Gap 360's Guide to Safety Abroad
You may think, “safety” oh, this is one for the parents… and yes, it is important for them to read through, but in actual fact, you are the one who will be travelling, you are the one who will have to think on their feet if you get into any sticky situations and it will be you who is peeling profusely if you get super sunburnt somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere!
There are loads of forums and blogs you can read to give you great travel tips, but sometimes you can feel like you’re drowning in facts and figures that you need to remember in order to stay safe while you are away!
We don’t want to scare you but we aim to give you a brief yet brilliant overview of safety information that will be your ultimate guide when you’re off exploring the unknown J
Before you leave home we suggest collating a selection of documents that you may need during your travels. This is not an exhaustive list but here goes:
- Copies of your passport (one/two on paper in your luggage, one with your parents at home, one emailed to yourself saved in the cloud/Dropbox)
- Photocopies of visas
- Insurance documents
- In-country team contact details (these are available in your online account visa and arrival document under the MyTrips tab)
LAWS AND CUSTOMS:
Respect local cultures and laws. Although there may be lots of other tourists in the same area as you, this does not mean it is OK to act the same as you do at home. There are certain laws and customs that you must abide by! These vary depending on the country but these will be outlined by the team in-country during your orientation. If in doubt – ask! Better to be sure than coming across rude or worse still, doing something illegal!
- Remember to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples or local communities.
- Think twice about P.D.As (Public Displays of Affection) in certain countries.
- Not all countries have a legal drinking age of 18
Common sense can sometimes go out the window when you’re off enjoying yourself. However, this is actually the most important time to keep your wits about you! When reading this you might think, duh! I know that – but reading an article like this, that one last time, may be the vital reminder that prevents you getting into trouble.
- Stay in groups, especially at night. If you want to leave a night out early, make sure a guide or your friends walk you home.
- Don’t drink too much. We’re not trying to be a fun-sponge we’re just looking out for you! You can easily get dehydrated when in hot and humid countries which can lead to drinks affecting you more than they might do normally. Be aware of this and drink lots of water (as well as the cocktails and buckets!)
- Keep an eye on your possessions – when travelling it is worth having padlocks in a few different sizes so you can lock up your bag and also put them in lockers when staying in hostels or shared accommodation. Always make sure your hand luggage is in sight, you wouldn’t want to lose your passport, money or the all-important photos on your camera or iPhone!
- Consider the risk before taking part in extreme activities. Would you trust this bungee/skydiving/rafting/diving company at home? Think about it. Ask about their credentials and insurance.
POINTS OF CONTACT:
We are always here to help and have a few points of contact for you while you are away:
- First things first, speak to your tour guide/coordinator. As they are in-country with you they are best placed to help you. It is likely they will have dealt with issues like this before so will be on hand to help J
- If you have an emergency, the telephone number is in your trip notes.
- If you have a minor issue that you think only the UK Gap 360 office team can help with, call our Customer Support Team on 01892 527392
Please don’t be too shy to ask the team in-country for help with any issues you may have, if we don’t know about your concerns it is impossible for us to resolve them!
Above all, we want you to have an AMAZING trip of a lifetime and we would hate for a small mishap to spoil your experience. With all this information in hand, go forth and conquer!