People travel abroad for a number of reasons. It can be to visit friends or family or to go on vacation. In some cases, people move overseas for their jobs, or to fulfill a dream.
It can often be daunting when you go abroad for the first time. You may not know what to expect, or how to prepare for the trip. Above all, your concern may be for your personal safety. This article has been written to provide you with some essential strategies for your first journey overseas.
Check Your Destination
Make sure that your journey will be safe, and check for any weather warnings. Be certain that the country is not prone to natural disasters, such as tsunamis or earthquakes. Check the economic and political status of the country, in case there could be social uprisings or a coup.
Also, research the location where you will stay. Ensure it’s not a place with high unemployment, gangs or drug-related crime. If your lodgings are surprisingly cheap, there could be a reason for it. If you won’t be using a car, be sure you won’t have to walk through parks or dangerous areas late at night.
You may wish to assess your accommodation on arrival. Check for such things as bed bugs, fleas, and other pest infestations. There are companies that provide commercial and residential disinfection services, using sprays that are anti-microbial, safe, and non-toxic. Once the work has been completed, you may be allowed to re-enter the property after a quarter of an hour.
Visit Your Doctor Before You Go
It may be necessary for you to receive a vaccination for such things as bird flu, rabies, hepatitis, tetanus or typhoid. If you are given a vaccination certificate, you may need to produce it before you can enter the country. You may need to be prescribed malaria tablets.
The doctor may also be able to advise you whether the water is safe to drink.
Learn About The Language And Culture
Don’t rely on the fact that most people in the country speak English. If you find yourself in a crisis in the middle of nowhere, you’ll need to know some basic words. Keep a phrasebook or dictionary with you at all times.
It’s also important to understand the culture. It may be offensive to wear a low-cut dress in the region, or certain body language may be taken as insulting.
Protect Your Documents
Never walk around with important items in your back pocket or rucksack. Many tourists wear money belts around their waist, to protect themselves from pickpockets.
Imagine that someone stole your passport, visa, or credit cards. This is why you need to store photocopies in a different location. Take photos of the documents too, and keep them on your phone.
Be Sure That You Can Access Your Money Overseas
It’s always advisable to bring some cash with you for such things as taxis. You may wish to bring some travelers’ cheques also. It’s wise to have at least two credit cards with you but be sure you will be able to use them when you arrive. Interestingly, it’s often the case that people get better exchange rates when they are abroad than when they sort everything at their local bank.
Take Out Insurance
People often take out travel insurance to cover such things as loss of baggage, delays or flight cancellations. If you plan on renting a car or bike, you should take out insurance for this before you travel; should the vehicle be damaged for any reason, you may end up with legal fees to pay.
Nations such as the United Kingdom provide free healthcare for all. Other countries may provide partial medical assistance. As a visitor you may not have any entitlement at all, should you become ill or injured. It’s therefore key that you obtain suitable medical insurance before your travel. This may cover you for treatment and prescriptions, and give you access to certain clinics and hospitals. Some medical insurance even includes emergency evacuations where required.
It’s safest to not travel abroad alone, but if you are traveling solo, consider these safety tips. Don’t give your luggage to strangers or accept lifts from anyone other than genuine taxis. Give your contact details to your friends back home. Don’t post holiday pictures on social media while you are away, otherwise, someone may break into your empty home.
As you can see, there are lots of different factors that can relate to travel safety. When you have made all the necessary arrangements, you will be best placed for a relaxed and enjoyable experience.