April 22, 2016

10 safety tips for travellers

Chances are you feel safe and carefree when travelling and it can be tempting to throw all caution to the wind. But it’s important to not lose your common sense and street smarts.  Here are 10 tips that will hopefully help you stay safe when you’re travelling on holiday or for business…

(1) Register your travel plans

This is very important and many South Africans don't even know about this service. Before you travel, make sure to register with ROSA (Registration of South Africans Abroad). This will help the government to assist and locate you during an emergency abroad, verify your status and liaise with your next-of-kin. Registration is free and is done online. Your information will only be accessed in an emergency.
ROSA is supported by ASATA – the Association of Southern Travel Agents.

Please note: As of 20 April 2016, the ROSA website is down until further notice due to maintenance. Please direct all enquiries on ROSA to rosahelp@dirco.gov.za.

(2) Check travel updates for the region

Do some research online (check government advisories and travel alerts) and ask your Sure Travel consultant for advice when travelling to a particular destination. Forewarned is forearmed.

(3) Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance

No matter where you’re travelling, travel insurance is always a must. The free credit card or medical aid cover is often not sufficient. With TIC travel insurance, you can purchase top up cover options as well as comprehensive leisure, business and even local travel insurance.

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency for travel insurance.

(4) Emergency contact details

Check that you have the nearest embassy's contact details and your essential and emergency contacts on your phone and mobile devices AND written down somewhere (in case all your devices are not charged). Have these on you at all times.

(5) What to do in an emergency

If you're heading to an area at risk of natural disasters, for example earthquakes in Japan or Hawaii, read up about what to do in case of an emergency. Here's what you should do in the event of:

(6) Know where the exits are

As soon as you arrive in your hotel room or accommodation, familiarise yourself with the emergency exits, stairwells and the hotel's evacuation policy, what to do in case of fire, etc.

(7) Carry your identification

Carry your passport or some form of photo identification at all times. If you're leaving important documents at your accommodation, lock them securely in the safe.

(8) Check the country’s entry requirements

Whether its vaccinations or a bill of clean health or health certificate, make sure you’ve got everything the country requires for entry. Don’t take the chance of getting turned away or worse, contacting a terrible illness that could have been avoided by simply getting a vaccination.

(9) Secure your luggage

Always have a lock for your luggage – TSA-approved padlocks help to ensure that airport security don’t just cut it off and leave your luggage unlocked if they’ve inspected it. If you're travelling by train, or have your luggage in the overhead compartments on a plane, ensure it’s locked.

(10) Stay alert

It won't help in some cases, but staying alert can help keep you safe in some situations eg: from being pickpocketed. It's so tempting when you're travelling on holiday to embrace that holiday feeling and lose all your inhibitions but don't lose your common sense. Have fun but stay alert!

Got any travel safety tips to add? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you.


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