Travellers’ Tips

When your whole family is traveling, you have to be prepared for anything. We provide suggestions for traveling, such as safety advice, health tips, and vacation planning ideas.


Staying safe

With headlines reporting attacks against tourists becoming more and more common, vacationers are on the alert. A recent magazine survey discovered that 85% of their readers said these reports have prompted them to be more cautious on while on holiday. Don’t let a few criminals ruin your vacation. By taking a few precautions and staying alert, you can avoid spending part of your holiday filing a report at an exotic police station.

Travellers' Tips

Sapa

Before you go

Call ahead. While deadbolts and peepholes are standard in motel rooms these days, safety awareness on the part of hotel management varies widely, so it’s worth calling ahead to ask specific questions.
Look for rooms that open onto an interior hallway, rather than to the outside. While it’s easier to unload the car when it’s parked right outside the door, a room that opens directly onto parking makes it easier for thieves to monitor your comings and goings, and to get into your room when you drive off for a day at Marine land.
Look for electronic key cards, instead of regular room keys.The electronic cards are reprogrammed for each new guest.
Don’t pack valuables in baggage you plan to check. Your bags will pass through a lot of unsupervised hands on its cross-country flight, so keep your jewelry, money and travelers checks close at hand in a carry-on bag. And there’s always the chance that your baggage may not keep up with you, so pack medications and prescriptions in your carry on bags.

Travellers' Tips

Hanoi

Airport safety

Watch your bags! Baggage theft at airports is on the rise, and half of the bags stolen are those left unattended. Thieves know that carry-on bags are where people carry their valuables and cash. Outside the airport, too, and anywhere on the road, never leave your bags unattended for a second, especially in Europe and Asia. Use teamwork. Have one family member–a teenager or adult–anchor the bags and the younger kids while an adult goes off to get directions or a cab.
Watch your pockets. People bumping into you could very well be pickpockets, and people asking you questions could be diverting your attention while an accomplice grabs your bag. This advice applies in spades to tourist attractions and public transportation, as well. Consider purchasing a money belt or money bag that you wear inside your clothing, and using it. Carry in your pockets only enough cash for a day, and only one credit card.

On the road with your rental car

When you pick up your car rental, ask which parts of town to stay away from. Staying away from high-crime parts of town could be the most important safeguard you can take. It’s all too easy to inadvertently drive into bad neighborhoods when you’re in a strange city, but with a little foresight and a decent map, it’s just as easy to avoid them.
Don’t look like a tourist. Tuck the Disneyland bags and travel guides discreetly away in the trunk when you’re away from your car. It doesn’t hurt to leave a local paper in plain sight to further enhance the illusion that you’re one of the locals. Leave nothing in sight. Cars have been broken into for jackets and shopping bags.
Pass up that hot red jeep. Stick to cars that are unobtrusive and blend in. Forget the car wash! A cruise down a dusty road, or through a few mud puddles, will make your rental look lived in!

Travellers' Tips

Hue

Locales

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is know where the bad neighborhoods are, and to avoid them. Before you leave your hotel, ask which way to turn when you walk out the door, and which direction to avoid.

Hotel safety

Know where the emergency exit is in case of fire
Show your children how to call the front desk. While they may know how to dial 911 in case of emergency at home, unless you tell them, they won’t know to dial 9 for an outside line, or to dial 0 for the hotel receptionist.

Out and about

ID your kids. On an index card, write each child’s name, your name and hotel address and phone number, as well as the phone number of a close friend or relative back home.
Always have a recent, clear photo of your child with you. If you do get separated, the authorities will want an up-to-date picture.
You don’t need a wallet full of credit cards when you travel. Bring only what you need–two should be enough–and leave copies of the front and back of each card, and any other important documents you are carrying, with a friend or close relative. If they are lost or stolen, you’ll have easy access to the necessary information. Also leave a list of your travelers checks, by number. A member of the party who’s not carrying the credit cards and travelers checks should also carry a copy of this list. And consider having Mom carry one credit card, and Dad carry the other.

