In light of recent events in Tunisia, the world suddenly seems a more dangerous place. But tragedy can strike anywhere – even at home. To help reduce the risk of accidents or injuries abroad, there are steps that holiday makers, business travellers, exchange students, overseas volunteers or even ex pats, can take to safeguard their personal safety*.
How to stay safe when travelling abroad
By Chrissie Wood, travel health advisor, MOHS Travel Health Centre
In light of recent events in Tunisia, the world suddenly seems a more dangerous place. But tragedy can strike anywhere – even at home.
To help reduce the risk of accidents or injuries abroad, there are steps that holiday makers, business travellers, exchange students, overseas volunteers or even ex pats, can take to safeguard their personal safety*.
Travellers should research their intended destinations which includes gathering knowledge of local laws and customs, the current political situation and any existing travel warnings.
Gathering up to date knowledge of intended destinations may increase a traveller’s awareness of potential risks and allow them to best prepare themselves in advance of travel.
Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website (see below) for travel safety warnings, details of the nearest British Embassy or Consulate and information on local laws and customs.
Try to find out as much as possible about the availability and standard of medical treatment/facilities including nearest hospitals/clinics in your intended areas of travel.
Ensure you have relevant and up to date travel insurance and that it includes cover for accidents, emergency medical treatment, medical evacuation and repatriation.
Always declare any underlying medical conditions that you may have and any medications (including over the counter) that you take, to your travel insurer.
Take a photocopy of your passport and/or other important documents such as travel tickets (and those of any travelling companions or family members) and consider storing these details online using a secure data storage site.
Tell a trusted person – who is not travelling with you – your intended itinerary and give them relevant contact details and insurance policy details. Always carry ‘next of kin’ details with you.
And if you are caught up in events involving injury or loss, try to contact those back home as soon as possible to let them know what has happened and whether you and your party are safe.
For more information about personal safety overseas or any other travel health issue, please email email@example.com or call 0121 601 4041.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office
*Information care of TRAVAX