed up with the publishers Rough Guides to produce a guide to travel safety.

A new free guide for travellers offers some indispensible advice in a neat, pocket-sized format.

It's part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Know Before You Go campaign to increase public awareness of potential travel trouble spots.

The Rough Guide to Safer Travel aims to help British travellers get the most out of travel, safe in the knowledge that they are wise to potential problems.

Over half a million copies will be available free from selected post offices; to passport applicants using the Post Office's Check and Send service; and at university campuses.

The handy guide offers tips and advice on issues such as getting the right insurance; being sensitive to other cultures and observing local laws. It also contains a directory of British embassies and consulates worldwide, making it an invaluable resource for any trip abroad.

Kevin Fitzgerald, managing director of Rough Guides said: ''The Rough Guide to Safer Travel sits well with Rough Guides' own philosophy of promoting well-researched, safe and responsible travel. ''Getting it right before you go is far better than trying to put it right once there. "That's what this guide is all about. I would recommend it to any traveller.''