AirTkt Travel Tips of Assuring your Health and Safety

At Airtkt.com provides most accurate and complete Tips and Tricks for your Health and Safety during your Trip.

  • www.kinkos.com/mapquest/   Look on this site for a searchable database with contact information and maps for Kinko’s in the United States and a number of  foreign countries.

  • www.cybercaptive.com  Check this site for a searchable database with contact information and web links for over 4000 cybercafes, public Internet access points and kiosks in 135 countries. It also offers upgraded, premium information services for a fee.

  • usembassy.state.gov  Go to the U.S. State Department International Information Program’s U.S. Embassy's web page.  It contains links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates in foreign countries throughout the world.  While each is different, they all contain information that will be helpful to any U.S. citizen in trouble in a foreign country.
  • travel.state.gov   Go to the US State Department’s Services and Information for American Citizens Abroad web page.  It contains links to specific information on services that the U.S. State Department can provide to U.S. citizens traveling abroad.  This section contains information on emergency services, legal assistance and other aid available, in case of crisis, arrest, illness, death or marriage while abroad.
  • If you suffer from any food allergies, learn the names of those foods in the languages of the countries you’ll be visiting.  This allows you to more easily identify and avoid them.

  • Check to see what, if any, diseases are common to the area you’ll be visiting.  Take whatever action necessary to prevent illness in the event that you become exposed to them.

  • Inquire as to what types of vaccinations may be needed to enter a specific country,  Often, medications need to be taken before, during and after your trip for best results.  If inoculations are necessary, get them done early, in the event that you have a reaction and need recovery time.

  • Consider a dental check up before leaving, if you haven’t had one in a while.

  • Of course, be careful what you eat and drink.

  • Always carry your complete health information with you on a trip.

  • Check into joining Medic Alert or IAMAT, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.

  • If you have any food allergies, learn the names of those foods in the languages used in the countries you’ll be visiting. This way you’ll be better equipped to stay on the look out for them.

  • www.cdc.gov/travel/  On the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information web page.  It contains updated information and articles on diseases.  It also includes guidelines for travel to areas that have suffered a recent natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake.  Probably the most valuable part of the site is the destinations section.  It contains detailed specific information on diseases common to particular regions of the world.  It also lists the recommended precautions and vaccines recommended to prevent those diseases.

  • www.who.int   This is the World Health Organization’s International Travel and Health web page.  It contains information on recommended vaccinations and general health advice for travelers.

  • www.who.int   Also, try the World Health Organization’s Geographical Distribution of Potential Health Hazards to Travelers, web page.  It contains information, divided by areas of the globe, on potential health hazards for travelers within a certain region.

  • www.sentex.net  Try the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers homepage.  This is a nonprofit organization that helps travelers avoid illness while traveling overseas.  It helps guide travelers in over 125 countries to find competent medical care.  It targets doctors trained in Western countries that also speak either French or English.  There is no charge for membership in the organization.  Donations are encouraged to help continue IAMAT’s work.

  • www.medicalert.org  This is the Medic Alert homepage. It is a nonprofit organization that provides bracelets that identify diseases or allergies from which you suffer. The bracelet displays a phone number so medical personnel can call for your medical records 24-hours a day.  There is a registration fee and modest yearly membership cost for this service.

  • The name and address of  your insurance company.

  • Any trip Insurance contact information.

  • The name and phone number of a contact person in case of emergency.

  • Always know and take a record of your blood type.

  • A copy of eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

  • A complete list of current medications, along with generic names.  Remember, brand names vary in different countries.

  • Make note of any allergies, especially any known to food or drugs

  • A list of shots, inoculations or immunizations with the dates that they were given.

  • A short, concise history of your past and present medical condition, including past hospitalizations, operations, implants and any current problems.

  • When overseas, remember that local drinking water can be dangerous.

  • Drink only bottled or boiled water or sealed, carbonated soft drinks.

  • Don't forget.  The ice in your drink was local water before being frozen, so order drinks without ice.

  • Wipe clean the tops of cans before drinking from them.  Better yet, bring straws to use.

  • Never eat raw foods.  They are a sure way to get sick.

  • Brush your teeth only with bottled water.  Keep your mouth closed when in the shower.  Ingesting even a little bit may make you sick.

  • Ask your insurance agent if your current medical coverage will cover you completely, while outside the country.

  • If it does, you still may be expected to pay the bill and be reimbursed by the insurance company.  Be sure that you  ask for an itemized bill, in English if possible.

  • Remember that Medicare and Medicaid don't pay for medical care administered outside the United States.

  • If your coverage doesn't apply, you should really consider purchasing travel insurance to cover unforeseen emergencies on your trip.

  • Make sure that you read the travel insurance policy very carefully.  Pay particular attention to any deductibles as well as exceptions or exemptions for pre-existing conditions.  Be certain that the policy covers activities and diseases in the areas of the world where you will be travelling.

  • Be sure that the policy covers medical evacuation costs if needed.  if you plan to travel to a remote area of the world, the type of medical care that you might need may not be available.

  • Since you will probably be making plans months in advance, many things can happen.  Circumstances could cause you to have to cancel your trip and that would possibly mean losing at least your deposits.  Trip insurance will cover that.

