Stay Safe Abroad — Health and Safety Tips
The excitement in travel – arising from visiting completely new places – is also the reason why it’s important to stay aware of safety issues while abroad. New places mean new rules, different local customs, and changing health and safety standards. Combined with the fact that most tourists don’t speak the local language, travellers should follow some basic rules for safeguarding their health and safety and ensuring that their trip is smooth and incident-free.
1. Keep in Contact
As a general precaution, keep in contact with loved ones, friends and family on a daily basis and let them know where you’ll be going. Leave a copy of your itinerary with them and let them know the addresses of the places at which you’ll be stayin. For example, list all the Vietnam hotels at which you’ll be residing and send an updated list to family and friends as your plans change. This is particularly important if you’re travelling solo.
2. Country Information
Before you book your ticket and make your departure, check your government’s travel advisory and consular information website for the latest travel advice to your destination country(ies). Many government websites contain useful information relating to issues that could affect the quality and safety of your trip, such news about terrorism, political instability, crime, natural disasters, relevant local laws and customs, and any health issues such as epidemics. It’s a good idea to keep checking these websites as you move from country to country, or move from, say, Jimbaran hotels to another region, to stay aware of your environment.
3. Personal Safety
- Carry your money and travel documents under your clothes. For example, you can use a money bag or a pouch concealed beneath your clothing.
- Don’t wear jewellery in a conspicuous way. Leave valuable jewellery at home where possible.
- Blend in as much as possible and don’t draw attention to yourselves as tourists.
- Don’t share too much information with strangers.
- Handle cash discretely, especially at money exchange counters or ATMs.
- Keep your luggage close to you. If you have to check in luggage or place it in a bus hold, make sure you have a secure lock.
- When dining out, keep your wallet and purse on the table instead of draping it over your chair.
- Don’t keep anything valuable in backpacks or totes, especially if you’re passing through crowded areas.
- Keep valuables locked away in the hotel safe.
- Guard yourself against identity theft – don’t leave sensitive information unsecured on mobile phones, notebooks or any electronic devices.
- If you’re travelling with others, disperse your cash among the group so no single person is responsible for the entire amount.
- Stay in a group where you can and always let someone know where you’re going if you’re going to leave the group. Anytime you’re taking a taxi, arrange a licensed taxi or shuttle bus for your journey.
4. Health and Hygiene
In some countries, travellers may be subject to different hygiene and sanitation standards.
- Get your shots – if you haven’t been vaccinated, make sure you get your shots well in advance. Check with your doctor for advice as to which you may need to have.
- Bring antibacterial wipes – these may be useful for cleaning your hands or cutlery
- Drink bottled water – it may be necessary to stick to bottled water in some countries if you don’t want to carry a water purifier with you. Make sure the seal is intact.
- Medical conditions – if you have asthma or other medical conditions, make sure you’ve brought sufficient medication for your trip.