Holidays are a great time to break free from the daily humdrum and celebrate life with you loved ones. It is the time to feel the breeze on your hair, listen to nature’s songs, and marvel at the beautiful creations of God.
Whether you are going on a romantic vacation with your spouse or a family holiday with kids, you need to follow the rules of proper behaviour to stay safe and healthy.
While we never dwell on the thought of facing un-pleasantries during vacation, you can never tell what the future has in store. One wrong move can jeopardize your holiday plans and spoil the fun. So, it always pays to be a little more careful when traveling to a new destination.
Here are our top 10 proper behaviour tips that can help you enjoy a fun vacation and yet be prepared for any unforeseen medical emergency.
- 10 Tips to Prepare and Stay Safe for Your Holiday
- 1. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions
- 2. Wash your hands regularly
- 3. Keep stress on check
- 4. Be extra vigilant when travelling with kids
- 5. Prevent injuries while travelling abroad
- 6. Avoid unsafe locations of the destination at night
- 7. Eating right at recommended places
- 8. Carry photocopies of important documents
- 9. Medical exam and vaccinations
- 10. Get insurance
- Where to Call if You Need Medical Repatriation
10 Tips to Prepare and Stay Safe for Your Holiday
1. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions
Before heading to your destination, make sure you check the current weather and forecast for the next few days while you will be there. If it is going to be cold, you need to carry extra layers for everyone to stay warm.
Alternatively, if the weather is hot and humid then you will need to carry cotton dresses, sunglasses, and sunscreen. You may not get the time to go shopping as soon as you arrive at your destination so it always pays to double check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
2. Wash your hands regularly
When travelling in a foreign destination, you will come across new places and meet new people. Wash your hands regularly to prevent getting sick or contaminating germs from others. If you have a cold, cover your cough, not with your hands but on your upper sleeves to avoid spreading germs to others.
Keep a hand-sanitizer in your purse or backpack and use it often, especially before you eat something. You may not get clean water everywhere so carrying a handy sanitizer can keep germs at bay.
3. Keep stress on check
Before setting out on a holiday, make sure you create a budget and stick to it. Spending responsibly and keeping your financial commitments can help you enjoy a stress free vacation.
Look online for information on how to travel to the destination on a budget as this may give you some useful tips. Make a list of restaurants that offer good food at reasonable prices and shopping arcades where you can pick some good stuff without breaking the bank.
When all that sightseeing and shopping makes you tired, make sure you get enough sleep to re-energize yourself. Getting enough sleep is important to stay healthy and relaxed on your holiday.
4. Be extra vigilant when travelling with kids
If you are travelling with children, you need to set up certain dos and don’ts when travelling with kids. Always keep a watchful eye on them to prevent injuries. Develop certain rules that your kids will follow while travelling.
For example, wash hands before eating, play with electronic toys responsibly, stay close to parents while travelling outside, never accept food from strangers, etc.
When travelling with kids, always aim for a slower schedule and fewer activities to avoid getting too exhausted. You can tell your kids that they will be rewarded if they behave well during the vacation. In most cases, offering rewards work better than threatening about negative consequences.
5. Prevent injuries while travelling abroad
We know you might be excited to be on the destination of your dreams, but make sure you don’t get too carried away with excitement. Don’t push your limits when trying activities like snow skiing or skydiving, especially if you’re attempting it for the first time.
If you wish to go hiking on the road less taken, it may sound exciting, but make sure you have a guiding map and help accessible if you have unpleasant encounters on your way. The idea is to have fun and take home lots of good memories, not to injure yourself and cut your travel short.
If you wish to try adventurous activities, always make sure you do so under expert supervision and never challenge your health condition.
6. Avoid unsafe locations of the destination at night
You may find it exciting to hop into every nightclub or bar in a city to make the most of your stay in a destination.
However, please be aware that not every place is safe for tourists. It is wise to ask the hotel manager to give you an idea of ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ zones within the city so that you do not get into trouble in a foreign land.
This tip is even more important when you are travelling with family.
If you are mugged in a potentially risky place, do not try to fight back. It is okay to lose a few dollars and maybe a wristwatch than risk your safety.
7. Eating right at recommended places
Trying local food at any place is an exciting aspect of travelling as you expose your taste buds to new experiences. Agreed.
However, please remember that you are probably miles away from home and trusted medical care, so experimenting with your digestive system beyond your own limits is not a great idea.
Eat only at hygienic places and drink clean water – preferably bottled water – to avoid risking your health. We would recommend that you check the top restaurant review sites for recommendations and take suggestions from other travellers to decide where to eat.
8. Carry photocopies of important documents
As I’ve also mentioned in my 10 tips for new travellers, when travelling to a foreign destination, keep several photocopies of important documents such as your passport, visa, and medical reports with you. It is better to keep them in different bags and one in your pocket.
So even if your bag is stolen, you will have the photocopy of important docs with you.
When shopping during a vacation, it is always better to purchase using your traveller’s cheque or credit card than using cash.
If you need to access the ATM, always use it during the day time when there are lots of people around. When you are in a new place, it is always better to ask locals for tips on how to stay safe.
9. Medical exam and vaccinations
A medical screening can help detect any potential issues at an early stage. Travelling with an underlying health problem may be risky so you need to be prepared to handle any medical emergency that might arise.
Schedule a visit prior to your holiday to your health care provider and find out what medical screenings may be necessary and any vaccination that you might need to take depending upon the country you are travelling to, your health condition, etc.
10. Get insurance
Perhaps the most important is to get a health or travel insurance that covers medical repatriation if the need arises. Whether you are travelling to a foreign land or within the country, you never know when your health might deteriorate or you might have a bad fall.
I always purchase a travel insurance whenever I head out of my home country. Of late, I’ve bought a year-long travel insurance since I travel in and out of Singapore so much.
If, by any unfortunate chance, you need an air ambulance to get back home to family and trusted medical care, your insurance should fully or at least partially cover the cost.
Where to Call if You Need Medical Repatriation
Sometimes a medical emergency may arise even after you are extremely careful during your holiday.
If this happens and you don’t have a proper insurance or one that struggles with a medical repatriation, you need the services of professional air ambulance company. There are some global service providers that have been helping critical patients come back home to any corner of the world safely.
Choose a company that has an extensive fleet of ambulances and offers 24 hours consulting to cover the diverse needs of patients in need of emergency medical evacuation.