Travel safely: 7 tips
Vaccinations are not only important for particularly exotic destinations. Diseases such as hepatitis A or tuberculosis, which are rare in this country, are more common in countries such as Brazil or Russia. The tropical institutes will provide you with detailed information about which diseases occur in which regions and therefore require vaccination protection. A list of the tropical institutes can be found here.
2) International health insurance
A travel health insurance is not expensive, but important in case of emergency. If something happens to you while traveling, it covers treatment costs and, if necessary, transport back to Germany. Otherwise, hospital bills and transportation can quickly add up to tens of thousands of euros.
3) Be careful with cash
Divide your cash well — have some ready to hand in your pocket, some in your backpack and the rest in your hotel. Withdraw money only from ATMs located in banks. There is a greater risk that other machines may be tampered with. By the way: When withdrawing money abroad, you will often be asked whether the amount should be charged in euros or in the local currency. ATM operators usually charge hefty fees for converting the amount into euros. Therefore, you should rather have the amount settled in the local currency.
4) Leave important documents in the hotel safe
Passport, return flight tickets, large amounts of cash, credit card: these things are best kept in the hotel safe. When booking your hotel, you should therefore check whether it offers this option.
5) Know the gestures correctly
In Germany, if you point the back of your hand to the waiter’s middle and index finger, you are ordering two drinks. If you do this in some English-speaking countries, be prepared for trouble: This gesture is similar in meaning to what the «stinky finger» is in this country. Therefore: Find out in your travel guide which supposedly harmless gestures should be treated with caution.
6) Beware of roaming
The European Union put an end to high roaming prices some time ago. In other countries, however, high costs can still arise from making phone calls or using mobile Internet. Before you travel, find out from your mobile provider exactly how high the charges are. Internet use with a cell phone, tablet or laptop without WLAN can quickly become a cost trap.
7) Avoid crowds
In countries where the political situation is heated, you should be careful around crowds and demonstrations. The situation can escalate quickly there and something could happen to you as well. You can find out where you should be particularly careful in the travel advice from the German Foreign Office.