By and large, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about travelling abroad. In most places you’re likely to visit, you’re no more at risk of crime or injury than you would be at home. Nevertheless, when the unfortunate does occur, it can often be much more stressful if it happens when you’re away from home and in unfamiliar surroundings.
With that in mind, here are a few pieces of general foreign travel advice for making sure that you’re as safe as possible while on holiday:
Securing your luggage:
One of the biggest areas of risk when you’re abroad, keeping your luggage safe and secure is essential for any traveller – whether you’re backpacking across Asia or staying at a caravan park in France, losing your luggage can be disastrous. One simple step you can take is to padlock your luggage and mark it somehow, so that you can quickly identify it and that no one can simply reach in and take something. This can be helpful when you can’t keep track of it, such as when you check in for a flight. Once you’ve arrived you should carry anything truly vital on your person, until you get to your accommodation – where you’ll most likely be able to hire a locker or at the very least, leave it in a locked hotel room.
Prepare for an emergency:
Preparing for the worst isn’t always an enjoyable mental exercise, but it never hurts – and if the worst does happen, you’ll appreciate it. For example, it’s recommended that you always keep a reserve of emergency cash in a secure location as well as carrying some funds with you; never take all of it with you at once and never leave all of it in one place. Similarly, you should make sure that your travel arrangements can’t be spoilt by securing your passport, aeroplane tickets or other travel documents.
Research your destination:
Although there’s definite appeal in the romance of venturing into new territory without any preconceived ideas, it can be a recipe for disaster. At the very least, a lack of advance research is likely to be extremely expensive, as you won’t know what the average cost of living is – so you won’t know how much money you’ll need or whether or not you’re being overcharged. At worst, it could put you at risk of some serious hazards that you could easily have avoided with a little warning. The main point is that when you travel to somewhere different from home, it could well have different laws, different diseases and different standards of behaviour. A little preparation such as visiting your doctor for immunisations or reading the foreign travel advice on the Foreign Office website can go a long way to helping you prepare for your particular destination.
Be aware of visa and vaccination requirements:
This is sometimes unnecessary, and many places don’t require any strict pre-visa requirements – some visas can simply be purchased at the border for a small fee. However, some locations require that you apply beforehand and also might require a health check. To travel to Turkey, for example, you can just buy a visa at the border, but now to visit the USA visitors are required to register and pay for a visa up to several weeks before boarding a plane.