If you are travelling internationally you should be aware that conditions in other countries, both natural and man-made, may be significantly different from those in your country that may seriously affect health and personal security during travel.
TRAVEL INSURANCEWe cannot stress enough that you must have adequate cancellation and interruption insurance in place to protect your trip costs in the event of unexpected, unplanned cancellation or interruption of your trip or should your trip become inoperable due to events beyond our control. Medical coverage with emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory on all our tours.
PERSONAL HEALTHHealth, safety, accident avoidance and security are your responsibility and should be considered both before and during travel.
Standards of hygiene may be different. Food and water may be contaminated.
The climate or environmental conditions may favour disease organisms which do not occur in your own country.
For your individual situation, you should consult a physician or travel medicine clinic for advice related to where you are travelling.
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably eight weeks before you travel.
SECURITYWe recommend that you take a money belt with you, preferably one that can be concealed somewhere on your person. This is a reliable way to keep your money and documents with you at all times. Don’t take valuables on your trip or leave anything of value in hotel rooms or unsupervised nozzles. You are totally responsible for any losses.
TIMECheck the time difference between your country and the country you are travelling to, for people who wish to contact you while you are away.
SOCIAL CONVENTIONSResearch the social conventions of the country/city you are visiting and respect them.
Ask permission before entering a temple.
Ask permission if you wish to photograph people.
Not all countries handshake on meeting someone.
PACKING SUGGESTIONSCHECK-IN LUGGAGE
Soft luggage with wheels is the best way to travel. You can move through airports with ease, and luggage porters are fast disappearing. Travel light remember, if you cant carry your own bag, its too heavy! One strong, medium-sized duffle bag or medium suitcase (that you can carry) and a daypack should be adequate. Our experience tells us that people who make a habit of travelling light have relatively trouble-free journeys. When packing, you should remember that even though a lot of baggage is handled by porters and local guides, you will still have to haul your own luggage on occasion.
We suggest you carry the following items with you on the plane in your daypack or carry-on bag: camera, binoculars, important documents, and other irreplaceable items. It is also a good idea to pack a change of clothes and your toothbrush in your carry-on……just in case. It is crucial that you pack any essential medication in your carry-on in sufficient quantities to last for at least a few days after the scheduled end of your trip. This medication should be clearly labelled by your pharmacist. You may require documentation as to why you need specific medication. Ask your doctor for advice. All sharp objects should be put into your checked-in luggage.
CLOTHINGDress for the climate of the country you are visiting.
Casual wear is acceptable for daytime dress although there are opportunities for smart casual dress in the cities. In general, modest dress is required. Beach wear is usually confined to the beach, pool or resort, and nudity is frowned upon.
Laundry services are usually available in hotels.
Shirts: Short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, long sleeved for protection from the sun. For women a shawl is convenient.
Trousers: Women may be more comfortable with their legs covered, at least to the knee. Hat: A wide-brimmed or peaked hat for sun protection. Sweater: Light sweater, jacket or shawl for cooler evenings and air conditioning.
Bathing Suit: If your hotels have swimming pools.
Raingear: You may want to bring a lightweight water-resistant jacket as your outer layer.
Shoes and Socks: Comfortable shoes, preferably with good ankle support and a good solid tread and good socks are the most versatile footwear for touring; comfortable sandals for hotter temperatures. Carry old socks that you can throw away, if you decide to visit religious buildings, to avoid walking bare foot.
ACCESSORIESDaypack: Bring a small daypack to carry water botr>tle, hand sanitizer, field guides, camera, and your personal items.
Sunscreen: Make sure you have sunglasses, a good sun block and lip balm.
Binoculars: If you are considering the purchase of a new pair, we recommend one of the many quality models produced by Bushnell.
Insect Repellent: We suggest you bring a good repellent.
IFORMING YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANYInforming your credit card company isn’t required, but it makes things a lot easier for you. With identity fraud so prevalent now, a lot of credit card companies are proactively working to combat it by blocking transactions they think are unauthorized. While this is great for people whose cards have been compromised by fraudulent purchases, it can be really annoying when you are the only person using your card (and this can happen even in your own country). Letting the credit card company know about your travels will forewarn it that purchases from that country are not fraudulent, so you don’t get declined.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTSCrossing international borders can be complicated and sometimes requires many different kinds of documents. Being prepared is the key to easing your way through this process, so make sure you know what documents you need, where to get them, and which ones will make your crossing quick and easy.
In countries that require a VISA, ensure that you obtain it appropriately.
When you enter that country, double check to ensure that your passport is stamped at the immigration desk with date of entry and with date of leaving when you exit that country. Keep handy your onward bound air tickets and local hotel vouchers for visa officials possible inspection.
Email yourself copies of important travel document copies. If you lose your passport, visa, airline tickets, credit / debit cards or driver’s license, you can download the copies.
Stash a set in your travel journal or somewhere away from the originals. Leave another set with someone whom you can contact easily, like a parent, child etc.
Carry two pieces of photo identification your passport is of course one of them.
EATING AND DRINKING:Boil it, cook it, peel it or leave it!
Always wash your hands before eating or preparing food. It is also important to remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or having contact with animals or sick people.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Its a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.
Only eat foods that are well cooked and served hot. Avoid food served at room temperature.
Avoid raw or undercooked (rare) meats and fish, including shellfish.
Only eat fruits and vegetables if you have washed them in safe water or peeled them yourself.
Avoid salads, or other items that are made with fresh produce.
Avoid food from street vendors.
Drink water only if it has been boiled or disinfected or if it is in a commercially sealed bottle.
Use ice made only from purified or disinfected water.
Commercially sealed beverages in cans or bottles and served unopened, such as carbonated drinks, and drinks made with boiled water and served steaming hot, such as coffee and tea, are generally safe.
Brush your teeth with purified or bottled water.
Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and fruit juices.
Canals, lakes) or water in pools or hot tubs, which may not be adequately treated.
TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND INSURANCE POLICIESNo matter where in the world you intend to travel, make sure you check the Country Travel Advice and Advisories twice, once when you are planning your trip and again shortly before you leave. If a Travel Advisory is issued for your destination, after you make your travel arrangements but before or during your trip, it may affect or trigger your travel health insurance or your trip cancellation insurance.
SAVE EVERYTHINGAs you travel, save all ATM and transaction receipts in an envelope. Bring them home in your carry-on bag.
Save your airline boarding pass to prove your return date. If you need to dispute a transaction, sending a copy of your receipt will speed up the resolution process.
After you return home, carefully examine your credit and debit card statements and continue to do so for several months in case of identity theft and credit card fraud.