How to stay safe abroad tips you must know

I will try to explain the things I have learned that may help you if you go abroad.

Each county has their own risks and scenarios differ for example you're not going to dehydrate much in say Berlin like you would in Egypt.

So I will base this advice on a warm climate 
middle east type country such as (Egypt) 



This is just a guide. It is not expecting you to be alert 24.7. 

At the end of day your on holiday to relax this post is just to make you think that's a good idea and it becomes common sense it may help I hope it does.

I will try to make you aware of some things you need to avoid.

Boost the immune system,

Always worth stocking up on vitamins in your body before you go abroad. If you do get ill at least your body will be ready to fight the illness better.

Probiotics
Probiotics such as yoghurt, can be a good way to boost gut health and help battle a bug aboard.

Research has shown that people can prevent and recover from food-borne illness with foods and supplements containing probiotics.


Fruit and veg

Eating some good nutrients and vitamin packed food like vegetables and fruit a few weeks before your holiday could be a wise choice.

The more healthy your body stocked up with the right vitamins and minerals it requires will always help and benefit you if you do fall ill aboard.



Avoiding food poisoning

Simple one before you eat, wash hands now if you're in a restaurant this is not really always possible so always carry hand sanitizer, few drops on your hands will be big help before you eat your meal.

You have to remember if you're handling money all day then decide to go for a meal.
Germs and bacteria will be all over your hands from the money and then you will use your hands to eat a meal so sanitizer is a good item to carry and use often.

Eating out at restaurants

Before you go out at night for a meal have a quick look on trip advisor or google
at the place you will be eating at for the reviews.

I went to a restaurant in Malta did not follow my own advice as we was already out shopping.



So we went for a meal at this restaurant the food was horrible just no taste.
and cold even thou it took near 2 hours to get to the table.

I got back to the hotel had a look at the trip advisor website on my phone and the majority of the reviews were saying the same as me about the food cold,long waiting times,food bland etc.


Walk past restaurant a few times, is it busy?

Walking past a restaurant a few times can be of help if you notice it is busy. 

You know more than likely they are using food up quickly and it's not festering 
on the kitchen side waiting for customers.

If your in a busy town and you walk past a restaurant and it is empty with no one sat there eating meals there is a good reason for that.

The food is ether horrible or the restaurant is expensive.




Avoid local tap water.

Always drink bottled water and check it is sealed yes some places are known to fill up bottles with tap water then try sell them to you had this happen to me once.

Brushing your teeth with bottled water is a must 
avoid using tap water as you may swallow it.



Save money

Rather than buying loads of small bottles 
go to a supermarket and buy a 6 litre for your hotel room.

You will save money doing this method and have plenty of water to drink in your hotel room at night etc most hotels charge a lot of money for small beverages even bottled water.







Keep your mouth closed in the shower.
Shower water could be pumped from local seawater etc
so try to avoid swallowing any as it might give you a stomach ache.




Ice
Most drinks aboard come with ice in them which is more than likely local tap water.
so always ask if it is or ask for no ice with your drink.

Drinking water from a well

Don't drink water from wells or from unknown sources I know your thinking why would I.

You would be surprised if your in a hot country and you drank all your water and there is a water source such as a stream near by you may be tempted I have been myself when I was in Turkey.



Turkey trip

When I was in Turkey on an excursion our tour guide asked us all if we would mind if we went to his cousin's house. There were about 10 of us so I felt at ease a bit.

It is on the way back, he said so we all agreed so he took us to a small village in Northern Turkey and we went to his aunt's house.

They were nice people. They gave us some honey,corn and used a well with a pump to pull up water for us to drink.

The water had a brown color. I just said no thanks
I have some water with me lucky enough I had a few litres in my backpack.

The other tourists

The others with our group drank the water
They must have not wanted to offend them by refusing the water rather them than me.




My point is there were more than likely parasites,worms,bacteria etc in that water that would make me ill. The locals will be immune and usd to it but I wouldn't.

So unless the water is boiled don't drink it and remember boiled water will not remove pollution and chemicals from the water such as lead and other heavy metals.




