6 Overlooked Solo Travel Tips As I planned to return to the Mideast and on to Sri Lanka, I am finding it lots of new tips. Here are just an updated sample.
6 Overlooked Solo Travel Tips: Cash:
Tip One: Cash-Only Health Costs: Even healthy millennials can break a leg skiing (in the summer?). So whether you are headed to the slopes south of the Equator or zip lining through the rainforests, check your health insurance coverage abroad. (US seniors please note that Medicare does not provide foreign coverage.) Not all hospitals abroad accept insurance in any case.
Tip Two: Emergency Funds from Home: Before you head out on your trip, arrange to have access to funds from home in an emergency. At 9/11, it took me 8 days to get back to the US. If you need funds wired from your bank, you will likely have to execute required documents at your branch or online.
6 Overlooked Solo Travel Tips: Legal Matters:
Tip Three: Legal Issues: Be aware of laws against drugs from over-the-counter pills to prescriptions. In regions like the Mideast, even such seemingly routine drugs can result in jail time. In any case, take tablets in the original bottle. If you have it, a print out from your pharmacy that can help as well. Be aware that in some countries you need a doctor’s letter.
Tip Four: Modest Dress-Not Just for Women Only: Both men and women must dress modestly in certain cultures. In SE Asia, at temples and royal palaces a dress code is enforced for all visitors at the entrance to the site. For women who don’t want to use a loaner when required to cover their hair, tie a big scarf around your shoulders. They are also great to fight off air conditioning and sunburns.
Tip Five: Visas Can Be Serious Business: READ your visa! I found this out the hard way. I arrived in India only to learn I had a “special endorsement”. I was required to register as a ”foreign national” within 14 days of arrival in-country. I had some difficulty getting into the country and had visa questions on departing. If you have this happen, ask the country’s embassy if they can re-issue your visa without restrictions. Be careful about whether: 1. You need single entry or multiple entry visa. 2. You can get a visa at port of entry such as the airport on arrival. These and other “visa waiver” provision can change so check carefully. Take it seriously. One country had a $55/day overstay fee or total $3,300.
6 Overlooked Solo Travel Tips: Crisis Planning:
Tip Six: Exits in a Crisis-Plan B: In the US, check out Pre-Check, Global Entry and the State Department’s Safe Traveler STEP program. The latter is free and gives travelers the option to sign up ahead of time with the US embassy at your destination. In addition, note that in a crisis, phones may be jammed so look to social media for updates. Lastly, the State Department has a travelers’ checklist with some useful tips to assist in planning as well as emergency numbers in-country.