Going on overseas vacation is always a fascinating and rewarding time – though we feel carefree, we shouldn’t throw caution to the wind. Foreign countries, even developed ones, have their dangers and hazards. Staying safe on your next overseas trip should be your top priority. How do you keep you and your family safe on holiday? We have some of the best tips so you can have peace of mind while travelling overseas.
Is it safe to travel there?
When researching your destination, you need to ask – is it safe to travel there? The US Department of State or Australian Government SmartTraveller may issue travel advisories to certain countries, alerting you to possible dangers. The Department of State Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” or Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisories mean you should contemplate a different destination. Unless you are into “extreme travel” and are willing to accept the high risk, these places should be avoided. Even relatively safe countries have their risks, and you need to be prepared for them.
Taking out travel insurance
Even if the destination has reciprocal medical arrangements with your country, you should take out travel insurance to cover your entire trip. Find travel insurance that will not only take care of unexpected medical expenses, but repatriation in the event of disaster, lost luggage, stolen goods, delayed flights, and other unexpected accidents. Some credit card companies will offer “complimentary travel insurance” if you buy tickets and accommodation with the card – but these rarely cover every eventuality and of course, add more to your bill in the form of interest.
Getting the right vaccinations
Certain destinations, especially in the tropics, will require an extensive course of vaccinations to ensure you don’t get severely ill on your holiday. When feasible, foreign tourists are urged to acquire immunizations against certain illnesses. Examples include seasonal influenza, COVID-19, diphtheria, hepatitis, and polio. The majority of travellers will already be immune to these diseases thanks to vaccinations, but it’s still a good idea to check with the relevant authorities before you decide you’re prepared to travel. Some countries may actually require vaccinations as a requirement of entry – be sure to check at the foreign consulate or embassy before you go.
Electronic document security
If you have travel documents, itineraries, prescriptions, vaccination certificates, and other documents you absolutely cannot lose, take photos, or scan them and back them up to cloud services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or MEGA. It’s not uncommon that you may lose your documents, despite your best efforts. Likewise, your phone or personal electronics may be damaged, malfunction, or be stolen by thieves. If your documents are up in the cloud, you can buy a cheap replacement phone and SIM card (in most countries) in order to retrieve them again.
Don’t take unnecessary risks
Would you jump off a bridge while you’re at home? Would you follow a stranger to an unknown destination? If you wouldn’t do it 10 miles from your home, don’t do it a thousand miles from your home. Minimise risk by making sound and rational decisions – that way you can have a pleasant and drama-free trip!