Overseas travel tips and advice
Whether you are planning on taking a gap year, a career break or are just new to independent travelling, travelling overseas for the first time can be one of the greatest experiences you’ll ever have. You will experience different cultures, meet new people and whilst travelling can be a life enhancing experience, sometimes things can go wrong.
Getting into difficulties abroad, where you may be faced with different laws and languages, can make problems far worst. So whilst you are planning your trip read the following advice to get you started. You should be confident in the knowledge that you are well prepared, and a little time preparing and researching your trip now will leave you to enjoy yourself and the experience when you are away.
Arriving in a foreign far-flung country is always exciting but it can be daunting too! As this may be your first time travelling things will be unfamiliar to you when you arrive in a new country, so it’s important to do a little preparation before you go.
Here are a few handy tips to get you started.
Travel Insurance will be the most important thing you will pack. Don’t think it will never happen to you! Make sure you get comprehensive travel and medical insurance before setting-off. Make sure that your insurance is the right one for you and that your policy covers your entire medical and repatriation costs. Think about any activities you may be doing and make sure you’re covered for these.
Health & Well-Being
Once you have decided which countries you would like to visit make a visit to your GP at least six to eight week’s before you depart to find out what vaccinations you may require.
Passport & Visas
Check your passport is in good condition and valid for at least six months after your return date. Leave photocopies of your passport with a relative as well as taking a photocopy with you. Also check that you have all the correct visas for the countries you are visiting.
Get some knowledge
Before you go carry out a bit of research into your destination, including its laws, customs and language. This will help you avoid offending people or breaking local laws.
Take enough dough
Make sure you have enough money whilst travelling. Take a mixture of cash, travellers’ cheques and a credit card and don’t keep them in one place. Work out a realistic budget for the money you’ll need on a daily basis and try and stick to it.
Power of attorney over your bank account
It may be worth giving a family member power of attorney over your bank account. This will allow them to pay any of your bills on your behalf and contact you if necessary.
Don’t chase the dragon
Don’t be fooled nobody is going to come and get you out of jail if you are caught in the possession of drugs. Be aware of drugs and the consequences.
Know your limits
Have a good time, but know your limit when it comes to alcohol. You may find if you have an accident when you’re drunk you may not be covered by your Travel Insurance.
Stay in touch
Keep in regular contact with friends and family especially if you change your plans. Consider taking a roam-enabled mobile and use text or buy a phone card to use a land-line or email to keep in contact.
Get an email account
If you don’t have one already set yourself up a secure internet email account. You can store friends email addresses and access your account from any where in the world.
Flexible airline tickets
When booking your round the world ticket make sure your ticket is flexible this will ensure that you can come home or leave a country whenever you want without being restricted.
Don’t have a sleepless night
Plan ahead and book your first night’s hotel or hostel accommodation in advance, even if you are travelling a short distance from one country to the next. There is nothing worst than being tired and unsure of your surroundings after a long flight.
Be street wise
Use your common sense, be aware of what is going on around you and keep away from dangerous no-go areas especially after nightfall, plus situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Female travellers should be cautious of accepting drinks from a stranger. You may find your drink has been spiked with a rape drug. Try and blend in with your surroundings you’re less likely to become a target of crime or get hassled by touts.
Keep an eye on your things
Keep an eye on your possessions and never leave your luggage unattended. Secure your luggage with padlocks and always use the lockers provided at hostels. Be aware of pickpockets who tend to operate in crowded areas.
Work your way around the world
Working abroad is a great way to help finance your trip, allowing you to stay away for longer. If you are planning to work abroad, make sure you have the correct work permit and visas. You will also need to find out about the tax system for the country you are planning to work in, as you maybe able to claim the tax you have paid on your wages back.
Certain sites within a country can be deemed sensitive, e.g. military bases, government buildings etc. Be mindful of what you are photographing. It’s worth asking before you snap away, so not to run into trouble or cause offense.