Travel Tips

Traveling is very rewarding but requires careful planning. Draw up a travel plan for each destination to ensure that you not only enjoy the place or meet the objective of your trip, but that you also stay safe and are able to deal with small inconveniences and any emergencies that may arise.

Ensure that you have the appropriate travel documents, most especially your passport and visa.
Travel documents vary by country, length of stay, purpose of travel, and the citizenship of the traveler. Plan way ahead of your travel departure date and get started early in complying with all travel requirements.  For example, applying for and obtaining a visa entail quite a number of documentary requirements, and it usually takes time for the application to be processed and approved.

Check your health insurance coverage. 
Make sure that your health insurance provides ample coverage for your travel to your country of destination.

Seek pre-travel medical consultation.
See your doctor one month prior to your trip to determine your health condition.   If necessary, have yourself vaccinated for protection against common illnesses and diseases endemic to the country of destination.  Bring along prescribed medication and take other preventive measures against illnesses.

Leave a copy of your passport, contact information, health and travel insurance information and travel itinerary with your family or close friend.
These information will be vital in tracking and helping you in case of emergency.

Obtain ample information about the places that you will be going to or visiting.
Due diligence is the wisest course of action prior to traveling. Get information from people who have visited the place. The internet is also a rich source of information and insights.  Local maps are available for free at the airport. It is also best to arrange for an airport limousine or hotel car to pick you up from the airport.

Get the contact numbers and address of the embassy of your country of citizenship.
Each country embassy can provide assistance to their nationals in an emergency. You may obtain the contact numbers and address of the embassy from the internet.

Change your money to US dollars and local currency prior to departure.
Having ready cash in US dollars and in the denomination of the country of destination means hassle-free payment of terminal fees, transportation fare and other expense items.

At the airport

  • Do not let people take advantage of you.  Walk with confidence and never accept gifts or packages from any strangers.
  • Watch your suitcase as it appears on the carousel.  Do not stand back and wait for the crowds to disperse - you may just discover that someone else has already taken possession of your bag.
  • Mark your luggage so you can easily identify it. Never leave your luggage unattended.
  • Do not take a taxi that is just hanging around and offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.

How to avoid pickpockets

  • Do not go through narrow alleyways or poorly-lit streets.
  • Carry your purse under your arm.
  • If you are bringing a large amount of money, secure this within your person as much as possible.

How to avoid trouble

  • Research on the country that you are about to visit.  Know their laws and abide by them.
  • Never share your travel itinerary with strangers.
  • For public transportation, use taxicabs, tour buses and other transportation services with official markings.   It is advisable to take public transportation at official pick-up points.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry and do not display large amounts of cash.
  • Bring only enough cash when moving about and leave the rest in a safety vault.
  • Be careful when someone asks you to sell or part with your personal items.
  • Most countries have restrictions on items that foreigners can sell or give away. You may get into serious trouble for violating such law.

At the hotel

  • Always put valuable personal effects such as jewelry, electronic devices, important documents and money in the safety deposit box when leaving the hotel. If the safe is electronic, wipe the touch keys down with a damp cloth prior to operating it, and then dry the touch keys before entering your secret code.  Wipe the touch keys again after closing the vault.  It is a must to do this every time.
  • Never get drunk and invite strangers to your room.
  • Never put valuables in your bag even if it is zippered or padlocked. There is always the possibility of somebody simply splitting the pocket seam with a knife and lifting its contents. Take the same precaution with check-in luggage.

For your safety

  • Find out what types of diseases are common to the area you will be visiting and take action to prevent your exposure to these diseases.
  • Find out the types of vaccination that you will need to enter a country.  There may also be medications that you will need to take prior to, during and even after your trip.
  • Get your vaccinations early in case your body may develop a reaction and you will need some time to recover.
  • Be careful with what you eat and drink.
  • Carry complete health information with you on your trip.

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