Salads 

Avoid salads they are more than likely washed in tap water
Most meals aboard always come with Salad so be sure to tell the waiter you want none with your meal.



Meats and fish

Poultry, fish and seafood such as shellfish are the most likely causes of illness aboard more than other dishes so you could avoid all together if you wanted to lower your chance of getting ill.



Meat 
If you have meat etc chicken, Pork, Steak always make sure it is piping hot and cooked.
If you doubt something is not cooked don't eat it and tell the waiter you want a fresh cooked meal
if they refuse leave and go elsewhere.

Always better to go else where for a meal then be sat on a toilet for the next 3,4 days wishing you
sent that steak back to get more cooked.




Getting all your vaccines

It is important to make sure you are covered 
As you can see below you may need one or more of these vaccines depending on the country you are visiting.

Do not risk missing out on a jab (Vaccine) if the country your going to has high risks of diseases etc. 

  • Yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Thyroid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Polio
  • Tick borne encephalitis
  • Cholera
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • TB





Rabies

While in the Egyptian desert we visited a few Bedouin camps and most had wild dogs in the camps.

Often there would be wild dogs in the desert don't get me wrong they was all friendly.

Most of the dogs would run over to me bring sticks or bits of camel bones etc and drop them in front of me and I would throw it and they would bring the stick back.

I thought it was a stick yep it was part of a camel leg bone.

They was nice dogs some would walk up lick your hand and nip your fingers with there teeth not a bite like an aggressive bite no just a little friendly nip wagging there tail as the did.



This is why I say don't miss your jabs before you go aboard.

Because if any of them dogs had rabies which is in the saliva of dogs as an example.

If they broke the skin when nipping my fingers or I had an open wound there was a chance I could of got rabies.

It is rare but you can also get rabies from a lick,scratch from a dog or cat as well
so just be a little cautious with open wounds always put plasters on cuts and keep them clean carrying antiseptic is a must if you go aboard.

A common sign of rabies in a dog is 
foaming at the mouth so be a little cautious around dogs foaming at the mouth.

Video below shows more information



Mosquitoes

Always make sure you put on Mosquito repellent the best type all contain DEET or eucalyptus
some people swear by garlic,lemon and vinegar apparently they hate the smell.

I had garlic nearly every day while in Egypt but did get the odd bite so stick with the products with Deet or eucalyptus in them you know it works then.


DEET

Deet comes in different strengths 30% lasts up to 6 hours and 50% lasts 12 hours etc
Some local people may help on this one while in Turkey a local said to me to use a product called sinkov.

So I bought some sinkov and did not get many bites when using this. Remember the locals are no fan of mosquitoes either and may know what works to repel them.


If not buy some of this
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Remember mosquitoes can carry some of the below diseases
so it is important to protect yourself from bites as much as you can.

  • Zika virus
  • West Nile virus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Dengue
  • Malaria

Ticks

As with mosquitoes ticks are blood sucking parasites that can carry all numbers of diseases so if you find one on yourself use tweezers to remove it.

Avoid twisting or squeezing too hard as you may
snap part of the mouth part of the tick and it may stay in your skin and cause infection
wash the area the tick was on with soap and water.

Unlike the mosquito that bites you and flies away the tick bites you and will often stay around even for up to ten days attached to your skin.

Don't take any risks with these things if you think you have been bitten by one
try capture it in a jar and go to the local pharmacy or hospital doctor for advice and show them the jar with it in then they will be able to help.


A bite from a tick can cause you serious problems see link below

You can get the following from ticks

  • Lyme disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • tularemia.



Mugging Risk

Getting mugged abroad is common in all countries world wide
but there is ways you can avoid being a bigger target:

Don't stand in a street with a map,camera out you shout 
I am a tourist doing that to all the local thieves on the look out or there next robbery.



Be wary of people standing near ATM cash machines or money exchange shops.

They might be waiting for prey the same way a lion waits for gazelle to attack.

Don't count your money in the street. Go in a restaurant or shop and count it if need be away from prying eyes.

Expensive Items

Don't wear expensive watches, Rolex or gold necklace bracelets etc or keep expensive cameras out put them in bags when not in use.

