Saturday, April 13, 2013

Safety tips for international travel

travel is common place these days there are an increasing number of security tips to consider in order to ensure that you remain safe while in foreign parts.

1. Check the vaccination requirements. It makes good sense to ensure that you have the necessary vaccinations in order to visit a country. The World Health Organization restricts travel to areas affected by Yellow Fever and unless there is a medical reason why you cannot have the vaccine you will not be permitted to enter, and are warned of the possibility of death from this mosquito born disease if you do (see If you don't need a vaccination you may need to take anti-malarial tablets while away, before leaving or after returning, so make sure you know what special requirements there may be for disease protection in your country.

2. Check the airline flight safety record. Some airlines, like the Australian Qantas airline, boast a perfect safety record. They have quite simply never had a crash and are 100% reliable - as of 2010 - never having caused loss of human life from airplane malfunction or pilot error. Often airlines that offer cheaper fares have a worse safety record that more expensive airlines. Some destinations are also more prone to hazard than others because of the location, chance of bad weather, size of the run way and so on. When multiple factors combine you are just more likely to encounter accident or delay.

3. Check your government's travel warnings. In these days when international terrorism is feared by many governments often issue travel restrictions that warn their nationals not to enter certain countries because of local skirmishes, terror threats, natural disasters etc. Going into a hazardous zone is something you will want to avoid if you are concerned about safety.

4. Know the local laws of the country you visit. You will get into trouble if you assume that your nation's laws apply in every country of the world! Make sure that you know local laws - like whether alcohol may be consumed in public, what substances are illegal,  what forms of defense are accepted and so on. Countries like Australia do not permit you to use a capsicum spray and ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law.

5. Take medical insurance. Keeping yourself safe usually includes having some insurance cover for unexpected medical expenses. You do not want to find you are sick and unable to gain assistance from "respectable" doctors in the nation you are visiting because you can't afford them. Medical insurance may pay for you to fly home and receive treatment, or go to a good local hospital.

6. Consider insurance for personal belongings. Keeping ourselves safe often extends to keeping valuables safe. Consider insurance for those items that you could not bear to loose or have stolen or damaged.

7. Use common sense with personal safety. Also make sure you do not make yourself or your belongings unnecessary vulnerable. Travel with others, research local advice about areas to avoid, or not travel in after dark, watch your luggage, carry valuables close and make sure your bags can't be snatched, slashed or grabbed from behind.

Making sure that you have your health and well-being taken care of is always your first priority in international travel, followed by keeping your things safe.

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