A holiday every once in a while is good for you. Seeing a new place, experiencing different cultures and varied scenery, it allows us to get away from the rail that is everyday life. For those of us who have wanderlust, even watching a film can trigger the desire to travel. And in recent years it has become a great deal more accessible.
Of course there is always the chance that something can go wrong, but the concern and need to prepared is greater when you go on holiday (especially abroad!). It’s worth being ready for things to get complicated. People can fall ill, we can lose things, you can miss a connection; these things happen and although it’s harder abroad, it is not insurmountable as long as you’re prepared.
Losing Your Money
Changing money before you go on holiday is part and parcel of the journey for a lot of people. Looking at the new banknotes makes you feel a little bit as though you’re there already. I like to leave mine as late as possible so that I don’t get too excited early (but what if the exchange rate is not great, that is a risk I do take). However, the thing about cash is, if you lose it then it’s gone. Yes, some stores will only accept cash wherever you go. There are so many options for keeping your money safe and secure, top-up visas for example. But if you do prefer to take cash then limit how much you carry – use the safe in your villa or hotel to store the rest. It might sound like a pain but it will minimise the risk.
No-one plans to get ill while abroad, but it happens anyway. A few sniffles or a migraine, although unpleasant, can be dealt with using the right medicine. Be sure you know what you can take into and out of a country and ensure you have enough medication to cover the time you will spend there. I always take a small first aid kit with the basics; paracetamol, bite cream, plasters, etc. It’s been so useful more than once I don’t go away without it.
More importantly, some conditions will require a doctor’s care. Apply for, or if you already have one, renew European health insurance card applications. Just remember they can take up to 7 days (or longer depending on the post…) This could save you a lot of money.
If You’re Driving, Know The Regulations
Did you know that, in France, it is required by law for motorists to have high-visibility jackets or vests in their car? Those who do not have them can face a large fine, and you may think that you won’t need it. However spot checks do take place and, if you have an accident or a breakdown, you’ll be both glad of the vest and relieved to not face a fine. This is one example of a legal regulation that exists in another country – other countries have their own, so it pays to know them.
Travelling in Europe can be hugely rewarding, but it is essential to make sure that you have things organised before you go. If you don’t speak the language wherever you’re going it can be hard to sort out issues. Therefore it is all the more important to have things sorted out before you go.
To that point, although no-one could expect you to speak another language fluently, learning some key phrases will help. Even just being able to say “I’m from the UK” or “I have arthritis” could be the difference between an easier and a harder journey. So keep the above in mind and make your time abroad more enjoyable.
Much love xxx