Can you still hear your parent’s stern voice?
“Now, call me when you get there. I want to make sure you arrive safely.”
Whether you’re traveling cross country or down the block, this phone call always seems to save your parents a few worry lines. Now that you are traveling abroad a phone call may still calm their nerves, but they will not be able to help you much should an emergency arise. The many horror stories USA Today has told of students traveling abroad is concerning. However there are preventative steps you may take to ensure your safety abroad.
If you are traveling abroad, seriously consider the following before leaving the country:
1. Inform close friends and relatives of your travel plans and give them all the details. Provide your living arrangements, numbers you may be reached at (a cell phone is not enough), departure/ arrival dates and times, etc.
2. Discuss your travel plans with a physician. Within your doctor’s visit be sure you are medically prepared and have at least the following:
-an up to date physical
-immunizations required for your destination and any layovers you may have
-sufficient prescriptions for the entirety of your trip
3. Research the area you are visiting. Chances are there is a part of town you should avoid, restaurants you should not even walk into, or water you should not drink. Knowing what to expect when you arrive will ease your traveling stress.
4. Not only should you dress for the weather, but dress for your destination. Dress conservatively, do not wear expensive jewelry or those designer jeans. You will look like less of a tourist, making your trip not only safer but more enjoyable.
5. Look into travelers insurance. As many insurance policies do not apply to overseas trips. Travelers insurance protects you should a medical emergency occur and your belongings should they be stolen or lost.
6. Make sure your passport and other travel documents are in order. The U.S. Homeland Security recently revised passport regulations requiring additional checks and new procedures. Be sure to check your passport will be accepted when you leave and re-enter the country.
7. Do not leave before you are certain you can afford the trip. Make sure you have a cushion in your bank account, accidents and hidden expenses are more common than you may think. Check that you will be able to access your bank account at your destination as well.
If you are a student traveling abroad enjoy yourself but please, prepare yourself accordingly.
The world is yours to conquer, don’t let it conquer you.