Whether you are travelling as part of a team or going solo there are a few simple things that you can do to make your journey as safe and as enjoyable as possible. Here are our top ten tips for safe travel:
1. Check your passport is in date and has adequate room for stamps. Photocopy your passport and any relevant visa’s. Keep one copy on you, not in the same place as your passport. Give one to a friend. E-mail a scanned copy to yourself so that you can access it anywhere.
2. Have small amounts of cash to hand. When you go shopping put just the money you are thinking of spending in your pocket and leave the rest in your bag or a hostel/hotel safe. You can then avoid sifting through wads of cash when all you’re buying is a banana.
3. Check your travel insurance is adequate, never assume you are covered for all activities.
4. Research your destination and check out local advice on where not to go. Most City hostels will have maps and can point out any dangerous parts of town that are best avoided.
5. Avoid going out alone at night. Take a taxi or travel as a group.
6. Don’t go too crazy! Everyone likes a drink now and then but don’t go to the extreme of forgetting where your hostel or campsite is!
7. Have enough money and access to emergency funds. Carry a few hundred American dollars and think about taking a credit card.
8. Before you depart visit your doctor or local travel clinic well in advance. Let them know where you are going and they will be able to assist you in getting all the vaccinations you need. If you require lots it may take several weeks. It is also worth having a dental check up before you depart so that possible problems are less likely while you are away.
9. Always have a small first aid kit to hand. You might want to think about taking a simple one day 1st aid course before you depart.
10. Tell someone where you are going and leave emergency contact numbers with them. Use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office LOCATE service. It’s quick and very simple and if they know where you are they will be able to provide better assistance in an emergency.