The better prepared you are, the more enjoyable and safe your travelling will be.
- Try to acquaint yourself with the culture and customs of the countries you are visiting. Respecting local customs will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- Call home regularly.
- Take a photocopy of your itinerary, passport, credit cards, traveinsurance documents and important phone numbers and keep them separate from the originals, in case of loss or theft.
- Register with the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate. The registration information provided by you will also help us to find you in an emergency whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family emergency. You can do this on-line through Australian embassies, high commissions or consulates overseas.
- Take a copy of the Department's brochure If you are the victim of sexual assault while travelling overseas.
You face greater risks when you're travelling alone. If you decide to do so, you should take extra precautions. In some societies, men may take advantage of you if you have no obvious protector. This could take the form of hissing, pinching, passing comments, obscene gestures and so on.
- Retain your composure and do not react, but remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible, or go to the nearest police officer.
You could unwittingly find yourself in danger simply by accepting an invitation to go out with a man alone.
- In societies where this is not an accepted practice, just saying 'yes' to an invitation may give the wrong signal and expose you to the risk of sexual assault.
If you require regular or predictable medication while travelling, you should ask your doctor to arrange an appropriate supply. Care should be taken to observe the law in different countries with respect to possession of medications and it is advisable to take a letter from your doctor explaining your condition.
- In some countries, medications which may be readily available in Australia are illegal.
- If in doubt, check with the consulates or embassies of the countries you intend to visit to ensure that your medicines, and the quantities you will be carrying, are legal.
For your convenience and peace of mind, take enough feminine hygiene products and (if you use them) contraceptives to last you if you are headed somewhere where they may not be available.
Avoid becoming dehydrated. This is a common cause of urinary tract infections - a painful affliction when travelling. Dehydration is a particularly serious risk in hot climates and you should drink plenty of bottled water - being careful to check the seal on bottles first.