Travelling outside of your own town or village has always been both an exciting adventure and a risky business. Every journey, if you are to return safe and healthy, requires a huge amount of forethought and contingency planning.
What will you do if you lose your baggage, and or your documents? How will you travel; by train, boat, plane or drive yourself? What will you do if something interferes with your transportation? What will you do if it’s late or cancelled? Have you got enough money, in the right currency, in case of emergency? What will happen to you, if you come across pirates or robbers in unfamiliar territory? Where is your lifeline? How will you contact them if the need should arise? Where will you stay? Can you rely on being comfortable and safe?
One of the last considerations, that actually should be the first consideration, is what health hazards are you exposing yourself to and what will you do if you fall ill or have an accident? The best place to start your travel planning is this site. Follow the advice on this website and you will be as fine as you can be, even in the event of the worst case scenario becoming reality. Also be sure to read the small print and understand in detail, your one-trip travel insurance.
Most people have travel insurance of a basic kind. It’s often attached to a bank account, a credit card or is taken out as a matter of course, with little thought, with a travel agent’s recommendation. But really it is too important to leave to chance and others.
So the best recommendation is to start your travel planning to-do list with these two top items; 1) Make an appointment with your doctor and get all the necessary vaccinations to be healthy in your destination. 2) Get insurance (significant enough) cover all the foreseeable misfortunes that you can think of.
The vaccination protocol may well vary according to the place you are travelling to. All the information you need can be found on the NHS website mentioned earlier. You can and must immunise yourself against fearful illnesses such as ‘yellow fever’, ‘typhoid’ and ‘hepatitis A’. It may detract from the excitement and romance of international travel but if you do it first thing and early enough, you can be reassured and put it out of our mind to focus on the more positive aspects of your journey and stay. Your GP must be the first appointment after you have decided on your destination. Make it as soon as possible because you may need a whole course of immunisations.
If you need any motivation to do this properly, then remember that you may invalidate your insurance cover if you fail to take the recommended health precautions. There are three distinct varieties of health precaution when travelling. The first are routine vaccinations against such illnesses as measles, mumps and German measles. The second are destination specific, yellow fever and hepatitis A in Russia and India for example. Or even anti rabies shots in Thailand. The third variety are those injections that are required by the country you are visiting, I.E the ones to protect them from you. For these you may have to provide documentary proof of your precautions at the borders before you will be allowed to enter.
The bottom line is never to assume that you will be safe. Take advice, take the required vaccinations, take a fully stocked first aid kit and take great care to enjoy a healthy time abroad.