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Health and Safety While Traveling

  • Vaccinations and Medicine

    Before leaving, contact your family doctor or a travel clinic to find out if you need vaccinations or special medications. Be sure that you get all necessary vaccinations before entering the country of destination. If you are bringing prescription medicine, keep it in the original container with the pharmacist's sticker.

  • Tourista

    Tourista is a gastro-intestinal illness that affects many who travel abroad. To avoid contracting tourista, eat only well-cooked foods, or fruits and vegetables that have just been peeled. Drink only bottled water. Avoid drinks served with ice cubes made from water that is not distilled. Ice made from distilled water has a hole in the centre. Watch out for mixed alcoholic beverages. Wash your hands many times a day and always before eating. Brush your teeth with purified (bottled) water and not with tap water.

  • Air Sickness and Sea Sickness

    If you are prone to getting sick on airplanes or ships, you might want to get some medicine for motion sickness, which you must take before you get sick. There is no treatment once you start feeling sick. Certain medicines can make you drowsy, which may be an advantage on long trips.

    Motion sickness comes about partly due to a discrepancy between what your eyes see and what is sensed by your inner ear. Closing your eyes might help if start to feel that you are getting nauseous.

    Caffeine, alcohol and fatty foods are hard to digest and can add to feelings of nausea. Crackers or toast are better options. Drink plenty of water, as dehydration lowers your body's resistance.

    Generally, if you do vomit you will probably feel better afterward.

  • Dry Skin on the Plane

    The air is very dry on an airplane. Be sure to apply moisturizing cream before boarding. This is also a good way to conserve a sun tan.

  • Pregnant Traveler

    If you are pregnant and you plan on taking a trip, discuss it first with your doctor. Your doctor will probably say that it is OK to leave, provided you are not in your very early or very late stages of pregnancy.

    Check if the airline has rules about pregnant women travelling. It is probably not a good idea to travel to places that require vaccinations. Think about reserving an aisle seat close to the washroom. If budget permits, first class/business class is more comfortable.

  • Preventing Theft

    To limit the risk of theft, it is advisable to hide your credit cards, debit cards and cash if possible in different places, such as some in your carry-on back pack or purse, and some on you (example in a money belt). Do not put money in your pockets where a pickpocket could easily take it without notice. Be discreet. Do not wear valuable jewellery that might attract attention. Never leave your bags unattended. Women might want to tie back their hair so as not to attract too much attention.

    If you carry a back pack, you could carry it on your front, or put locks on the zippers. A back pack is the most secure type of luggage, as it allows you to have both hands free and is difficult to steal when it is on you.

  • Copy Your Important Documents

    Photocopy your important documents, such as the first page of your passport, plane tickets, visa (if applicable), ID cards, etc. Keep one copy in your suitcase or with a travel partner, and also leave a copy with someone who is not traveling with you. Don't forget to leave a copy of hotel addresses and your vacation itinerary with someone you trust.

  • In-flight Security

    As soon as you board the aircraft, take note of the emergency exits and count how many rows you have get past to reach an exit. This will facilitate your exit in the event of a power failure or smoke on board the cabin. Pay attention to flight personnel, as their instructions are essential. Read the safety procedures manual before take off, located in the seat pocket in front of you.

  • Airport Security
    • Do not joke about weapons, bombs or terrorists. It is against the law.
    • Do not accept a package or letter from a stranger asking you to deliver it to your destination for him/her.
    • Do not take anything from a stranger into the airplane.
    • Do not leave your bags unattended; keep your eye on your belongings at all times.
    • If you notice an unattended bag or package, alert security immediately.
    • Keep in mind that you might have to remove your shoes and belt at the security gate. Certain metal articles can set off the metal detector.
  • Safety Tips in the Hotel Room
    • If you are traveling alone and arrive late at night, do not hesitate to ask hotel personnel to escort you to your room.
    • After arriving in your room, check to make sure the smoke detector works; notice the location of fire extinguishers and emergency exits.
    • Refrain from telling strangers your room number. If you stop at reception to get your mail, say your room number quietly, or just show the number on your key.
    • Ask to stay in a room that is not on the ground floor.