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What not to bring back with you from your Holidays

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What not to bring back with you from your Holidays

Consider the possibilities. You are on the flight home from your amazing overseas trip. It has been everything you wished for, with some fantastic memories to last you the rest of your life, and stories to tell all of your friends. It was in nearly every sense of the word, perfect.

However, due to one mistake, one small error in judgement, there was a minor oversight in your return journey – something you missed, did not really consider, and the ramifications of that mistake have followed you.

You’ve brought back something you really, really did not want to bring with you, and now? Now it has cast a pall over the whole experience, and turned what was the perfect holiday trip into an absolute disaster.

With a little bit of simple preparation, some forewarning and some awareness, you can easily make a bad situation become either inconsequential, or not a problem at all. Avoidance is always the best option.

It is now overshadowing everything good about the experience and leaving you not just with a sour taste in your mouth, but far more painful lingering after-effects, physically, financially, and legally.

Injuries, illnesses, accidents and other bad fortune are things that can happen to anyone. There are plenty of horror stories out there of people who have been out to see the world and sadly, brought back some of it that they would really rather have left behind. But there are quite a few ways one can avoid these circumstances. With a little bit of simple preparation, some forewarning and some awareness, you can easily make a bad situation become either inconsequential, or not a problem at all. Avoidance is always the best option. And here are a few methods to help you do just that.

Always Vaccinate

Vaccinations are probably the most important thing to consider when it comes to travelling overseas, depending on which part of the world you are travelling to. The unfortunate truth is the more exotic your location, the more likely that some particularly exotic bug will also be lurking there in wait. But it is possible to avoid many of them with a simple jab ahead of time.

Before travelling, consult with a doctor. Some doctors specialise in travel immunisations. It can help to bring details of your previous vaccinations, any allergies, and previous medical information that may be relevant. Of course you’ll also want to tell your doctor where it is you will be going – some locations outright require that you be vaccinated before you are allowed to even enter the country, so be sure to be aware of this before you go.

Before travelling, consult with a doctor. Some doctors specialise in travel immunisations. It can help to bring details of your previous vaccinations, any allergies, and previous medical information that may be relevant

If you consult with an expert, they will be able to reliably inform you what vaccinations are needed for where, and which vaccinations are recommended. Because allergic symptoms ‘can’ develop from vaccinations, your doctor will probably recommend that the injections are taken at least ten days before departure to ensure there are no lingering side effects. Some of the nastier viruses that can affect travellers can take a while to fully incubate in the body, and a person who feels healthy can be dreadfully infectious on their return home. For the sake of not just yourself but also your family and loved ones, taking the time to vaccinate can prevent this from happening.

There are other diseases to keep an eye out for, which while not quite so lethal as some, could make the journey very distressing in other ways. Keep in mind that you may be exposed to strains of influenza, particularly during winter, and be sure to ask your doctor about measures to take. The weather may be hotter or colder than you are used to as well, which can wreak havoc on your immune system. Consider not just where you are going but also when, and consider what time of year might best suit you.

Remember the old story about never trusting the water? There are plenty of jokes about this, but in truth, it really is a solid bit of advice. This is usually something that occurs during a trip rather than coming back from one, but the fact remains that some diseases can be transmitted through water, particularly in nations where water sanitation is not as it should be. Bottled or boiled water would be the first recommendation, but some of these diseases can be prevented also by vaccinations. Be aware of the dangers and work to counteract them. Always consider any water that is not purified in some way as being at risk of contamination and act accordingly – if there is a chance that it is not safe, it should be treated as though it is not and thus avoided. In regards to food, avoid uncooked, undercooked and reheated food, as well as salads, raw and unpeelable fruit and vegetables, ice cream and dairy, and dishes requiring a lot of handling to prepare. If trouble does occur during the trip, keep up your hydration and in severe cases, seek a doctor as soon as possible.

Watch Out For Bugs

The most dangerous animal in the world, responsible for more deaths than any other creature, is not a shark, spider, or snake, but it is in fact the not-so-humble mosquito; transmitting truly deadly and horrible diseases as such as malaria and dengue fever. These diseases are crippling and in the case of malaria, never truly recoverable from, haunting those who suffer from it for years to come.

The most dangerous animal in the world, responsible for more deaths than any other creature, is not a shark, spider, or snake, but it is in fact the not-so-humble mosquito; transmitting truly deadly and horrible diseases as such as malaria and dengue fever

There are also uncomfortable stories told of individuals who have returned from trips overseas having been made a nest for the eggs a particular insect. The core thing to be aware of, in regards to such things, is prevention. You can protect yourself with strong insect repellent, and ensure to always have it on your person if travelling to areas where such things are known to exist. Wear clothing that covers the arms and legs to shield against insect bites, and use either nets or stay in screened or air conditioned accommodation. Consider also clothing immersed with insect repellent and understand the biting habits of mosquitoes – malaria-transmitting mosquitoes bite mostly at night, attracted to dark clothing and strong perfume, while the dengue fever-transmitting mosquito tend to bite during the cooler times of day – early morning and late afternoon.

It is also possible to bring back insects into the country from overseas without meaning to – and these introduced species can cause devastating problems back home. Some of the worst insect problems in Australia are the result of introduced species – European wasps being perhaps the best known example, but there are others. These can be a problem not just in the greater scheme of things, but also on a personal level for travellers – bringing contaminated products into the country can result in legal action or fines, if it is done knowingly. At the very least, products and items that potentially could carry such insects – handmade items of various types of wood might house beetles for example – will be taken and destroyed to prevent contamination. Be aware before you travel back home, that what you are attempting to bring back with you might not be allowed into the country.

