PHOTO: A balcony can be a great amenity, but the British government wants its citizens to exercise caution. (Photo by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates)
The risks of falling from a hotel room balcony are obvious, but in wake of a slew of scary incidents involving tourists, the U.K.'s Foreign & Commonwealth Office has warned British travelers visiting Spain to exercise common sense and to avoid the dangers of "balconing."
"There have been a number of very serious accidents (some fatal) as a result of falls from balconies," the office warns in a piece of updated foreign travel advice. "Many of these incidents have involved British nationals under the influence of drink or drugs."
This year there have been several balcony-related deaths in Spain, including two women who fell to their deaths in Tenerife in June. The office points out that reckless balcony behavior and the consequences that result may not be covered by travel insurance.
"Your travel insurance may not cover you for incidents that take place while you’re under the influence of drink or drugs."
What's more, on top of injuries or death, tourists risk fines for dangerous acts.
"Some local councils will impose fines to those caught behaving irresponsibly on balconies or practicing 'balconing,'" the office states.
Although it's concerning that recent incidents have become frequent enough to prompt officials to coin a new term, the office acknowledges that "most visits to Spain are trouble-free."
Each year, more than 12 million British travelers visit Spain, with a vast majority coming away unscathed.
In addition to balconing, the office warns British travelers visiting Spain of other potential vacation pitfalls, including lottery scams and unlicensed taxi drivers.