The American Red Cross have issued travellers with twelve ways to keep safe whilst travelling to any destination.
1. Print and take hard copies of passports, travel documents, travel information and important phone numbers.
2. It is important for everyone to plan and understand a meeting place and time in case of separation.
3. Include natural disasters and seasonal weather problems when researching a travel destination and know what to do if the place could experience any, such as hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis.
4. Find out where your nearest embassy or consulate will be, in case of any emergencies.
5. Be familiar with the six-month passport rule. It is best to renew passports nine months before they expire as some countries refuse entry if it is valid for less than six months.
6. Inform banks and credit card providers of when and where you will be travelling to avoid them blocking any payments.
7. Carry any vaccination certificates alongside details of any allergies and blood type.
8. U.S. travellers can register trips with the State Department by using a free, online programme. This helps the department to give assistance in an emergency. It also contains information about safety conditions in different countries.
9. Have a safety and evacuation plan that doesn’t rely on the government in the case of an emergency.
10. Find and keep the emergency numbers for the countries being visited and know how to call for the police, ambulance and fire services.
11. Ensure you are travelling with enough medication, insect repellent and basic supplies for pain relief or stomach bugs. Use insect repellent and use light clothing to keep covered if at high risk of mosquito bites or mosquito borne illnesses.
12. Download the American Red Cross First Aid app for expert advice on everyday emergencies. Basic first aid skills can save lives anywhere in the world. Other Red Cross apps are available in other countries and languages, it is therefore best to download it from your home country before travelling.