A trip to another country can be the experience of a lifetime, but it can also be risky if you are not prepared. Keeping safety precautions in mind protects you from hidden perils and prevents you from making serious social and legal errors. Here are some things you should avoid doing while traveling internationally.
Ignore Travel Warnings
The U.S. Department of State issues periodic travel warnings to inform travelers of areas that may not be safe. These warning might involve terrorist activity, civil unrest or disease epidemics. A Travel Alert indicates a short term threat such as demonstrations, health alerts or terrorist attacks. When the threat is gone, the alert is removed. A Travel Warning indicates a longer-term threat such as a crime wave, civil war or an unstable regime. The State Department strongly advises avoiding such places. Check the Alerts and Warnings page of the U.S. Department of State website for current updates.
Take Illegal Substances
When you are arrested for an illegal substance abroad, you are bound by the laws of the land, not by United States law. In many countries, penalties for drug possession and use are extremely severe, including fines, imprisonment, hard labor and even death. In addition, you may find yourself ingesting a dangerous and addictive substance from which you may need help to recover. If you have had trouble with substance abuse abroad, contact Bay Area Recovery Center.
Be sure you are up to date with your vaccinations while traveling abroad. Diseases that are all but unknown in the United States are still prevalent in other parts of the world, including places like Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Routine vaccinations are those that all adults and children should be caught up on. Recommended vaccinations are those the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you take when you enter certain foreign countries. Its website has a list of each country and its recommended vaccinations. Required vaccinations are those you must have in order to enter a country. Currently, the main required vaccination is for yellow fever, which you must have to visit parts of South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
Forget Documents and Information
Be sure you have all the travel documents you need, including passports for yourself and your children, contact information for the nearest embassy, and an International Driver’s License if you plan to drive abroad. In most countries, you need your national license as well, as the International Driver’s License is more of a translation than a valid document on its own.
Spurn Local Customs
Take the time to find out the habits and customs of the people whose country you are planning to visit, so that you do not unintentionally insult them or even get yourself into trouble. For example, in Japan, tipping is not part of the culture. In Russia and in many other countries, avoid wearing your outside shoes inside the house. In Malaysia, do not touch anyone on the head. In India, do not hold hands or kiss in public, and do not touch anything valued with your feet. In Germany, avoid any references to Nazis. In Thailand, respect images of the Buddha. Learning simple tips like these before you go will endear you to the people instead of driving them away.
Taking precautions to avoid insulting, dangerous and illegal activities while abroad sets you free to enjoy yourself with a feeling of safety and well-being.
This article was contributed on behalf of Bay Area Recovery Center, the leader in drug addiction rehab centers in Houston. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!