Poverty

You have to remember if you visit a country that has poverty.

Someone who has nothing and may be starving etc may see you walk down the street with a bracelet that could feed their family for months they may try to steal from you.

This is not saying everyone is a thief etc there are but a small number of people in all countries that
will see an opportunity to make some money by robbing jewelry from you.




Be wary of expensive phones as well getting them out in a public place bikers could ride past snatch it out of your hands happens a lot in London.

Carry only small notes in one pocket that way if you're in a shop buying something at a low price you won't have to pull big large notes out of your pocket letting everyone know you have large amount of money.

The Bedouin

I remember being in the desert talking to some of the local Bedouin in Egypt and one of them said to me in England you have big houses with many rooms, swimming pools and big TV like David Beckham.

I said I live in a 1 bed flat,house Beckham is rich and a footballer I
Have a small TV and no swimming pool.

My point is many people in other countries
Think people from the west are all wealthy and rich and have mansions so you have to think how would a mugger see you in that country.

The Answer: A rich tourist with plenty of money.




Being Followed

If your being followed cross over the road and see if they cross over look in shop windows and car wing mirrors to see behind you don't keep turning around and looking back at the people you think are following you.

Avoid dark alleyways and shortcuts they could be dead ends then you may be trapped
stay where it is busy and try to stay in well lit areas.

Go to a restaurant or shop and ask them to call the police don't try to confront people if you think they are following you. That could be their plan and then they produce a knife etc.




Getting mugged

A mugger will try to get your attention
By asking the time or if you have a cigarette or even ask you for directions
The key here is to not stop, get distance, don't stop, just keep walking and say no sorry or even ignore.

Now they could be genuine people asking for time etc but it's better to be ignorant then be a victim of a mugger don't risk it.

What if I do get mugged thou

If you do get mugged don't argue with them or try to fight
just hand cash over not worth a knife in the chest.

Money can be replaced, your life can not, your life is worth nothing to some people, don't expect them to have sympathy they won't.

Get in the car

Do not get in a car, van etc if the mugger tells you to there is clearly a reason they want you out of sight
and the reason won't be a good one it may be more than just a mugging?

If you do get in the car which would be a really bad idea. Try jump out at traffic lights or if the car slows around corners don't jump out when the car is going fast.

If the car doors are locked try smash the window with your elbow to try get other peoples attention.

Use your mobile cellphone to ring police that way even if you don't speak they can track and locate you using the GPS on your phone.

If you have been tied at the hands use your teeth to bite at the tape or rope.




Crime scene 1 and 2

Studies show that a victim’s chance of survival goes down once you get to a second crime scene.

For example you're mugged at Crime scene 1 in an alleyway then the mugger says get in the van car etc they are taking you to crime scene 2.

I would choose to fight back if a mugger told me to get in a car as they have other motives rather than a common mugging this is the time to fight like it means your in immediate danger or further harm because your more than likely are.




Fightback

This is not the movies I have been attempted mugged and I fought back
they ran off. I was lucky in the UK. 

I am not Steven Seagal they could have used
weapons on me and I Would not be here or alive to tell you.

I was having a bad day that day 
and they clearly picked me at the wrong time and as far as I know they was unarmed.

Don't take risks aboard; they could be more aggressive or more desperate. 

Remember the country your visiting may not have CCTV or the local police may be underfunded. 

They are not gonna go Tommy Lee Jones fugitive style if you're mugged or badly wounded you would just be a story in the local paper tourist killed in street mugging.

If something happens to you aboard for example your badly injured in a mugging.

The police will not look into it and investigate like the police would in your own country.

I will tell you why because in the following weeks etc you will be on a plane home so the local police wont waste there time looking into a mugging of a tourist.

Many other country's also don't like to report on crimes as it will put tourists off going there.




Time to wake the lion

Only fight if they try to cause you physical harm or you think they are going
to.

Attack with all the anger you have shout as you fight back more noise may make the attacker run off. Always try to get away as soon it is safe to do so.

If it is a life and death situation fight with all your might think to yourself you may not see your family again if you fail at this you might not.