Check What Is Okay – and Avoid What Is Not
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There are many things that you are welcome to bring back with you when you go travelling overseas, intriguing souvenirs with which to remind you of your time away. However, that being said, there is also an overwhelming list of things which are not just restricted, but can also get you in a great deal of trouble, and it is important to be able to tell the difference between them.

Fresh produce of any kind is not allowed to be brought back into the country, for fear of contamination and introduced species. The fruit fly for example can devastate supplies of fruit, crippling an entire industry, and as such anything that has the potential to bring such pests into the country is not allowed. Efforts taken to conceal such things can result in penalties as well.

Certain items are also not allowed to be brought into the country. These can range from the obvious, such as the dangerous – weapons for example, are generally not allowed in any form. Certain types of product are also heavily restricted, such as rare materials obtained by means which are not legal – such as conflict diamonds or ivory. Products acquired by poaching, which devastates the planet’s rarest animals for traditional and herbal medicines, are also almost entirely illegal and cannot be brought back into the country, and ignorance is generally not an excuse for such actions.

Products acquired by poaching, which devastates the planet’s rarest animals for traditional and herbal medicines, are also almost entirely illegal and cannot be brought back into the country, and ignorance is generally not an excuse for such actions.

To be completely clear, be aware of whatever souvenirs you are bringing back into the country – or the trip may end up costing you much more than you first feared.

Other items are less clear about their restriction. For example, pellet firearms such as Airsoft, which are legal in many overseas countries are not legal in Australia. Also, counterfeit items and items that violate local and international copyright law are also illegal, cannot be brought into the country from overseas, and will be, if they are found in your luggage, removed and destroyed, sometimes resulting in fines or even prosecution. To prevent the worst from happening, it is probably best to always err on the side of caution. Ask before you leave the country, or pay close attention to what is listed as being restricted before you are about to return home. If you are unsure, investigate! There are plenty of websites which can list whether what you are attempting to bring back is allowed or not, but a bit of common sense will go a long way. If you have a feeling that what you are trying to bring back with you might not be approved of, it is for the best that you treat it as though it will not be, and act accordingly. Be smart – as much as you might want the less-than-legal memento, the likelihood is that you are wasting your money at best, and putting your foot into the most unpleasant kind of trouble at worst.

Be Smart – Be Safe

The most valuable asset you have with you when you go travelling is your own self-awareness. If it is a choice between being safe and being adventurous, consider just what sort of adventure you are going on first. Are you aware of the risks? Is what you are about to embark on known for being dangerous? Have you any experience in doing it before? Was it listed as a high risk activity on your travel insurance and are you covered for it? Many activities in overseas locations are only available because of lack of oversight or regulation, and as such, they are much more risky than they need to be. Travel safely – use your head and avoid overly risky adventures that may see you in a hospital or worse. As much as the adrenaline rush might be enjoyable, it may end up being more than you want to experience, and then some.

That being said, sometimes disaster is simply unavoidable and when something goes wrong you can very well end up bringing home something no one wants – a very expensive medical bill.

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Medical emergencies in overseas hospitals can get very expensive, very fast.

Medical emergencies in overseas hospitals can get very expensive, very fast. And for this reason, one of the most important things to take with you when you travel overseas is the right travel insurance

And for this reason, one of the most important things to take with you when you travel overseas is the right travel insurance. Cover yourself for the unexpected, because you cannot always plan for these sorts of things. While you can always minimise the risks, you cannot always prepare for everything, and that is where a good, reliable insurance policy will come into play, covering you for what could be both a disaster physically and emotionally, but also financially. In the U.S for example, it is not uncommon for expenses to exceed $25,000 per day. Without a decent travel insurance policy, this sort of debt can spell ruin for not just the trip itself, but for years afterwards.

Travel insurance, thankfully, covers all manner of other issues as well. Loss of luggage and documents, stolen cash and personal effects, dental expenses and personal liability are all things you can have taken care of, and so it doesn’t hurt to investigate beforehand what sort of cover you might need – and what sort of cover you hope you won’t.

Travel insurance, thankfully, covers all manner of other issues as well. Loss of luggage and documents, stolen cash and personal effects, dental expenses and personal liability are all things you can have taken care of, and so it doesn’t hurt to investigate beforehand what sort of cover you might need – and what sort of cover you hope you won’t.

While overseas, also keep in mind that you may lack certain medical and personal supplies, simply because they are more difficult to get a hold of in the country you are in. Take special care to not only bring a first aid kit, but also be sure to bring your usual hygiene supplies, such as nappies or feminine hygiene products. When it comes to medication you may need to be extra careful. Make sure you have enough medication, and be aware that certain medication is illegal in some countries. Check with the relevant countries embassy or consulate before heading off with such medication, and take a letter from a doctor stating that the medication is for you and for your own personal use, but take also all equipment you might need to administer such medication.

When all is said and done, travelling overseas is not without risk. But with that said it is also an experience you will never forget, and one that everyone should enjoy as often as they possibly can. But if you are going to do so, make sure you take the correct precautions. For the amount of work it takes and the expenses, nobody wants the trip they’ve been dreaming of turn into a nightmare. So think ahead, be aware, and be smart in every way you can, without cutting corners. Make your journey the best it can possibly be so you can remember it fondly, for years and years to come, and not something you will regret. Be safe, be smart, be aware, and be prepared.

 

http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/
http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/travel-health-advice
http://www.australia.gov.au/people/australians-travelling