Health & Safety
Travelling with The Traveller is a wonderful chance to experience a stunning array of cultures, landscapes, ecosystems and activities. At the heart of this experience are the differences between our respective ways of life. You should understand that this means that standards of health and safety will not be the same as in the UK and may often be lower.
When you arrive in a hotel, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the fire procedures, your escape routes and nearest fire exit. Be especially careful about this if you are staying in a hotel that is more than two storeys high. Take a torch with you and have it within reach by your bedside. If you are aware that a fire escape is locked, please alert a member of staff immediately to ensure that this is attended to.
Lift safety regulations vary from country to country. Be aware that safeguards required in the UK may not be present. Never use the lift in the event of a fire alert.
The vast majority of pools will not have lifeguards, depth markings or non-slip surfaces around them. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the layout and depth of the pool. Be aware of any hidden and/or submerged objects. In the event of an emergency, know how to get help. Avoid using the pool when alone, at night and after consuming alcohol or food. We recommend that diving into a pool is to be avoided AT ALL TIMES and would request that you take heed of this warning. Examples of serious injuries sustained by holidaymakers diving into pools are well documented and permanent paralysis or fatality is not uncommon where persons mis-use swimming pools - Please use your common sense!
Again, you are unlikely to see any lifeguards on beaches. Take time to familiarise yourself with the beach and also take local advice particularly regarding swell and currents. On sandy beaches one way you may be able to identify strong currents is by looking out for distinct sandy patches in the face of breaking waves - avoid these stretches. If you are caught in a 'rip' current, do not panic, swim sideways out of the current - do not swim back against it. Take great care in areas where there are motorised craft of any sort sharing the water with swimmers. If in doubt, don't bathe. Never bathe alone or at night. Please also take note of local warnings regarding marine life such as coral or jellyfish. It may be appropriate in certain areas to wear waterproof footwear whilst walking in the water.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a chemical compound of carbon and oxygen. It has no colour, taste or smell and is extremely poisonous. Gas stoves, fires and boilers, gas powered water heaters, paraffin heaters, solid fuel powered stoves, boilers and room heaters are all capable of producing CO if not appropriately installed and maintained. You can tell if a gas appliance is working correctly by observing the flame. A yellow/orange flame is evidence of possible CO presence. A 'healthy' flame should be crisp, vibrant and blue.
Symptoms of CO poisoning can easily be confused with flu, severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, general lethargy. Severe CO poisoning makes the body turn a cherry-red colour. If you suspect CO poisoning get out into fresh air as quickly as possible and call for medical help. If you can, open doors and windows. If your room has a heating appliance, which of necessity is being used constantly, always try to ensure that ventilation is present, by having a window slightly open.
Please exercise caution when using electrical appliances. When using your own appliances be sure to use relevant adapters and converters. Never use sockets or appliances where bare wires are showing and alert management in this event. Be wary of using locally-purchased electrical appliances such as phone or game chargers as these are often not up to UK or EU safety standards and fires have been known to occur.
Activities and Excursions
Among the great appeals of travelling abroad is the opportunity to experience a huge variety and choice of different activities and excursions. Local safety standards that apply to these activities will not be the same as in the UK and may be significantly lower. For instance, you will normally not be offered a helmet when riding horses or bikes. Before you go you might like to check such details with your tour operator and, if necessary, take appropriate equipment with you. Whilst on holiday you should use your common sense. Always follow the guides' instructions. If you ever have cause to feel nervous about the safety of an activity or excursion then do not go. Report your concerns to your guide, local contact and/or tour operator at the earliest opportunity.
Remember that if you choose to take an excursion or activity on holiday which is not pre-arranged and paid for through your tour operator at the time of booking, as part of your package, your tour operator has no legal responsibility for any injury, loss or illness which may arise as a result, so take care when considering optional activities such as hot air balloon rides and the like.
Getting around when travelling by foot, be careful crossing roads, particularly in cities. When travelling by taxi, make sure it is licensed, ideally you should ask your hotel or restaurant to call one for you. When travelling by coach or minibus, we recommend that you use seat belts when they are provided. If there are no seat belts then try to avoid the front seats, seats by emergency exits and seats in the middle of the back row. When travelling by train familiarise yourself with safety procedures on board and locate your emergency exit route. When travelling by hire car, familiarise yourself with local regulations and laws before setting off. Check all tyres for tread and air pressure, including the spare. Check oil, water and petrol. Always obey speed limits, never drink and drive. Drive in the daytime whenever possible and be aware of distances between petrol stations. Drive defensively and be aware that pot holes and random speed bumps are common.
Please be aware of local conditions that maybe affected by the following; climate, disease, altitude, flooding, fire, adverse weather conditions and proximity to animals and wildlife.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions and Disabilities
Please make sure that your tour operator is aware of any pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities which could affect your holiday. Please ensure that you travel with sufficient supplies of medication. When flying always pack enough medication in your hand luggage to tide you over should flights be delayed or your hold luggage go missing.
Access to Medical Facilities
During your holiday you are likely to be travelling in areas well away from medical facilities such as doctors, pharmacists and accident and emergency units. Your travel insurance must include sufficient cover for emergency medical evacuation, by air if necessary.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your holiday. Take time to confirm that all activities, excursions and destinations are included. Be particularly careful of any altitude exclusions. Ideally your cover would include, but not be limited to adequate: medical, legal, cancellation, delay and personal possession cover.
Know Before You Go
Please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel or call 0845 850 2829 to help you make informed decisions about your safety abroad.
Letting Us Know
You should always use your common sense whilst on holiday. If you ever have cause to feel nervous about the safety of an activity, excursion, mode of transport or hotel then please report this immediately.
Report your concerns to the supplier on the ground (this could be your hotel, bus driver or activity leader for instance). You should also inform your guide, local contact and/or tour operator at the earliest opportunity.