The 'Know Before You Go' drive, which will be managed by retained agency Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster, centres around research showing that 16 to 30-year-olds often travel abroad without sufficient immunisation or insurance.
More than 70 per cent did not view insurance as essential - despite 38 per cent enjoying high-risk sports when travelling, such as bungee-jumping and paragliding. One third said they had undertaken, or were intending to undertake, gap-year travel.
The campaign features a website with games, competitions and advice for gap-year travellers.
The research is being promoted to student radio stations, mainstream broadcasters, newspapers and consumer publications.
Biss Lancaster is also promoting the FCO website through 185 travel-related industry partners, said Biss Lancaster account director Sarah-Jane Arney.
The campaign comes as the FCO reviews the account for its travel advice programme, which runs separate campaigns to inform 18 to 35-year-olds, package holidaymakers and business travellers (PRWeek, 25 February).
Trimedia Communications, Weber Shandwick, Consolidated Communications and the incumbent have been shortlisted.