All You Need to Know About Safe Travel
When traveling either in the country or abroad, there are certain risks you’re exposing yourself to. Of course, anyone who travels already knows this, but what may not be common knowledge on the subject is the array of tools we have at our disposal to keep us safe and prepared when going on a trip.
And as being informed and educating yourself on what you can do in order to prevent ending up in a dicey situation or a more tragic scenario while traveling, we’ve figured it’s best to be proactive, and offer you a mini guide to travel safety.
Out of consideration for our customers, and travelers worldwide, we have decided to share some knowledge in the hope that our safe travel message reaches as many people as possible.
Do Your Homework Before Leaving
Check all the reliable resources you have at your disposal regarding your destination in terms of sanitation, water quality, healthcare, and the general standard of hygiene.
Check which are the most common health risks encountered in the country you’re planning on visiting, and make sure you get all the appropriate shots, in case inoculation is required.
Making time for an appointment with your healthcare provider and dentist before leaving is also recommended. Your healthcare professional will be able to tell you if you need a certain vaccine, depending on the location you’re planning on visiting.
The possibility of getting sick or injured is something that you should seriously take into consideration, and be prepared for.
Also is a good idea to check the below resources, to avoid trouble spots before you choose a travel spot. Here are a couple of resources to help you stay on top of things.
Check out the CDC comprehensive list of destination countries and the health risks associated with them so that you can know what vaccines you may need to get before your visit, and what health precautions are most important depending on the country of interest;
Be up-to-date with international travel health notices on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or on the World Health Organization website;
Learn about the kinds of natural disasters and weather emergencies that are prone to occur in the area you’re planning to visit, and make sure you take the necessary steps to be prepared in case something of the sort happens while you’re there;
Join STEP. A US government initiative, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program will give you access to travel alerts and warnings for the particular country you’re staying in;
While traveling via plane, especially if we’re talking about longer flights that exceed eight hours, make an effort to stay hydrated, and try as much as possible to do some light stretching or walking every hour or so. This is all to prevent the risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis associated with long-haul flights. During your flight, you may also want to wear loose clothing and compression socks for the same purpose.
Contact your insurer or invest in a travel insurance package
Making sure you’re covered by your healthcare insurance when abroad is essential.
At the same time, always take into account the possibility of having to pay for medical care out of your pocket, so also make sure you have an easy-to-access emergency budget.
Getting insurance for medical evacuation is also recommended when traveling.
One of the resources you can try when looking for insurance providers and overseas coverage is here.
Preventing personal injury or getting sick while on vacation or business trips involves more than healthcare insurance.
It’s also up to you to ensure you’re prepared to deal with such an issue by packing smartly.
Remember to also check the local medical laws in the country you’re heading towards in order to avoid bringing illegal medicine with you.
TRAVEL MEDICAL KIT
Some of the following are climate-specific, but overall, this is how a good travel health kit should look like:
First aid quick guide;
Picaridin or DEET insect repellent;
Antibacterial hand sanitizer or hand wipes;
Oral rehydration solution packets;
Sedatives to help with travel-induced anxiety;
Motion or altitude sickness medicine;
Any special prescription or over-the-counter medicine you might be needing on your trip;
Health insurance card with copies of claim forms.
Eat healthy on your trip!
It is also important to remember that you’re still a human person with needs, even if you are experiencing the thrill of a novel environment.
This means you should eat healthy, drink lots of uncompromised liquids, and don’t cut your sleeping schedule short.
Especially when traveling, most people tend to sleep more, especially during the first two or three days in the new location.
Make sure you allow yourself this time to regenerate and get your rest. Travel-related exhaustion is a thing, and there’s no shortage of cases where tourists ended up in an emergency room just because they chose to ignore their body’s biorhythm.
Preparation for your trip
Preparing for your trip also entails having easy access to local facilities in the area you’re planning to have your stay in.
This means getting the numbers and addresses for local fire and police stations, as well as for hospitals and medical centers.
Getting the number of at least one cab company in the area is a must, and having a reliable transportation app on your phone is always a good idea.
Also, make sure that you can quickly find a US consulate or embassy, if the need arises. You can check here an all-encompassing list of US consulates, embassies, and diplomatic missions.
A big part of traveling is not only looking forward and preparing for your trip, but also making sure that you leave things in order at home.
Taking a couple of extra steps to secure your house before leaving for a while is always a smart move, and there are a couple of simple things you can do:
Install motion detectors on outside lights;
Install timers on a couple of lights in your home;
Place a hold on your mail for the period you’re not at home;
Ask one or two neighbors or friends to occasionally park their car in your spot while you’re gone;
If you’ll be gone for a longer period of time, make arrangements for someone to mow your lawn;
If weather predictions show snow, make arrangements for snow shoveling;
Anything else you can think of that would make your home look inhabited is a good idea.
How to Be Safe on the Streets and Prevent Theft
There are a couple of simple measures you can take in order to prevent theft or getting mugged on the street while you’re visiting other cities or other countries.
First of all, don’t keep your money all in one place, either talking about cash or credit cards. In addition to keeping money stashed in at least three different places, also make sure that you divide the money you keep on you in two different stashes (your wallet and different pockets in your purse or hand luggage, your wallet and different pockets on your clothes et cetera);
Don’t give money to beggars on the street. A good way of becoming a target for street mugging is by handling your money in plain sight. If you feel compelled to give, the best and safest way of doing your part is by donating to a charity of your choosing;
It is not recommended that you try taking shortcuts while on foot in a new location, especially if you’re on your own. Quiet streets that are poorly lit are particularly perilous, especially at night;
Try to not make any compromises regarding the quality and reliability of your luggage.
Keep friends or family informed of your travel plans
Staying safe while away on business or on vacation is not a one-man job. In addition to knowing how and where you can reach the nearest US embassy or consulate, and having the telephone numbers for the main emergency services available in the area you’re in, you also need to keep in touch with people at home.
Sending your itinerary to a friend, to a sibling, or a parent is always a good idea, same as periodically checking in with someone from home during the course of a day;
Make sure that in addition of your passport and other important papers, you also have copies of those documents stashed in a different place than the originals. It is also a good idea to leave copies of the same documents with someone at home. Having pictures of the documents on your phone also works, but it’s always safer to also have copies in paper format.
Extra phone batteries
Your phone is a very useful tool when traveling, and you should definitely take advantage of every perk.
From security apps to packing apps and everything in-between, feel free to use as many of them as you think you need, but remember that you can’t rely solely on your phone.
If your phone breaks, gets stolen, or simply runs out of battery and you don’t have the possibility to quickly recharge it, you need to have a backup plan that allows you to move safely and be aware of your surroundings without onscreen help.
Traveling plans should always be made with a clear head, and with as much information on your destination as possible. And yes, there’s many people that seek the opposite when on a trip, a lack of plans and knowledge so that they can discover themselves all that makes traveling worthwhile. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
At the same time, taking the time to prepare a nice travel health kit, making sure you have a system in place for your papers and money, getting travel insurance, and consulting with a medical professional before leaving won’t take anything from the type of travel experience you’re seeking, but can do a great deal in preventing a bad situation from happening.
Don’t forget to check out the resources we’ve listed in this article, and feel free to add any other good websites or webpages in the comment section.
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