What you Should know before your First Overseas Holiday

23/07/2014

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So you’re planning your first overseas holiday – how exciting! To get maximum enjoyment from your trip, there are a number of things you should be aware of before your plane even takes off – regardless of your destination.

Travel insurance

‘If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.’ This sage piece of advice can save you stress and potential financial ruin. From motorbike accidents and food poisoning to skiing misadventures and unlucky stumbles, if Murphy’s Law has anything to say, you could find yourself in serious trouble. Misfortune is further complicated if you are travelling in a developing nation or particular area where medical treatment isn’t readily available. That means transport to somewhere more suitable and transport costs. Even if you never use it, travel insurance offers you peace of mind. Do you really want to take the chance when the stakes are so high? For an excellent range of policies, information and advice, take a look at  Cover – More.

’When in Rome’

As the old saying goes, when you’re in a foreign place, make sure you do as the locals do. The big mistake that so many first-time travellers make when going abroad is to assume that the whole world speaks fluent English and that all countries have the same values and customs. Wrong! Just because English is touted as the ‘international language’, please do not assume that a) everyone you encounter outside of your home country can speak English and b) even if you do find people that speak the language, you’ll be amazed at how much gets lost in translation. It is important and respectful to understand the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the cultures you’ll be experiencing and make every attempt to speak the basics, such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘do you speak English?’.

Precautions and back-ups

Make sure you have an itinerary and that you leave this with friends and family at home. Make sure you check in every couple of days or weekly at least. In terms of money, always have several sources. Make sure your credit cards can be used in the countries you’re visiting, but be aware of extortionate fees for overseas transactions. Always have more than one stash of cash on you, in your luggage and in your accommodation. Make sure you have several photocopies of your passport, also split up like your cash. Scan images of your passport and birth certificate and either store online or send it to your own email address.

Health

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If you take medications (including some over-the-counter preparation) with you on holidays, you’ll need a letter from your doctor authorising you to carry them. If you’re travelling for a while, it might be an idea to stock up on your medications. Some countries also require vaccination certificates and these can be checked in Customs and your entry to a country can be denied if you’re not covered.

 

Travelling overseas is an experience you’ll never forget. Just make sure it is for all the right reason though. You’ll have a much better holiday if you’re organised, prepared and know what to expect. Stay safe, have a ball and bon voyage!

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