Have you always dreamed of going on an African safari, exploring the depths of the Amazon, or going on a food tour through Asia? These exotic locations have managed to maintain an air of mystery and intrigue about them, as many of them remain off the beaten tourist track. The downside of travelling into uncharted territory is that you may have to exercise added caution in order to stay safe. Follow these tips to ensure you have a healthy and happy holiday, wherever your travels may take you:
1) Do your homework.
The best way to know what to expect from your city break in Casablanca or your outdoor adventure in Nepal is to do a little independent research before you travel. This not only means getting a sense of where to stay and what to eat, but keeping informed of the current political and cultural climate as well. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is a great source of information for tourists, providing an overview of the local laws and customs as well as tips for your health, safety, and security while you’re abroad. If you know someone who has travelled to your intended destination, solicit their advice as well.
2) Get insured.
Purchasing a special travel insurance is a smart idea for any holiday—but becomes especially important in destinations that may have limited access to medical facilities and other first-world amenities. If you contract a holiday illness or are hurt in an accident, you may or may not be able to receive the medical attention you require while you’re on holiday. Make sure you’re covered in the event of an emergency—even if you have to pay the costs up-front, you can likely claim holiday compensation when you return home.
3) Make sure your immunisations are up-to-date.
Especially when you’re travelling to tropical and subtropical destinations, making sure your immunisations are up-to-date is a must. Mosquitoes in these regions carry and transmit a number of serious illnesses, including yellow fever and dengue fever. Depending on where you travel, you may need vaccinations for diseases spread through contaminated food and water as well—typhoid, hepatitis A, and cholera. Check the NHS Fit for Travel website for a complete list of recommended immunisations and other health risks in your intended destination.
4) Stay aware of your surroundings.
When you finally arrive in your foreign destination, exercise caution when you decide to venture outside of your hotel room. When possible, keep valuables locked inside a hotel safe. Keep a low profile, make sure your bag or wallet is securely fastened to you, and stick to the main streets. Avoid public demonstrations and do not travel alone at night. Finally, be smart about the consumption of alcohol—your chances of staying safe are far higher when you remain alert and aware of what is going on around you.