In 2013 – 2014, 1215 Australians died overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also assisted 1330 Australians who were hospitalised, and helped 27 Australians that required medical evacuation.

If you’re planning to travel to a developing country, it goes without saying that extra precautions should be taken. You’re stepping outside your comfort zone and exposing yourself to a new set of safety considerations. The recent earthquake in Nepal and terrorist attack in Bangkok are unfortunate reminders that a crisis can strike at any time. The right preparation can make all the difference. Here are eight essential travel safety tips for travelling abroad:



1. It’s a good idea to check www.smartraveller.gov.au for safety information about your destination. Note the contact numbers of the Australian embassy in each country you are travelling to, and register your travel details online before you go. Another valuable source is www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

2. Have copies of relevant emergency numbers close at hand; local embassy, insurance company and medical assistance.



3. In order to reduce health related risks, check the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) website wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list for detailed information on vaccinations, health warnings, disease outbreaks and a range of other advice.



4. Most insurers have exclusions for some destinations, especially those with travel warnings. Ensure that your policy covers your itinerary. If you require assistance in a country that isn’t covered, a medical assistance evacuation can cost several hundred thousand dollars.

5. Be aware that high-risk activities are often not covered, for example riding scooters, hang gliding and bungee jumping. These activities are best avoided overseas.

6. It’s a good idea to carry copies of your policy on your person as some hospitals abroad require proof of insurance prior to treatment.



7. If you lose your credit card it can take time to get a replacement. It’s advisable to take multiple cards and keep one in a separate location (not on your person). Also consider setting a maximum withdraw limit on your cards. This will help limit damage if your card is stolen, skimmed or you are a victim of an ATM mugging.

8. Register your travel plans with your bank. Banks use anti-fraud software, which sometimes puts a stop on cards being used overseas. Check with your bank that your ATM card will work overseas, and use ATMs inside banks if possible to avoid card skimmers.



For more information on this subject, Dynamiq is running a one-day course called ‘Travel Safety and Security’ on October 14th at our Melbourne office (Williamstown). Contact Philip Kent-Hughes – 03 8340 5219 / or email.

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