Imagine the scene: you have saved up your money to go on holiday. Excitement is bubbling over, and you cannot wait to leave your home town and jet off abroad to whatever country you have chosen. Sun, sea, rest, and relaxation await. Oh, the fun you will have, the memories you will bring back with you, the stress you will feel slide away from your tired mind…unless you are caught up in one of the following holiday nightmares and those memories will be dark ones and the idea of fun will slip away, being replaced with the stress you thought you had left behind. Gulp!
Nightmare #1: You have an accident or injury
Your home may be a child-proofed fortress, but your health and safety know-how needs to be adapted for a holiday abroad. There are many dangers, from slipping over at the hotel poolside to hurting yourself on unsafe roads. Not every country adheres to the safety requirements you practice in your country, so you need to be prepared.
Tip: Pack a first-aid kit with you before you leave and carry it with you everywhere you go. From bee sting creams to a maritime tourniquet, carry something for every eventuality, keeping you and your travelling companions safe from added harm should an injury take place.
Nightmare #2: You have a stomach upset
We told you in a previous article that travelling is good for your health. It is, but when travelling in a foreign clime, you need to be careful. Stomach upsets are common, especially if you drink from contaminated water sources or eat foods that are unfamiliar to your delicate stomachs.
Tip: Bring plenty of bottled water with you, or buy store-bought water while abroad, rather than drinking from the tap or any other water source. Be careful what you eat too – while it’s good to be adventurous with your food options when abroad, be mindful of what your stomach can normally stand and only eat in reputable food eateries.
Nightmare #3: You get mugged
Tourists stand out like the proverbial sore thumb, taking snaps with their smartphones, and dressing in clothing that is clearly alien to local custom. The chances of a tourist getting pickpocketed (or worse) are high.
Tip: Stop looking like a tourist! Wear clothing that helps you blend into the country, and don’t do anything that gives your tourist credentials away – standing in the middle of the street with a giant map is a big no-no for starters. Try and travel in groups as well, and don’t go anywhere unpopulated alone at night. You need to keep yourself safe, as well as your precious belongings.
Nightmare #4: You end up in a war zone
This is the biggest nightmare of them all, and something we all need to be aware of. Every day we hear of terrorist attacks in foreign and neighbouring countries, and some countries are prone to political unrest. Your life could be on the line.
Tip: Keep an eye on the news. If you discover your holiday destination is potentially unsafe, don’t take the risk unless your holiday operator tells you otherwise. Check out this list of dangerous countries too – with the risk of terrorist attack and tourist kidnappings; these are definitely places to avoid, no matter how much of a risk taker you think you are.
We have given you a whistle-stop tour of some of the holiday nightmares that await you. Still, we aren’t trying to put you off travelling abroad. Most of you will have a fantastic time. However, it pays to take precautions, so whatever you do this year, take care of yourself and those around you when making your holiday plans.