Go for the weak points of the human body

  • Eyes
  • Throat
  • Nose
  • Groin
  • Knees
  • Ankle


Eyes
If you have to go for the eyes poke with your fingers to their eyes to temporarily blind them dig your fingers in at the eyes.

Throat
Palm strike or a punch to the throat will stun the mugger.

Nose
Palm strike or an elbow to the nose will make their eyes water and maybe brake or bust there nose and stun them which would give you a chance to run off.

Groan
A good kick or knee to the groin will incapacitate any person for a few minutes giving you vital time to run to safety.

Knee caps
A kick to the side of the knee could injure the mugger that much that they can not stand up so could give you a chance to escape.

Ankle
Same as the knees a good kick to the ankle could snap it giving you the upper hand to escape.






Use things to throw at the muggers face to blind them temporarily
a hand full of dirt from the ground, coins in your pockets the key here is to stun them and give you a few seconds to run off or to defend yourself there is no rules when your life is in danger.

Don't go overboard like standing on their head or kicking them once they are on the floor.

You could end up in trouble if they die. Remember you're in their country they speak the language they could lie and say you attacked them to the local police sounds crazy I know but it has happened.

Arguments

You have to be careful arguing with people aboard and the reason is the same as above the laws in some country's we would find strange compared to our own.

You could have an argument aboard with someone who is a local and they then may phone the police and say you were insulting their country somehow spitting on their flag or something like you was drinking alcohol on the street.

When you go aboard, just check some of their laws and be mindful not to break them.


Self defense items

Don't carry weapons aboard. 

You could end up in trouble.

You can get away with carrying everyday things such as a flashlight,torch,pens,pencils,umbrella,keys,hairspray,lighter,coins or a personal alarm.

Some of these items could be used to your advantage in self defence and will be perfectly legal to carry.





Flashlight,Torch

I carried a torch,flashlight while in Turkey as when walking back to our hotel at night it was along a dim lit path side of a canal with little escape routes and gangs of youths sometimes sat there on benches and walls. 

So the strong long solid steel metal torch I had was a handy light source if you get what I mean not a weapon.

I am sure in a life and death situation that little solid bar flashlight would of been of use .

In the end we ended up getting taxis back to our hotel even though it cost around £10 each trip.

The taxi driver had to drive about 4 miles in the opposite direction on the road to our hotel when it was more or less half a mile along a footpath along the dark canal.

It was worth paying the £10 knowing we was more safe in a tax though. 



I must stress only use these methods if your life is in danger
If you can run then run
and try to escape as soon as you have disabled the mugger.

Once your ordeal is over contact the local police as soon as possible or your local embassy for advice.

It is always worth investing in a good self defence book and going to a class to learn a few moves better to be prepared then not.

A book may help of course but you still need practice on how to do the things the book is showing you.

Fitness is really important in self defence so try keep in shape a martial arts class can be a great way of doing both keeping in shape and learning defence moves.

Muhammad Ali Vs Bruce Lee

You have to use what advantage you have in self defence.

I remember they asked Bruce lee could he beat anyone in the world he said no 
if he fought Muhammad Ali he would lose the fight.

Bruce Lee was not stupid he knew a punch from Ali would of probably knocked him out clean.

Yes Bruce was the best marital artist we probably will ever see but all the kicks,fast punch would stun Ali of course.

But can you imagine the power of a right hook from Ali to Bruce's head.

My point is if your trying to defend yourself from a bigger stronger more experienced opponent you will more then likely lose so your best option would be to run.


Fitness and some martial arts or military training will help of course 
as you will know how to defend yourself.
but lets look at it this way.


Mike Tyson VS Special Forces

Mike Tyson in his prime VS an SAS,Delta,Navy Seal special forces Soldier etc
In a boxing match who do you think would win?
You know the answer Tyson.

Now if Tyson was on the floor with one of these soldiers
who you think would win?


I would say the special forces soldier.

Why because once he got you in a leg or head hold often taught in military's around the world.

Tyson is not going to get out of that and even his punch power is not going to be as strong on the floor.
So I would say the special forces soldier would win.


Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor

Look at the recent boxing match
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor

People were saying Mcgregor will win 100% his power and UFC skills etc.

But many of the experts said Mayweather is a pro Boxer McGregor is not. 

Mayweather on the floor in a UFC match would last 2 minutes but in a boxing match
he has the advantage.

He is going to win many people said and we all know the result he did.

The point I am trying to make again is you have to use the advantages you have
in self defence.


Look at this way

You do weightlifting

  • You will be strong to get out of holds from a mugger.

You do jogging

  • You will have fitness to outrun a mugger and stamina to gain speed.

You do kickboxing,Judo
  • You will be able to disable a mugger with your training maybe.

You do boxing

  • You will be able to punch with power and knock out a mugger.


The best weapon you have in defence is your brain use it wisely.


Good book I would recommend. 

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What if the mugger has a firearm?

This is a difficult one chances are they will have pistol type
small caliber 9mm weapon.

If you have no choice but to escape, run in a zig zig motion it will be harder to hit you that way rather than running in a straight line, stay low and try to run behind cover a moving target is harder to hit to someone who has little experience with a weapon.


Most muggers are there to mug you and escape once they have.

They are not going to go wild west Clint Eastwood style shooting because you run off from a attempted mugging but I thought I would add anyway.

But don't always assume they won't start firing at you in some parts of the world
people do not fear arrest by the police so they may do just that and start shooting.

Remember this is not Hollywood hiding behind a car door will not help much a bullet will pass through most parts of a car.

The best place to take cover would be near the wheel or engine block as they offer more protection.


Wear a money belt

Wearing a money belt is a good idea if you do get mugged you can empty your pockets and say to the mugger that is all you have the chances are the thief will take that and go not all will think you have a money belt.

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Use a sock or shorts

If you don't have a money belt always worth having a few notes hidden in your sock or you can buy some shorts with hidden pockets always worth having some extra cash
for emergency taxis etc.

Photocopy Passports

Some countries require you to carry your passport with you at all times
many hotels often take them off you when you check in to store in the safe and you get them back on the day of departure.

Storing the original in the hotel safe can be a good idea carrying your passport 
could be risky if you lose it. You would have to contact the embassy to request a temporary passport for you on the day of departure.

Always worth having a few photocopies for example if you needed to go to the embassy or the local police, army ask you for ID you could show them the photocopies.



Strangers in the night

Don't give away too much info
Being friendly aboard is normal. We all want to enjoy ourselves and relax and talk to people we don't know but it comes with a warning.

Never tell strangers where you're staying ,hotel name,room number,who you're with or how much money you have brought or where you're going at a certain time.

You will see from my other post the man turning up at my hotel at 6am one morning.

Just because someone is friendly doesn't mean they are a nice person. 

They may have ulterior motives
this is not to say treat everyone as a thief or be paranoid; if someone is friendly, just be cautious about giving away too much information.




Lovers tiff and protesters

Lovers tiff
Don't get involved in arguments if you see two people arguing leave them to it do not engage same with advice about mugging could be a ploy to get you in close to them then they strike and mug you.

Or it could end up them both turning on you
It's just not worth the hassle if you're concerned get out of sight and call the local police.




Protesters
Always avoid protests if the local police,army decide to play whack a mole on protesters heads or fire rubber bullets tear gas etc don't think you will be safe being a tourist you won't.

You could get injured or even arrested for talking part in a protest.

When I was in Berlin I was just having a walk about looking at the sites etc and we ended up in a big protest had no clue what was going on we was just looking for some tourist sites to visit.

But we ended up in middle of this big crowd riot police came with shields horses etc
We had to fight our way out of the crowd to get away from the crowd before the police decided to charge. I still have no clue what happened or what the protest was about.


Travel Insurance 

This is a must and you can get  travel insurance for low cost prices
if you have an accident you will have to pay for medical care in most countries
so if you were in a coma the costs can mount up so travel insurance is a must have.

If you die aboard your family will have to pay for your body to be brought back home to your country without travel insurance it is a lot of money.


Read the small print

It is important when getting travel insurance to read the small prints I have seen in the past
that some things make the policy invalid for example some sports skiing,skydiving,tennis,horse riding.
 
