Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Everyone loves a trip abroad, don't they? Be it a weekend away with a loved one, a couple of weeks in the sun with the whole clan or six months spent travelling around Asia on your own. Holidays are the only time of the year where we're fully 'off the clock' and get some breathing space. Space we can use to chill out and fully relax. We should enjoy them. After all, we've earned them, haven't we?
But while we should be allowed to kick off our flip-flops and enjoy ourselves on holiday, it's important to be aware of the some of the more dangerous aspects of travelling abroad. Now, we're not scare-mongering here we recognise that 99% of vacations will go off without a hitch. And we hope your next one does. But if there's always that 1%... Bad luck is bad luck and there's not much you can do about it (well, you can try not booking Room 13 of your hotel!). But you can be aware. If you know what dangers lurk beneath the surface, you can potentially avoid them. Here's a run-down of the some of the biggest dangers you may encounter on holiday:
Certain countries and cities around the world are renowned as pickpocketing hotspots. Do a bit of research on your destination before you leave to see if you need to take extra special care with your wallet or purse. If you're heading to a touristy area, chances are that the local government will clamp down hard on thieves. Head to large town or city in a undeveloped country and you may have to be more careful. It's not just far-flung places that are risky, though. Barcelona and Rome are particularly notorious for the crime. Our unfashionable advice? They may not look great, but bumbags are one way or putting off would-be tea leafs.
A week in Marbella means you're probably unlikely to contracting a deadly virus. Spend a month in Gambia or Laos though and you may come unstuck. Investigate whether you need to get any shots before you head to the airport. Certain countries will have increased levels of Malaria, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Rabies (watch out for any wild dogs - seriously!).
Different countries have different driving cultures and attitudes towards their roads. In Amsterdam or Copenhagen for instance, the bicycle and tram are king. Stroll about as a pedestrian there like you would in England and there's a good chance you'll end up in trouble! Monitor how other walkers, cyclists or drivers behave before deciding how you'll act.
Okay, so it's pretty unlikely that you'll be kidnapped, assaulted, murdered or blown up when you're abroad, but you'd do well to avoid certain pitfalls. Don't hang about Lagos late at night by yourself. Avoid getting drunk and flashing off your Rolex in a Bogota bar. Keep the anti-Islamic rhetoric to a minimum when you're in the Middle East! We joke, but these simple rules have been ignored by people in the past and they've paid the price.
Be aware but don't be scared, that's our advice! Can you think of any potential dangers when abroad? Do you have any advice or do's and don'ts you think should be added to our list? We want to hear from you so please leave your comments below...