Your safety, and the safety of others in your group, must be your first priority at all times.
Below, we have listed some points for you to consider when thinking about safety.
- Travel insurance is important. We advise everyone planning a project involving travel to take out travel insurance.
- Make sure you discuss your plans with experienced travellers.
- Be thorough in all your planning with regard to costs. Make sure that none of the charges you will encounter will be a surprise to you. Keep your valuables and documents in a suitable pouch securely attached to you. Be adequately prepared when approaching a border – currency, business hours, Bank Holidays, etc. Have access to contingency funds for emergencies.
- Book accommodation and buy tickets well ahead. Make use of available resources for information.
- When arriving in a foreign country, first find your accommodation. “Bed first then food” is the rule.
- Do not take risks. Make sure any activity you have planned is safe and that you have the correct equipment and clothing for it.
- Restaurant food can be expensive. Buy easily-prepared food locally. Heed local intelligence about the water and carry water with you if you are visiting somewhere hot.
- Youth Hostels vary and are sometimes closed. Travel equipped. It is advisable to become a member of YHA for cheaper booking and advanced information. If you are camping, use proper campsites.
- Take clothing for any likely extremes of weather – without overloading. Find out about local dress codes. Shorts and bare arms may not be allowed in certain buildings in some countries. Lightweight waterproofs are essential; a folding umbrella useful (rain or sun). Needle and thread, spare shoe-laces and buttons may also come in handy.
- Avoid disappointment by checking opening times of special places you wish to visit.
- Experienced cyclists will not venture out on an unsuitable or unreliable bicycle and will know to plan for emergency repairs. Do not rely on local shops having the right spares. Carry sun-block, insect repellent, plasters, and any other recommended medication. (Take advice). Carry a torch. A multi-size sink plug is handy!
- NEVER EVER HITCH-HIKE.