May 2, 2013 in Travel Abroad
For those who are planning to go abroad for business or leisure, knowing the policies of different countries — from customs restrictions to bringing pets — will save you time, money, and trouble.
The US Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs listed on its website some tips to make your travels safe and hassle-free:
- Sign your passport
Your signature is one of the first things airport officials check when you hand over your passport. To avoid any delays in flights or suspicion of your identity, make sure you sign all fields properly with identical signatures.
- List down emergency information
Filling in the emergency information section of your passport is important because you never know when bad things might happen during your flight or travels. Having all the direct contact numbers of two of your most trusted relatives will ensure that vital information will reach them quickly when something bad happens to you.
- Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page
Let your family know you are going on a vacation and leave them a copy of your itinerary. Provide them a copy of your passport data page so they could contact you during emergency situations.
- Check your insurance coverage
Are you covered? It’s important to know whether your insurance policy covers you when you are overseas. It would be best to call your insurance company and ask what your insurance plan covers. If you don’t have insurance, consider taking supplemental insurance specifically to cover your trip abroad.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and culture
Ignorance of the law excuses no one as they say. You should thus get to know the laws and cultures of the places you are visiting. Middle Eastern countries are infamous for being extremely conservative, especially with rules for women, so beware.
You might also find this country guide helpful in checking the local rules and customs of a country.
- Avoid being a target
Many things can go wrong when you’re in another country. First of all, you must realize that you look different from the local populace. It’s easy to be pinpointed as a foreigner unless you’re visiting a neighboring country with the same language. Do not bring jewelry and too much cash to avoid being a target of crime. Also do not leave your luggage unattended and be wary of strangers.
- Contact your embassy or consulate
If you encounter trouble, contact your embassy or consulate to report your problem. Make sure you memorize or at least jot down the contact information of the Philippine embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting.
The contact details of different embassies and consulates can be found here.
Source: GMA News, OFW Guide