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10 Tips For Safe Travel Abroad

Aug 17, 2008
Book ahead

It is tempting to turn up at a town and find a place to stay once you arrive, but it does pay to book your accommodation ahead - if your transport is delayed, you could arrive at a new destination in the middle of the night, and the last thing you want is to be running around, looking for a hotel! If you are intending to travel to a place in peak season or during a festival, booking ahead may be essential for you to find anywhere to stay.

Buy your travel insurance...

Given how easily you can buy cheap travel insurance online, there's really no excuse for travelling uninsured. If you are a frequent traveller and you are concerned about price, consider investing in annual travel insurance - the savings can be considerable.

...and read the policy!

Don't just buy the first cheap travel insurance policy you find and leave it at that. Make sure your travel insurance will cover you for any activities you are going to take part in (especially any dangerous sports), and make sure you read up on any exclusions in the insurance. Thinking you are insured when you are not can lead to some very expensive holiday mistakes!

Watch out for conmen

In many countries, tourists are common targets for conmen and pickpockets. Travel insurance can help replace any items that you lose as a result of theft, but by keeping your eyes open and your wits about you, such problems can be prevented. Conmen often work in teams, so if a stranger bumps into you or spills something on you, don't let yourself be distracted - watch out for their partner who may be trying to rifle through your valuables!

Don't flash your valuables

Another way to avoid attracting conmen is to not show them anything valuable in the first place. Be careful about displaying jewellery, digital cameras, expensive watches, and other valuables while you are aboard, especially if you are in marketplaces or in poorer areas. Make sure you ask permission before you photograph any locals, and be especially careful about photographing near military installations or airports - in some countries this is regarded as espionage!

Email your details

The internet isn't just a good place to pick up cheap travel insurance online - it can also be used to store vital information that you can access anywhere. Email any essential information to yourself before you go, including any details of flights, credit card numbers, passport numbers, insurance information, helplines, embassy information and so on. If you lose any crucial documents, all you have to do is check your email and you'll have the full details you need.

Copy your documents

Make multiple copies of all your essential documents, including your passport, flight details, any booking confirmations, and travel insurance policy. Leave one copy with friends or family at home, and take another copy with you on holiday (keep your copies separate from the original documents!)

Be careful with your cards

If you are relying mainly on cards to withdraw cash, try and take more than one card (a debit card and a credit card). Keep one of them on your person and the other hidden away in your room or in a safe, so that you have access to funds in an emergency.

Spread your cash around

Don't carry all of your money in one place. Carry a "mugger's wallet" with a small amount of cash and no vital cards or documents in it, so that you can surrender it if necessary. Take a mixture of cash and travellers cheques on holiday with you; the latter can be replaced if they are stolen.

Use the hotel safe

It's an obvious facility that a surprising number of people don't use - the hotel safe is the perfect place to store your valuable and irreplaceable items.

Some holiday disasters can be avoided, others are just down to plain bad luck. But running into trouble doesn't have to ruin your holiday - by taking a few precautions (and of course, by taking out some good quality travel insurance!) you can make sure that you have a relaxing and stress free holiday.
About the Author
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey's Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offers cheap travel insurance online for families, couples and singles with a quick and easy online claims feature.
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