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Travel Safety Advice

Cultural Awareness

The effect of ‘culture’ on travellers falls into three categories:

 

Cultural Awareness is the initial process of learning about the different cultures you will encounter on your travels.

 

Culture Shock affects travellers on arrival in a new country. Culture shock is a far greater problem than most people imagine; it can have a very negative impact on travellers and has the potential to ruin a trip.

Vaccinations & Prophylactic Drugs

Travelling exposes us to disease, viruses and bacteria which our bodies have no natural defence against. Ignore the ‘old wives tales’ which suggest that a previous exposure somehow gives you immunity or that some people don’t get bitten; 1 million annual deaths from Malaria should convince most people.

So which one concerns you most?

Malaria, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The FCO is your friend when you travel; they can assist you when things go wrong and be a vital source of information during the travel planning stages and when in-country.

What the FCO can’t do is provide a get-out-of-jail card, fund your trip or circumnavigate local laws. You are always subject to the law of the country you are in and being British does not grant you any more privilege than would be afforded to a local person.

Communicating With Home

Much like keeping warm, staying safe is achieved though ‘layering’.

Fire Safety

The threat from fire is much higher in many parts of the world than it is in the UK, this is as result of the construction materials used, the firs safety equipment and the management systems.

Once again the much maligned ‘health & safety’ which gets so much negative press has produced very strict regulation, which provides the protection we take for granted.

When you travel to other countries it should be anticipated that these strict regulations are not always going to be in place or enforced; regular incidents from around the world go to demonstrate this.

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Accommodation Options & Safety

Your choices of accommodation during travel are a reflection of two aspects; budget and availability.

 

Budget

Your budget will determine whether you favour Hotel or Hostel, 5 star or under the stars.

If you have the budget for hotels then your travel will be distinctly more comfortable, however hotels tend to be relatively impersonal, people keep themselves to themselves and so you can miss out on the vital information hubs which hostels tend to be.

For those on a tighter budget the hostel is the mainstay of accommodation option

Transport Options & Safety

Your choice of transportation options generally fall into two categories; 'before you go' and 'in-country'.

 

Before You Go

Transportation is an area of travel planning where you have substantial choices. Do you book all your flights in the UK or are some internal flights cheaper to book once you get there? Should you get simple return flights or a round-the-world ticket? How flexible are tickets? How can you make up for the carbon emissions of your travel plans?

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is Essential!

Don’t cut corners with your travel insurance, cheaper is not better; but that does not mean you have to buy the most expensive either.

The important thing with Travel Insurance is to ensure it is ‘Fit for Purpose’.

 

‘Fit for Purpose’ 

Your travel insurance is the last line of defence when something goes wrong, it will get you treated in hospitals which will not touch you without proof you can pay, it will repatriate you if the worst happens, it will replace your valuables if they disappear and

Career Breaks

The number of people choosing to take a career break is growing every year. This is great news for everyone as the more people who take a career break the more acceptable it becomes to employers and the smaller the ‘impact’ it has on future career opportunities.

The situation has now progressed to the point where some employers have chosen to introduce career break schemes into their employment policies.

Working & Volunteering Abroad

Independent travel and gap years are undertaken for many different reasons, there is no right or wrong reason to go; some people just go for fun, for others it is to see as much of the world as they can, increasingly independent travellers are also volunteering or working during their time abroad.

 

Volunteering

One in three ‘gappers’ volunteers or works for part or for all of their trip.

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