  • Often you may be susceptible to travel delays beyond your control.  They could cause you to miss all or part of your trip and that would mean a loss of dollars !

  • Do your homework !  Be aware of any risks that you may face.

  • Study the local laws, understand them and follow them.

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy.  Let them know where you are staying, especially if it will be longer than two weeks   Stay out of particularly dangerous areas.

  • Dress like a local, if possible and try to blend in.  If you must be in an area where people are hostile to Americans, avoid flashy, western style clothing or anything that labels you as one.  Swallow your pride and let them think that you are Canadian !

  • Be extra careful when choosing a hotel location, taxi or other transportation provider.

  • You should have left your valuables at home.  If not, leave them in the hotel's or your room safe.

  • Try not to draw attention to yourself.  Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and never display large amounts of cash.  Only carry enough cash for that day and leave the rest in the hotel’s safe.

  • Try to never have to travel alone.

  • Think before talking about your travel plans with, or in front of,  strangers.

  • Always stay on main roads and don't be tempted to take shortcuts through narrow alleys or dimly lit streets.

  • Be constantly aware of what is going on around you.

  • Avoid using taxis, tour buses or other transportation services that do not bear official markings.  Board transportation only at official pickup points or at transportation centers.   Be especially  careful if anyone asks you to sell or trade any of your clothing, jewelry or personal items.  In many countries there are restrictions concerning what a foreigner can sell, barter or even give away.  Remember, ignorance is no excuse.  You can find yourself in serious trouble, even if you unknowingly violate those laws.

  • NEVER accept gifts or packages from anyone unless you are absolutely sure.  Even if it's a friend, question it ! 

  • NEVER accept  anything from strangers to carry out of the country, deliver for them or mail to someone.  You are setting yourself up for trouble.   

  • Look at any "special deals" with extreme caution, particularly if you must go "off the beaten path"  to get them.

  • Be aware of the laws regarding the exchange of money.  Use only official exchange facilities.  This is another area that can bring trouble fast.

  • Do whatever is necessary to protect your cash and credit cards.  Be aware at all times and avoid pickpockets.

  • travel.state.gov   On the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warning and Consular Information web page. It contains detailed information on foreign countries’ entry requirements, safety, crime, medical facilities, traffic and aviation safety, customs, criminal penalties and other special items.  It also provides contact information and web links to foreign Embassies and Consulate offices.

  •  www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/country.html  Try the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s country listing section of the CIA’s World Factbook web page.  It contains complete, detailed information on alll foreign countries.  This information can be useful to a business traveler, but it also would be helpful to the vacation traveller.

  • Avoid narrow alleys and dimly lit streets.

  • Try to keep away from crowds of people whenever possible.

  • Keep a dummy wallet in a back pocket and carry cash in your front pocket.

  • Place a rubber band around a few loose credit cards and carry them in the other front pocket.  It's unlikely that someone could remove them without your knowledge.

  • Ladies, carry your purse firmly under your arm.  If it has a strap, put your arm through it.

  • As an alternative, carry your money under your clothes or in a "fanny pack" close to your body.

  • Be aware of the more common pickpocket's tricks

  • Crowds of people bring out pickpockets and allow them the cover needed to relieve you of your cash or credit cards.  Be particularly diligent in the following situations : 

  • Being bumped by someone, even when it's not crowded.

  • Having something spilled or sprayed on you.  Often someone will point out a spot on your clothing or a rip or tear.

  • A stranger approaching you for help or directions.

  • A sudden disturbance occuring, drawing everyone’s attention.

  • Watch out if you are surrounded by a small crowd or group of children.  Also, packs of 2 or 3 people often work subways and trains.  It's difficult to keep an eye on more than one. 

  • Know and understand their laws and observe them

  • Learn their customs and respect them.  Especially religious ones.

  • Dress conservatively and don't advertise that you are a tourist. .

  • Not everyone in the world practices a fast paced life.  That is an American trait.  Many people in other countries think we are foolish to spend our lives rushing so much.  Respect the culture of others and try to follow their pace.  You may be somewhat frustrated in being forced to slow down, but you’ll soon adjust.  It is easier to meet their pace than to try to hurry everyone else.

  • Be careful and use common sense when taking photographs.  In many countries there are restrictions against taking pictures of military or police operations, bridges or government buildings or facilities.  Don't try to take photographs of political demonstrations, it could land you in trouble or possible danger.  If you have any doubts, simply ask permission first.

  • Always show courtesy and respect when taking photographs, especially at cultural, political or religious events.  Put yourself in their place.  You wouldn't like some tourist snapping pictures at a family funeral or your sister's wedding.  Again, if in doubt, ask permission.

  • Remember, you don't have the protections that you do in the U.S.  You are subject to the laws of that country’s legal system. That probably does not allow for bail or the right to a speedy trial. 

  • If arrested, ask immediately that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate be notified.  Ask as firmly as possible, to speak with the U.S. representative.

  • U.S. officials will help you to locate an attorney, provide basic advice and notify relatives and friends back home of your situation.

  • The Embassy or Consulate can only make requests on your behalf.  They don’t have the authority to intervene in the other country’s  criminal or legal matters.

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