Even renting some things such as mopeds and quad bikes can cause you problems.
check your policy before you buy so you know you're covered.


Story

I seen a story a few years ago of a girl who had travel insurance but had been out drinking one night the next day she had an accident on quad bikes and the insurance company would not help her as she had a drink the night before and the alcohol was still in her system and the insurance company had asked the hospital if she had been drinking.

Insurance companies do not like claims that are made by people who have had alcohol or drugs. You would need to prove that alcohol wasn’t to blame for the accident or your insurance will be void.

Here is an example of a insurance company that would not payout because
( Riding a quad bike without a helmet were excluded from the persons policy)

Quad bike accident small print did not cover


Always have a printed out copy of your insurance policy in your suitcase, what it covers etc rather than having to get it up on your phone or email etc.


Excursions what should I take?

Always plan your excursions if you know you're going on a trip to the desert
pack supplies even if you think you don't need them you can't always rely on the exclusion provider.

Water

Carrying water in warm climates in a backpack will help prevent you getting dehydrated and always make sure you keep hydrated better to carry too much you could pour it away if you did not need it.

Signs of severe dehydration include:
  • Dark yellow urine or not able to go
  • Very dry skin
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache 
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy breathing
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability
  • Fainting



Suncream

Don't think its not that hot so I don't need any suncream on.
I landed in Spain at 5pm was a dull day no sun out. Next morning I had really bad sunburn
was horrible.

Also remember not protecting your skin from the rays of the sun can cause you to get skin cancer so not worth the risk use some suncream.

Hat

A hat is a must in hot sunny countries to help cover your head and neck
it will help prevent heat stroke etc

Wearing a hat will help protect your eyes
And some of your head,ears etc from the sun's UV rays.


Map

Maps can be good to plan your routes using a pen you can mark out places you intend to go to and your landmarks near your hotel so you know the way home when out and about.

Don't write your hotel on the map or circle it just circle a building next to it etc that way no one who looks at your map if you have to ask directions will know where your staying.

Spare money

Always have some loose change for excursions there is always some hidden cost for example entry to say a zoo or water park and loose change is handy for tips.


Local Help

Have the phone number of local police and ambulance service you never know if you may need them
knowing where the local police station or hospital is near to your hotel is wise as well.




Photography

Be very careful not to take photos of government buildings, military or police personnel
electricity stations, train stations and bridges, airports anything official, even military vehicles etc.

Many have been arrested taking photos of the above.

If you do take photos, always ask permission first.

Don’t use radio controlled helicopters or ‘drones’ to take photographs.




Avoid taking anything aboard with hidden cameras or microphones such as a watch with hidden camera.

The watch may be a harmless gadget you got off eBay but you can bet money on it they will assume your James Bond or Jason Bourne on a spying mission.

The reason I say this is you could be arrested for spying. 

Yes I know you're not James Bond
but some countries don't see it like that especially if they don't have friendly relations with your country.

Don't give them an excuse to make it political.

There is many people in prison in other countries accused of spying and other crimes etc probably 90% are innocent.


They probably just made stupid mistakes
taking a photo of a tank or soldiers etc.

The most recent one I can think of is
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

She was a British Journalist the Iranian government claimed she was getting involved in there politics so gave her 5 years in prison as she was about to return to the UK they arrested her.

Now I don't know to much about this only what I have seen on the news.

So I don't know who is right and who is wrong so I won't say.

My point is respect the country's laws you are visiting even if you think they are strange compared to your own country laws.

Iran and USA

Look at it this way we all know Iran and America are not the best of friends as country's
so do you think if you was for example taking a photo of a bridge in Iran.

And some police saw you do you think they would go look at that nice American tourist taking photos of that bridge.

No they would go arrest you with the camera and probably say you are CIA or a spy etc. 

It sounds daft I know but if the country you are visiting is not having friendly relations with your country be very weary as they may use you as a political news story.




What's the issue

It's all about what country you go to. If you went to Germany you could probably take photos of their army on the street no problem.

If you did that in some middle east countries
You would be in handcuffs before you could say cheese. I have seen many stories of this happening.




