Travel is an aspiration of so many people and these dreams are of happy and fulfilling experiences that create equally happy and fulfilling memories. And that’s exactly the way it should be. Sadly though, we occasionally hear about unsuccessful journeys resulting in shattered dreams. There are a multitude of reasons why this may happen so let’s look at five of the most common.
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much and this is very true when you are travelling. So it’s vital that you look after yourself, especially in undeveloped countries where there are greater risks of diarrhoea and more serious diseases. Adhere to the basic rules of drinking bottled water where appropriate and taking care when eating fresh fruit and vegetables. Meat and shellfish dishes should be well cooked and served hot. In warm climates, protect yourself from sunburn, stay well hydrated and be aware of mosquitoes at night.
The risk of crime varies greatly around the world and also between big cities and small towns. Blending in to your environment is a key to staying safe. If you don’t obviously look like a tourist, you won’t be targeted like one. In busy areas be aware of your surroundings and anything that doesn’t seem right. Don’t carry things in your back pockets and wearing your backpack on your chest is always safer. Remember that thieves often work in pairs so don’t get too distracted. Use common sense; if an area has a bad reputation there’s a good reason for it, especially at night.
Lack of money often means not being able to travel at all but it can also be the reason trips end prematurely. Planning and budgeting are the keys to ensuring a complete and successful trip. It takes some time to establish a travel budget and discipline to adhere to it. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made. The good news is that there are many different ways to save money through your journey. A trusted guidebook is a key to getting an insight into your daily expenses and keeping a record of them helps you stay on track.
It’s important to realise that ‘travel’ is different to a ‘holiday’. Quite different in fact. While a holiday will usually be relaxing, travelling for an extended period of time offers unique challenges and situations that need to be overcome every day. You constantly have to adjust to different environments, food, cultures and languages. It’s a great experience but by its very nature, it is also tiring. They key is to pace yourself; don’t try to see and do everything. Knowing your physical and emotional limits will help you work within them for a successful trip.
The lack of travel insurance is potentially the biggest disaster of all. Medical expenses overseas can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you need to be admitted to hospital. Travel insurance policies vary greatly but it’s not something that needs to be comprehensive and cost a lot. The basic cover of medical and liability is usually quite sufficient and an essential element of travel. It’ll enable you to complete your trip with a peace of mind and not be faced with a huge bill if something unforseen happens.