*This is a collaborative post with NetVoucherCodes
After having two camping adventures within the UK this year, I’ve been wondering when it’ll be the right time to take Pickle abroad. I love the idea of exposing him to different cultures, and using travel as a way to learn about geography and history but as much as I would like to be a bold, intrepid traveller, we just haven’t prioritised our finances that way for the last few years. As I’ve said before, I’m TERRIBLE at saving money, so the expense of travelling abroad always seems a little out of reach, especially now I’m not earning a regular income. Because of course, it’s not just the flights or accommodation to think about, there’s lots of extras to pay for: food, days out, airport parking, the inevitable holiday shopping spree beforehand and the one thing I always forget to budget for… travel insurance.
It’s the one thing we all hope we’ll never have to use, but accidents abroad do happen, no matter how careful and cautious you are. LPD found out the hard way when he fractured his shoulder on a skiing holiday last year! We don’t tend to think about the cost of medical care in this country because we’re blessed to have the NHS, but being seen by a doctor, a few x-rays and a shoulder brace soon adds up! And even though he did have travel insurance to claim on, it was a good job his friend had a spare credit card to use to pay for the care up front because the bill had to be paid there and then (something else to think about!).
It’s not the most exciting holiday purchase, but it’s arguably one of the most important. Even if you don’t end up needing to use it, surely the peace of mind of knowing your medical bills are covered should the worst happen is worth the price? I was absolutely shocked to discover that as many as 1 in 4 people travel abroad without travel insurance. This infographic from NetVoucherCodes shows exactly why it’s so important… I couldn’t believe that the average medical bill whilst holidaying in America is over $4,000!
Keeping Safe Abroad
When the time comes to take Pickle abroad, I’ll be following these tips to help ensure we all stay as safe and healthy as possible – because even though we’ll have travel insurance – I’d rather not have to use it.
Research & Planning
With the wealth of information available online now, there’s no reason not to be fully clued up and informed before booking or arriving anywhere. I’m more of a worrier than I care to admit to, and I like things to be planned out properly before travelling – I’m not one of those people that can just book a flight and travel day-by-day booking accommodation as they go. Blimey, the very thought gives me heart palpitations.
I’ll be researching:
- our accommodation fully, familiarising myself with the facilities that are available onsite and where we might have to travel to if we need things that aren’t on offer
- the local culture and customs to ensure we don’t accidentally offend or draw attention to ourselves unnecessarily
- the weather, to ensure we pack appropriately and are fully prepared
- experiences from other travellers, to learn from their mistakes and take their advice when it comes to the safe places to visit and where’s best to avoid
When Out and About
Exploring is surely one of the best bits about travelling, and it’s the thing I look forward to the most… but it can also be the most anxious bit too! After doing my research to find out where the best places are to visit, I’ll be making sure:
- we take a backpack full of essentials – plenty of water, snacks, a mini first aid kit and a map!
- we keep our money hidden and safe and in a variety of forms (mixture of local currency, debit and credit cards, and cash cards)
- I learn a few basic phrases in the local language and carry a phrasebook with us
- we have a plan of what to do if any one of us gets separated from the rest with an easy to find meeting point
We’re lucky as a family that we don’t have many dietary requirements that could be upset by a trip abroad, but we all know the effects local water and cuisine can have on our digestive systems! I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had a few close shaves where I’ve been frantically running to the toilet and only just gotten there in time… Going abroad to Morocco whilst I was pregnant made me EXTRA careful about food too, although, I still succumbed to having a few tummy issues.
Here’s a few trusty tips to help keep as healthy as possible:
- Cook your own food where possible – this way, you know exactly what’s going in it and how it’s prepared and cooked
- Drink bottled water over tap water if you can
- Avoid having ice cubes in drinks as these are likely made with local water which could cause problems
- Stick to fruits that you can peel yourself
- Remember to stay hydrated, especially if in a warmer country
What are your top travelling tips?
Are you a seasoned abroad traveller with your family? What would your top tips be? And are there any lessons you’ve learned the hard way?
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post with NetVoucherCodes. I am working with them to share their travel insurance infographic. The contents of this blog post are still written by me and contain my own ideas and opinions.