Tips on how to travel safely
So, your friends and family have used up their leave for this year, but you had been hoping to see the world – or at least some of it? Providing you don’t mind flying solo, you still should. Pay no concession to the recession: travelling not only offers us an opportunity to completely relax and escape from the credit crunch but teaches us as much about ourselves as it does about different lands and diverse cultures. The world is your oyster so taste it!
That said, as the case of Jamie Neal (the British backpacker who got lost in the Australian bush for a fortnight, in 2009) proves; travelling abroad isn’t a walk in the park. We’re not aiming to scare (99.9 per cent of all overseas travellers do make it home safely) – rather to make you aware that safety is a major issue when travelling.
Here are 10 tips to help you make your trip, a safe one…
*Photocopy your passport, travellers’ cheques and insurance details and leave one set with family and friends at home in case you lose them. Boring but important.
*Make sure your passport is up to date and ensure you have all the necessary visas.
*Find out in advance whether you need any vaccinations, as some jabs aren’t effective immediately.
*If you’re heading to any areas of potential unrest, check the latest situation with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
*Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends/family giving details of dates, locations and possible points of contact.
*Take out travel insurance – the last thing you think about but the first thing you need if anything goes wrong. It’s definitely worth it.
*Avoid arriving into a country late at night and book ahead for your first few nights’ accommodation so that you don’t find yourself without a bed when you first arrive in a foreign country.
*Take a credit card. You can access your money worldwide and won’t be caught short if you run out of cash.
*When in Rome… don’t forget to abide by a country’s code. This may mean not sunbathing topless or wearing skimpy clothes and in Muslim countries, covering your head. By showing respect, you’ll be more readily welcomed by the locals.
*Carry a business card from your hotel or hostel. It means that the locals will be able to point you in the right direction should you find yourself lost.
Finally it’s worth remembering that no matter how much planning and preparation work you do, things won’t go entirely to plan. But any ‘incidents’ will make for the most amusing travel tales when you return home. Bon Voyage!