Check suit cases before you

Always double check your case before you go abroad and check rules of the country you are going
some harmless items we use in the west could get you in trouble aboard in the middle east etc.

Always buy a good solid case. When I went to Spain my case had rip right down the side of it once I got it back from the airport belt in Spain. 



It came off the airport belt more or less destroyed it was one of them soft straw type cases.

I bought a lightweight hard shell case for my next holiday.

Get a decent case that is secure and easily for you to identify at the airport the last thing you want at the airport is someone else picking your case up by mistake.


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Check suitcase on departure

Always check your cases before you go to the airport to depart
to make sure no one has put anything in your case and make sure you keep it locked.

Never give a key to anyone and only you pack your own case never let any one pack your case including your friends.

You will be asked at the airport if you packed your own case. If you say no they will search your case guaranteed and anything found in your case is your responsibility even if you say well my friend packed it etc you're the one who will suffer the consequences if anything illegal is found.



Check out day
Sometimes hotels make you check out 10am and your flight could be 1am at night
They may say they will put your suitcase behind reception, ask if you can book a room just for the day for your suitcases and to have shower etc.

If not keep your suitcase with you or check your it again just before your coach,taxi arrives for departure to the airport better to be safe that no one has put anything in it.

It sounds paranoid but what if someone did put something in case how could you prove it wasn't you?

And it has happened as well many times.

Buy some mini case scales

Always worth weighing your case as well if overweight you could pay a lot of money.

I remember seeing a family who had their cases over weight at the airport in Turkey they ended up paying over $100 dollars as their cases were over a few kg.

Most luggage suitcase weight these days is around 15kg to 20kg.
But after buying gifts aboard that soon mounts up.

It is better to save money and hassle with a little gadget case scale you can weigh your case the day before departure you know then that you have one less thing to worry about.

The scales are small and lightweight about the size of a small TV controller.

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If you take medications aboard

Get a note from your doctor and ask your embassy for advice before you travel don't risk ignoring it.

Be very careful with this one you could be arrested if you take some medications into some countries
for example Tramadol to Egypt and codeine they may even charge you with drug smuggling even if they are legal in your country.

People have been arrested in the UAE for having poppy seeds that were on a bread roll
so be careful.

Japan could arrest you for taking in Vicks nose inhalers.
Japan's strict anti-stimulant drug laws prevent any drugs containing pseudoephedrine like Sudafed and the Vicks inhalers from entering  into the country.




Hotel

When you get to your hotel, always have a quick look where the fire escapes and fire extinguishers are 
always worth knowing rather than if there was a fire crawling in thick smoke not knowing where you're going.

Check your room has a smoke alarm and if the windows open sounds crazy I know.

When I was in Paris our windows were locked shut we were not allowed to open them even though we payed for a balcony as part of the room booking. The worst part was it was boiling hot in summer time in France.




Aircon

I asked the reception apparently it was a health and safety risk for people jumping out the window so they could not open any windows or balcony doors.

I said really well I am H&S advisor. Why is there used cigarettes then in an ashtray on the balcony and a blue flammable gas cylinder? what is that for? The sun is shining on that is that not a fire risk.

They told me I had an air con in the room but it was 6 euros a night. I told them it did not work so they sent a repairman to fix it. In the end they moved us to a new room and said the air con would be free for the week.


Embassy consulate 

This is not just for Brits each country has their own consulate in the country you're visiting.

Having the address,phone number,distance and directions to your embassy is an important one.

Important if you get into any trouble aboard or need help the embassy,consulate is where you go for help advice etc.

You have to remember the embassy of your country is classed as the soil of your country
this means the police of the county your in have no jurisdiction (power) to enter the grounds of the embassy.
 
So it is vital you know how to get there you will more than likely need to show your passport for entry.




Things you can check before you choose to travel

If you travel to a country you have never been or have little knowledge of always worth doing a little research online to check for updates here is a short list what to look for:
  • Check online at risks in your destination
  • Does certain groups operate there ? gangs, terrorists
  • Does your government advise against traveling there?
  • What's the human rights like there 
  • Is the crime rate high
  • Are there protests happening on certain dates?
  • Are there any strikes on
  • Is the country having problems with their neighbours 
  • What is relations like with your country?     
  • Check Tripadvisor on places to avoid, local scams etc 
  • What diseases are common there
  • What vaccines you need
  • Is it safe for woman, men?



