The Travel Doctor-TMVC wants you to have a safe, as well as healthy trip. Here are some tips for staying safe while you are travelling.
Before You Go:
A quick look at www.smartraveller.gov.au website can tell you if any special warnings or messages about your destinations have been published by the Australian Government.
You should register the fact that you are travelling with the Australian Government, so that in the event of some disaster or major problem, you can be contacted, found, or provided with assistance if required.
Register your travel plans at: https://www.orao.dfat.gov.au/orao/weborao.nsf/homepage
At the Airport:
The increase in security at airports around the world should make us all feel safer. Remember that your hand baggage will be subject to more stringent searches. To avoid delays make sure that you do not have nail scissors, penknives, nail files, tweezers or any other sharp objects. Limit your hand luggage to one bag - and prepare liquids, aerosols and gels according to the new regulations. Arrive at the airport early; allow at least 2-3 hours before an international flight. Do not leave any bag unattended. If travelling with young children consider the use of reins while moving through airports. Be alert when travelling, make sure all your documentation is up to date and carry valuables in a money belt.
At your destination avoid walking in less frequented areas, particularly at night. If travelling alone, stay in mainstream public places where possible.
Do not make yourself an obvious target for criminals, open displays of money and valuables should be avoided, and valuable items should be stored securely when not in use.
Check local security warnings or advice before entering unknown environments. Always ensure that someone at home is aware of your itinerary, and know where to go for assistance should you need it. A mobile phone can be of real value in a crisis situation.
If you are on medications for mood disorders, or psychiatric reasons, do not think that a relaxing holiday is the time to stop routine medications. Keep taking any prescribed medications, and carry an authority letter from the prescribing doctor.
Some basic tips:
Keep in mind that during travel we are subject to the laws of the country we are visiting. There are hundreds of people being held in foreign jails - mainly for drug offences.
Do not use or purchase illegal medications whilst travelling. In some countries drug offences carry the death penalty, or life imprisonment and flogging.
Do not assume ‘soft’ medications carry milder penalties. Penalties for marijuana and alcohol can be severe.
In many countries photographing military and government installations, police and border areas can result in detention. If in doubt ask permission before taking the photograph.
Please ensure that you have travel insurance - talk to your travel agent about this. Make sure that you have a policy that covers you for the things you plan to do and the places you will visit.
Overseas medical costs can be extremely high and the importance of having adequate travel insurance when travelling overseas on business or pleasure cannot be overstated.
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