25 June 2015

Posted by Discount Insurance on Thursday, June 25, 2015
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The world is big and a lot of it can be unfamiliar but it isn’t necessarily dangerous or unsafe!

Here are a few common sense tips that should keep you safe on your travels:

Tell someone you are going away

It is important to share your travel itinerary and flight details with your family or a close friend, so they know where you might be in an emergency. This is particularly important if you are embarking alone on an independent adventure.

Scan important documents

Scan all your travel documents such as your passport, visas, travel insurance documents and email them to yourself. This way, even if you lose your bags and the original documents themselves, you still have a backup!

Don't keep your wallet and purse in your back pocket 

The safest home for your wallet/purse would be the inside pocket of your jacket! But if this isn’t possible, then keep your wallet in your front pocket, preferably one that can be buttoned up.

There are many different ‘money belts’ available which are a little bit more subtle and fashionable than ‘bum bags’ that can hang inside your shirt or wrap around your waist (under your shirt). It’s important to ensure that it’s waterproof because travelling can be sweaty work.

Separate your sources

Lost cards while abroad can be very difficult to replace and being without money while you’re travelling is the perfect ingredient for a miserable time. Rather than keeping all your bank cards in one place, like you do at home, keep at least one in a different place – so if you do lose your wallet, you won’t have lost everything.

It’s also an idea to let your credit card company and bank know that you will be abroad, where and for how long so they don’t mistake overseas transactions as being fraudulent.

 Glance back

When travelling, you are likely to be lugging around more bags and items than when you are at home, so you’re more likely to leave something behind. Travel can be very distracting so get in to the habit of looking back when you get up to leave somewhere.

Don’t pet stray animals

Although stray animals might appear as if they need looking after, they are more than capable of looking out for themselves. They could also be carrying rabies and other travel-ruining infections so keep your hands to yourself and don’t pet the animals!

Some things are best learnt at home

Many people are injured and even killed in scooter accidents in Thailand, almost every day. Teaching yourself something new such as riding a motorbike, without the help of an expert is not a great idea. Also, make sure you check what your travel insurance covers before you decide to try something risky.

Don’t give to beggars

Giving away money to people on the street is a bad move because firstly, you are taking out your wallet/purse when it’s not essential and secondly, it encourages begging. There are exceptions to this rule, such as monks seeking alms however, if you want to help out then invest your time in volunteer work or donate money to a local charity in your destination.

Read the fine print 

If you venture out to do something exciting such as bungee jumping or scuba diving, check the operators have legitimate qualifications and a good safety record. Saving money for a cheaper course isn’t worth risking your life!

Be careful of the locals

One of the jobs of travelling, especially travelling alone, is meeting new people from all over the world. There is a certain level of trust you must have in order to get to know the locals but there are also limits. Don’t compromise your personal safely by going to risky areas of town with your new friends, or ask them to hold money for you. Don’t consume their food or drink, particularly if they are not eating it themselves.

Don’t flaunt your valuables

While travelling abroad, depending on your location, you are likely to be richer than most of the locals. Advertising your affluence by wearing an expensive camera around your neck, carrying a laptop under your arm or wearing gold jewellery makes you’re a prime target for thieves. Try to leave your expensive items at home and carry items such as cameras and tablets in a bag.

Trust your instincts

If you ever feel threatened or uncomfortable but you’re not quite sure why, then follow your instincts and leave the situation as quickly as you can.

Get vaccinated

We all have those thoughts of “it won’t happen to me” but getting a serious illness while abroad can not only be life threatening in a worst case scenario, but could also end up costing a lot. Visit your doctor in advance of your departure to get the vaccinations necessary for the destinations you are visiting, and to learn what precautions to follow.

Get travel insurance

If you get ill or injured abroad, hospital costs can quickly escalate to higher than you imagined. Travel insurance is essential and it is worth it. 

If you haven’t sorted your travel insurance yet, be sure to get a quote with DiscountInsurance – call 0800 294 45221

Have a safe and enjoyable travelling experience by following these tips!