General Guidance for Foreign Travel!
Prior to Leaving:
- Check your government travel page for the country(s) you are traveling to, they will advise on any issues and supply various guidance.
- Register for e-mail alerts for the latest updates to where you are going.
- Check Twitter out for government sites like “FCOtravel” which provide up to date news on many countries.
- Record your Embassy or Consulate contact details, these are easily obtainable on-line and come in handy in an emergency situation. Make sure you check opening hours and out of hours emergency numbers.
- I have said it once or twice throughout this web site and I will say it again “Never ever Travel without Insurance”. Make sure you have ample coverage, especially if you are doing what is considered dangerous activities such as hand-gliding, para-sailing etc, don’t wait until it’s too late!
- Make note of the emergency numbers of the countries you are visiting, especially Police and ambulance.
- Visit your Doctor before traveling to ascertain what inoculations you will need and if you are already taking medication, ensure you have enough supplies until your return.
- Make sure you have at least 6 months of validity remaining on your passport from the return date and that you have all necessary visas/travel permits.
- Ensure you have copies of all travel documentation, especially your passport. Why not keep an electronic copy on your smartphone or even store them on-line!
- Keep your emergency contact details up to date.
- Check with your cell/mobile phone service provider before leaving home about roaming charges and connection fees and naturally to make sure your phone works abroad.
- Leave your itinerary/contact details with family or friends, or even at your work place.
- Take more than one payment method, cash, credit or debit card or better still Travelers Checks, remember to retain copies of these also.
- If your booking through a Travel Agent they usually have all the bases covered for you, make sure you sit down and discuss any concerns with them.
- Driving abroad? Make sure you check on the rules of the road for that country, that you have a valid license and ample motor insurance.
- To help you plan your trip, purchase a good travel guide, these will come in handy.
- Returning home with duty free? – check what you can and cannot return with, otherwise you may be disappointing when customs confiscate it!
When your Abroad
- Watch your valuables closely, never flash them around, never leave anything lying around on tables, blink and it could be gone. If you don’t want to loose it, cannot replace it (family heirloom) then don’t take it with you.
- By all means have a great time but watch what you are doing, don’t draw too much attention to yourself. Trust your gut feelings!
- Try using a backpack or across the body bag for valuables, especially phones and cameras etc and watch what photos you take, taking pictures of certain locations persons etc may be offensive and upset the locals or result in a monetary fine.
- It’s always best to carry your phone, or at least rent one so as you can store emergency numbers and be contactable at all times.
- When eating and drinking out, be cautious of leaving your food or drinks unattended, you never know what someone may slip into it.
Following some of these simple rules can be the difference between having a great vacation or ending up in a sticky situation.
Stay Safe – Stay Secure!