Who doesn’t love adventures while on holiday? They’re exciting, they remind you of how great it feels to be alive and they give you a good story to relay to friends back home. But while you’re enjoying that adrenaline rush, remember that you, like everyone else, are mortal. Additionally, a botched escapade might not kill you, but could cause you serious illness or injury, the effects of which could range from a ruined holiday to a lifetime of disability.
To avoid all of these nasty experiences, here are some tips to help you stay safe while on holiday.
While you may be able to access quality health care at home, your coverage may not extend to care in medical facilities abroad. If you have a medical emergency or suffer a holiday illness, you could end up paying a lot more than you would have at home, just because you’re dealing with a different system.
Additionally, the standard of medical care varies greatly throughout the world. There have been cases in which patients have contracted HIV from contaminated medical supplies, or when an injury was improperly treated and worsened later. Furthermore, you may not be able to file a clinical negligence claim because different countries have different regulations for medical care.
However, with insurance you may be able to get coverage for medical evacuation, where you can be taken home and treated in your own country. Of course, without insurance, this option is astronomically expensive.
Check for licences
Before you attempt any activities or tours geared to thrill-seeking, check and see whether the company is registered or licensed. Also, do some research online and see what other travellers have to say, such as on TripAdvisor or on Lonely Planet’s forums. This will help you determine whether you will be safe on any of these expeditions.
Be a discerning diner
While eating local food can be one of the pleasures of travel, it’s also a good way to get sick. Since for different countries there are different regulations governing food quality and restaurant hygiene, food-borne illness is one of the most common problems travelers face.
To prevent food-borne illness, try to be careful about where you eat. Make sure to check the cleanliness of the dining area, and if you see evidence of filth, find a different place to have your dinner. You can also take a cue from the locals, and only visit restaurants and cafes that are full of patrons. Avoid establishments that are empty or have just a few patrons. Chances are, the local people know which places are safe and which are not. Plus, a full restaurant may indicate particularly tasty or popular food.
Go with your gut
Finally, make sure to listen to and honour your instincts. Only you can determine your comfort level, and if a situation feels unsafe then get out immediately. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy your adventure.