Social Media
Avoid insulting the country or its government on social media
this one can get you in a lot of trouble in some countries.

I have heard some countries can now require access to your phone and social media 
before entry.



Permits
Always make sure you get permits when traveling around a country if you decide to just drive around a country you could end up in trouble without the proper documents.

For example when I was in Egypt we had to buy a permit at the airport to travel to the pyramids in Cairo
if you're unsure book all your trips etc through a proper tour guide and they will more than likely sort all permits for you.


Local customs and laws

Always worth checking some customs of the country 
you are visiting you may make a mistake while there.

Left Hand
In India and most middle eastern countries, try to avoid using your left hand
as many see this as the unclean hand so avoid eating,trying to shake hands and exchanging money in shops, always use your right hand.



Pointing with the thumb
In Malaysia and Indonesia, this gesture can be seen as incredibly insulting and offensive
to people so avoid using.

Tipping and food on plate
In Japan tipping is considered an insult.
The Japanese also consider it rude to leave food on your plate.

Kissing
Many countries in the middle east do not allow 
cuddling and kissing or holding hands or being topless etc so be careful doing some of these could cause you a lot of trouble.




Touch and go

Don't touch anyone Sounds crazy you say? in UK many of us pat people on the back etc to say thanks
don't touch anyone for any reason could get you in trouble
Again this is the law of that country don't blame the country you are a guest there.

Example of why I say this


Drinking alcohol

Some countries will arrest you for drinking alcohol in the street so always check the law don't risk it
you don't wait to be in a 6x6 prison cell with a cockroach called Bernard as your cellmate.

For example alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia if you break the law there you could get 100s of lashes,fines, or go to prison. 

It is not worth ignoring the laws of a country you are visiting you could end up in a prison cell and don't think you will have the same rights as you have in your county because you wont.



Don't use drugs

I shouldn't even have to put this one but if you do that in a foreign country your an idiot
you could be arrested and face the death penalty,torture for even a small amount don't take the risk.

As I say is it worth spending your life in a cramped up prison or facing a firing squad death penalty.

Watch the TV show banged up abroad
one mistake and some people are doing life in prison in rat infested hellholes.





Comments

Making political comments wearing T-shirts that supporting other countries football clubs etc, or making comments about the government or security forces of a country can result in arrest.

You may be able to do things such as free speech in the UK,USA but if you did make some comments in other countries you're guaranteed to be the cellmate of Bernard the cockroach.

Again if you go on holiday to a foreign country stay out of there politics it is none of your business
you are there on holiday enjoy the holiday and go home.


There laws there country you are the guest have respect

Remember it is not your country respect their laws and obey them even if you disagree with them. 

You are a guest there if you don't agree or have no intention of following there laws don't go to that country.

Don't talk about religion,politics,military,government
To any locals could get you arrested. 

I have tried to provide advice to the best of my knowledge and tried to research some updated laws.  

I know most of this stuff to memory as when I have been aboard I looked things up to make myself more aware of what not to do etc.

This advice is not meant to replace any government advice; it's just my own personal guide I wanted to share hoping it may help you.

If traveling aboard always check with your consulate,embassy if you are unsure of anything it is not worth ending up on an episode of  the TV show (Banged up abroad) in a cell with Bernard the cockroach think smart be safe hope this helps.

Would fully recommend you watch the TV show (Banged up aboard) it will make you a little more alert when going aboard because you will see the consequences of what your actions can lead you to.



Any questions just ask I will try help best I can
also comment if you think I need to add anything or have any tips that will be useful.

3 comments:

  1. What a thorough post! It made me miss traveling actually. If only the world allows us to do it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes hopefully we can get back to normal soon

      Delete
  2. Great suggestions! I would never thought about getting sick on holidays until now with COVID going about. It's important to make sure you're prepared for everything.

    ReplyDelete

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