Advice for woman travelers

Personal safety and security

  1. When traveling, particularly alone, leave an itinerary of your trip with a responsible person contacting them at pre-arranged times and dates. Ostentatious displays of money, jewellery, luggage and dress can encourage the wrong type of attention. When travelling be aware of where your luggage, particularly hand bags, are at all times. Do not leave them unattended or hanging on the back of chairs in restaurants.
  2. Choose your accommodation carefully:Be alert, listen to the advice of locals and fellow travellers, develop a street sense, try not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • try and pick accommodation which is in a safe area;
    • request a room near the lift or stair well, not on the ground floor;
    • inspect the door locks and window fasteners;
    • never open the door to your room until you have identified the caller;
    • do not identify yourself on the telephone until the caller has done so;
    • keep your money and valuables close by you at night.
  3. In a confrontational situation a woman traveller is rarely a physical match for a man. So, the following rules can help:
    • Don’t turn a scary situation into a dangerous one if you can help it (e.g. it would be unwise to launch into a physical attack if the man confronting you just want your money – hand it over and avoid finding out what he may do if provoked);
    • Don’t panic or show fear or let the person confronting you to get the upper hand, try to gain psychological advantage throwing him off his balance i.e. compliance;
    • If you do find yourself in physical danger, try to anticipate the aggressor’s next move and plan ahead for it. As the innocent party in the confrontation you have the advantage of surprise, if you are forced to strike back physically, make sure it is a crippling blow that gives you a chance to escape;
    • If you are worried about your ability to gauge dangerous situations and to defend yourself then consider joining a women’s self defense course before travelling
    • Travellers' Tips

      Da Nang

Personal safety when travelling alone

  1. Insist on inspecting your accommodation before agreeing to stay. If unhappy with the room request a change or where possible move to different accommodation.
  2. The alone woman traveller will often be flouting convention simply by her presence. Unfortunately women in the developing world don’t have the independence that their western counterparts take for granted. For this reason, their presence, especially unaccompanied, will generate interest within local people of both genders.
  3. How you dress is an easy method of self-preservation and the most immediate symbol of respect. Dress codes differ greatly from country to country and to get them wrong would put you at an immediate disadvantage. A culture’s standard of dress has a lot to do with what parts of the body are considered to be sensuous or provocative. As a general rule tight and skimpy clothes are inappropriate for most countries outside of Europe and North America. Clothing should be conservative and presentable, loose fitting and comfortable. Arms and legs should be covered, especially when visiting places of worship and national monuments.
  4. When travelling, try to be inconspicuous yet confident avoiding confrontational challenging situations with men by adopting an assertive, dismissive manner.
  5. Remember many men can see eye contact as a ‘come-on’. The use of dark sunglasses will limit this problem.
  6. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself particularly if single and travelling alone. The often-asked questions of your marital status and family, are ones of genuine interest. To avoid the unwanted attention of some men, the use of a few white lies about ‘your husband’ and a fake wedding ring are a useful pretence.
Travellers' Tips

Saigon

Menstruation
  1. Emotional upset, exhaustion and travelling through different time zones can all contribute to an upset in the menstrual pattern. Irregular menstruation is a very common problem affecting women travellers, excessive exercise and the stress of travel may cause infrequent periods, if this is the case it may lead to confusion over the timing of oral contraception and great anxiety of unplanned pregnancy. Dysmenorrhoea may also be aggravated by travel.
  2. Oral contraception can be used to suppress menstruation. This is achieved by taking the pill continuously, without the usual seven-day break in between packets. A reminder to take extra packets to allow for this should be stressed. However, this method is not advisable for women taking biphasic or triphasic pills because the dose in the first seven pills is too low to prevent possible breakthrough bleeding.
  3. Sanitary hygiene: Tampons and sanitary towels are widely available in larger cities but harder to find in remote and mountainous areas. Locally made menstrual supplies are usually available although the standard varies.

Travellers’ Tips

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