21 June 2019
Travelling abroad is exciting but can also be a stressful experience, especially when leaving behind the slow paced, safe and familiar surroundings of St Helena.
Travelling for many is a positive experience but as with all activities there are challenges particularly when travelling abroad for the first time or to a new place.
It’s important to keep yourself safe when you travel so start by making sure you are properly prepared before you leave.
Before you leave
When travelling to new places and exploring new cultures, it’s important to remember to stay travel aware, this includes making sure you have all the correct documents such as:
- flight tickets
- travel/medical insurance, including cover for personal effects if required
- accommodation booking
- entry Visas if required
Before you travel, put together a checklist to ensure you don’t leave anything important behind.
Don’t forget to also check the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice online at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the destination you are travelling to. A quick check will give you all the information you need on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and security, money and travel support.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also provides consular assistance to British nationals overseas; view information about what help they can provide online at: https://www.gov.uk/world/emergency-help-for-british-nationals.
At your destination
Being in a new and unfamiliar place can be daunting. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings in order to keep yourself and anyone you’re travelling with safe.
Common tips for keeping safe while abroad include:
- Keep your valuables – jewellery, money, phones and watches – out of sight, including while travelling in vehicles
- Do not take a lift with anyone, use a genuine licensed taxi – look for an ID badge and radio before getting into the vehicle. Always sit in the back and never get into a taxi when someone else is in the passenger seat. Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows up
- If walking, look confident, and at night always go with a friend and avoid any shortcuts
- If you need to exchange money, don’t exchange large amounts. Always be aware of others around you. At Exchange Services don’t accept help from strangers, walk away if you don’t feel safe. Put your money away as soon as possible; don’t sort your cash in public. If you have a Bank Card, be cautious of your surroundings and always keep your PIN hidden
- At your accommodation avoid other guests hearing your room number. In your room keep your door locked and don’t open to unexpected callers. Use the room safe if you have one and don’t leave valuables around
- If going out from your accommodation use the ‘do not disturb’ sign and leave lights on. Whilst out, avoid walking in the local area and keep your room key safe and hidden.
There are a range of useful tips and hints available online that provide advice on keeping you and your family safe when travelling.
This advice will also be shortly available to download from the Publications page of the SHG website: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/
21 June 2019