If you’re reading this, you’re likely European or Europe-adjacent. You probably already know all the typical advice about travelling in the EU. Frankly speaking, there isn’t much to know – the weather is mostly the same, there’s not a lot of poisonous plants and animals, and the drivers are mostly sane (except in the UK, where they stay on the wrong side on the road). So here is some Skycop advice on travelling to exotic countries!
Get a visa
A European passport is usually very powerful, but not all countries are just happy with you just cartwheeling over their border. That’s why you need to check if your holiday destination wants you to take out a visa to enter. This should be taken care of well in advance because nobody knows what sort of democratic rigamarole you can find yourself in. In any case, it doesn’t hurt to check even if you’re going to a country as exotic as Russia. You might be able to get the documents all done online!
Exotic countries mean exotic illnesses. The chilly European climes (barring the still-rare climate crisis heatwave) aren’t great for viruses and bacteria to breed in. The same can’t be said about the damp, warm weather of many exotic holiday destinations. Your immune system will already be suffering from all the stresses of travel and jet lag, so you don’t want to trust its ability to ward away exotic illnesses. And some of those inoculations require a series of injections weeks in advance!
Buy travel insurance
So, you touched a spider and now you have some disease you didn’t inoculate against. Great, your home and your family doctor is literally thousands of kilometres away. What can you do? Well, you have to rely on your travel insurance to guide your way through paying for all the healthcare you’ll be using at sunny Wherever. Some insurance plans might even cover fairly generous medical evacuation plans, so you should consider those if you’re going to see the jungle or do literally anything in Australia.
Avoid non-bottled water
All sorts of diseases love water as a good vector for spreading – after all, the silly humans put it in their mouths! And due to all sorts of historical circumstances (mostly colonialism and Cold War), exotic places may not have the best of water infrastructure. That’s why you should avoid drinking non-bottled water. You should also avoid iced drinks because restaurants are unlikely to use bottled water for the ice in your drinks. Of course, you should research the country before you go – who knows, maybe their waterworks are shipshape and you’re just being a bigot.
Be careful with street food
Asian countries love street food. While that isn’t guaranteed to make you ill – not much more than street food in any country would – it can still upset your stomach. You see, your stomach isn’t used to the spices and condiments (and the amounts of them) used to prepare the food, and you may end up with an upset stomach.
Get some over-the-counter meds
I’ve talked at length about the various exciting ways that visiting an exotic country can make you ill (please don’t touch any spiders, I beg you). One way to avoid the issue is to get some over-the-counter stuff: pain and fever meds, anti-diarrhoea medication, cold medicine. You should also stock on sunscreen (hot countries tend to be hot countries) and insect repellant (the mosquito goes from “annoying” to “potentially deadly” in hotter climes).
Make copies and get cash
It’s important to have copies of your travel documentation always, but especially in a country where you are more likely to be robbed. It also bears to have money in cash to avoid identity theft via someone scanning your card (or stealing it). Don’t have too much cash on you, however, cos that might just make you a mark.
However, you don’t need to travel anywhere exotic to be struck by delayed flights, cancelled flights or overbooking. Flight disruptions happen – but so does flight compensation. Fortunately, you can claim up to €600! Do it via Skycop and get back to packing your anti-diarrhoea meds. You might need them.