Whether you’re a gap year student looking to escape for a few months or simply someone who needs an extended break away, travelling long-term is becoming increasingly popular. With that being said, there’s more to keep in mind in terms of safety when you’re far away from home for so long. Here are some essential tips to keep you safe and healthy whilst exploring the world.
Get the necessary vaccinations
One of the most important steps to take in ensuring safety before even heading on your travels is looking into necessary vaccinations. Depending on where in the world you’re travelling to, you’ll need to be protected against the common diseases that pose a major risk to your health.
Everything from tetanus to rabies can be prevented, and as highlighted by TINZ, these vaccinations usually last for years. Make sure you ask far enough in advance and are clued up on what threats exist in your planned destinations. You may even be able to get these vaccinations free of charge – get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible to work out what you’ll need.
Pack sufficiently and wisely
A great tip adopted by many long-term travellers is the inclusion of a personal first-aid kit. It’s an incredibly useful concept that will most likely come in handy at least once during your travels. Include things such as antiseptic, painkillers and plasters for the most basic health hiccups along the way.
And you need to consider more than this if you want to ensure your safety throughout the trip. Don’t forget suncream, insect repellent and antihistamines for any unexpected allergic reactions. Stock up if and when possible so that you’re not running out when far from any more supplies.
Be knowledgeable on where you’re heading
Safety isn’t just relative to your health, either. Before heading out to your destination, be aware of any potential risks such as terrorism, theft, extreme weather or conflict. Some lesser-developed areas are more likely to be dangerous, so it’s worth doing your research and understanding the places to avoid.
The Foreign Office advises against travel to 15 countries as a whole, and several others in parts – you’ll need to steer clear of certain areas in Thailand, Colombia and India, for example. Brush up on your knowledge by looking in the news before you head out, to see if you need to make any changes to your itinerary.
Prepare for any local eventualities
It relates to your knowledge of the destination, but you’ll want to be prepared for any possible events that could occur during your travels. Look out for conditions such as extreme weather, and if there is a high alert of attacks or violence, stay vigilant and cautious.
Some countries are also renowned for their targeting of tourists with theft and other crime. Although it’s rarely an issue in the more popular regions, you’ll still want to be careful and responsible. Keep your personal belongings concealed and don’t put too much trust into strangers, as it could unfortunately lead to dire consequences.
Have travel insurance
Don’t get caught out by extortionate fees for healthcare. Some countries charge in the reaches of hundreds of thousands for certain treatments, and if you don’t have insurance it’s your responsibility to pay up. Of course, it makes sense to avoid needing treatment at all – be careful on motorbikes in Vietnam, for example – but sometimes it’s unfortunately inevitable.
It may sound like there’s a lot to stay aware of when travelling, but be sensible and aware and you’ll likely avoid any problems. It’s always important to stay safe, and these tips will help you do so.