Health, Safety and Security While Travelling

The pyramids just south of Cairo…….

I first wrote this article on health, safety and security while travelling in 2013, but given the current pandemic situation,  it is time for an update! As a travel advisor, my job is to ensure that my clients have the best information they can have about their health, safety and security while travelling.

For new travellers, who are heading abroad either for the first time, or heading to a country currently in the news due to unrest, this article is for you!  If you are an experienced traveller, but are uncertain about the country to which you want to travel, again, this article is for you.

Safety and Security

I am picking Egypt to discuss safety and security as an example as I travelled there in 2018. At the time, it seemed that it was constantly in the news with unrest, demonstrations, etc.  However, once one looks beyond the media reports, one reads of the devastation to the tourism sector of their economy- a huge hit. It’s all about education.

Furthermore, the overall publicity is very much a lesson in “how not to manage a revolution” so to speak! The media does not talk at all about the parts of the country that are safe (the majority of the country). There are no government websites that have travel advisories about Egypt, other than avoiding certain parts of the country. There is no or little specific activity against tourists- Egypt’s history is one of tolerance. Tourism is also a huge part of their GDP.

One Resource-  Travel.gc.ca

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against non-essential travel to Egypt (with the exception of the Red Sea coastal resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada and the area along the upper Nile, from Luxor to Aswan, where you should exercise a high degree of caution) due to the unpredictable security situation and continued demonstrations in many parts of the country. The security situation is fluid and the ability to provide consular services may be limited at short notice. We recommend that Canadians register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. You are responsible for your personal safety abroad. If you do travel to Egypt, we strongly recommend that you plan your travel through a reputable travel company/agency. Travel companies in Egypt are well informed of the security situation and can better plan accordingly.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against all travel to the Sinai Peninsula, with the exception of the coastal resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, where you should exercise caution. Consult the Security tab for more information.

When I Travelled

This advice was in place when I travelled there, and was in place when many of my clients went. For me, although the government said to avoid all non-essential travel, you can see in the advisory that they actually list exceptions. I have bolded those lines.  In 2018, I made an educated decision to travel to this wonderful country, and still have the best memories- as do my clients.

There are other details about travelling safely in Egypt, but most involved common sense. For instance, the following: dressing modestly if you are a woman, avoiding demonstrations, the fact that certain police are designated to help tourists, etc. etc.

Using the travel website above is a wise move at any time for any country. You can also register on the site in case of emergencies of any sort. I provide a link on this blog to this useful travel resource- but I also include it in the information about each country to which my clients travel.

Health While Travelling

As for the pandemic, and health while travelling, this is where a travel advisor is your best resource. Some countries require quarantine- some do not.  Countries like Iceland also require negative tests within the last 24-72 hours- some do not.  Some countries may require you be tested upon arrival, and charge a fee for that- and some do not.  Most countries will require masks, and many require social distancing. It is all about the details.

I also strongly advise consulting a travel doctor/ travel clinic for health issues.  What inoculations and injections will you need?  Although I can recommend, a travel doctor is your best resource in this case.

All this to say, a travel advisor is without doubt your best resource for staying healthy, safe and secure while travelling. #stayhealthy #staysafe #goexplore

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Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Here it is the New Year again- 2020- and a new decade! Once again we are setting goals and making resolutions.  For many people those resolutions or goals may involve travel, perhaps travelling to a destination they have always wanted to see, or to a resort at which they have always wanted to stay, or that river cruise they have always promised themselves. Perhaps you have promised yourself this is the year you will begin stepping outside of your comfort zone.

What is your comfort zone?  And what does it mean to you to move outside of your comfort zone when it come to travel?

Gros Morne NP, Newfoundland

For some, it simply means heading to a new destination within North America- think of exploring Canada for Canada’s 150th birthday.

Iguazu Falls

For others, exploring a new continent is that step outside your comfort zone- Europe if you have never been, or travelling to Africa or South America to experience very different cultures.

And perhaps travelling without your husband on your own may be that giant step outside your comfort zone- or heading out on your own without friends……..

Whatever it is, people have different ways of “stepping outside their comfort zones”.  

Whatever that step involves, we may not always enjoy the experience when it is happening, but, looking back, we have to admit:

  • This is where the growth happens.
  • This is where the solutions are.
  • This is where fulfillment resides.

Michael Hyatt’s description of Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone describes seven steps to maximize this process. He describes in another blog how travel can transform your life…..”wreck and transform” is the way he puts it….

I was so impressed with this article, that I thought I really had to include key points here- with kudos to Michael Hyatt!

Acknowledge the value of stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Lean into the experience- enjoy the discomfort…..

Notice your fear- but don’t be controlled by it……often pushing through it means the difference between success and failure…..

Don’t over-think it- you will never see the entire path ahead- as long as you see the next step, that is what is important

Play full out- jump in with both feet and give it your all…….

Celebrate the victory- recognize that victory and the people that helped you achieve it….

Pause to reflect- what went well?  What did you enjoy?  What would you change?

In South Africa at a Wildlife Refuge

For me, travel is one way of stepping outside my comfort zone.  What would constitute stepping outside your comfort zone? If you are willing to give it a try, contact me today to help you plan your “outside your comfort zone trip”!

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