Travel Safe by Travelling PreparedFebruary 21, 2013
Whether travelling for business or for pleasure, a safe and pleasant travel experience is much more likely when you are well prepared. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure any travel goes as smoothly as possible, and that any bumps along the road can be quickly straightened out.
Protect Your Health
Certain destinations, especially outside of Canada or the U.S., may have specific health risks that you should be prepared for. Diseases that are rare at home are still a problem in other nations, and certain species of insects can carry serious illnesses passed on through bites.
Before you travel to another country, be sure to find out about the health risks there, and then talk to your doctor about immunizations that you may need. Diseases such as malaria can be life-threatening, but you can protect yourself if you visit your doctor ahead of time for vaccines or protective medications. Don’t count on having easy access to treatment if you do get sick elsewhere; the treatment may be hard to obtain or it may be too late. Instead, be prepared.
It is also important to know what is safe to eat and drink in other nations. In some places, you may need to stick to bottled water. A little research before you go can prevent food and water-borne illness.
The Cost of Medical Care
You can’t protect yourself from every possible medical situation when you are travelling. Illness and accidents do happen. Your provincial health care plan doesn’t provide much coverage when you are outside Canada, and health care in other nations can come at a very high price.
Medical travel insurance can prevent an injury or illness during travel from becoming an enormous financial burden. Even short stays in a hospital or a doctor visit that includes tests or treatments can add up fast. A travel health insurance policy will pay for these costs and prevent them from ruining your trip.
Be sure to get a travel health plan in place before you leave on your trip; you can’t get coverage for medical care after it has already occurred and will wind up paying out of pocket.
Important Travel Documents
Even for travel to the United States, it is now required that you carry a valid passport. When travelling, be sure to keep that passport in a safe and secure location. Many hotels offer in-room safes where you can secure documents when out of your room. During the actual travel process, be sure to keep your passport close to you, and don’t ever put it down anywhere, even briefly. You can purchase a small wallet that attaches securely around your waist beneath your clothing as a means of keeping important documents on you securely.
Any other important travel documents you need when going abroad should be treated with the same caution and care. Keep them as secure as possible to ensure they can’t be stolen and your identity misused.
With the use of debit and credit cards being fairly widespread today, it is no longer necessary to carry any large amount of cash while travelling to most destinations. It is still vital to protect your money, however.
Before travelling, contact your bank and credit card companies and let them know where you plan to travel and for how long. This will prevent their fraud detection from mistakenly marking your transactions there as fraud and cutting off access to your cash or credit lines.
If you do need to carry cash, carry as little as possible. Lock any extra cash in the hotel safe with travel documents and when you go out carry only what you need. The same small secure wallets that are great for documents are a good place to keep credit cards and extra cash as well.
You should also protect the financial investment in your trip, especially an expensive one, with travel interruption and cancellation insurance. This will make sure that if you are forced to cancel or cut your trip short due to unexpected circumstances, you will be able to get money back on things like flights and hotels that may have been pre-paid.
Smooth travel is always a matter of preparation, from choosing your lodgings and planning an itinerary to making sure you travel safely and securely. Taking the time to prepare for everything from health concerns to financial matters lets you enjoy your trip with peace of mind, no matter where you are going.