Travel Safety
Accidents are one of the most common causes of death and injury while traveling. Cultural norms differ world side, and assumptions about *right of way* can be disastrous. After an accident, blood transfusions abroad, may lead to infections (Hepatitis A, B, HIV, and Chaga*s disease) as blood products are not always screened.

Women Travelers
Women traveling solo may encounter harassment and discrimination. It is important to know the rules of the culture you are visiting before you arrive. Dressing inappropriate to the locals, may lead to unwanted attention or hassles. Some women find it easier to travel with a male companion or wearing a mock wedding band to deter suitors. Women staying in hotels may wish to stay on the 2nd floor or higher to deter access from the streets.
When receiving unexpected deliveries or room service, it is advised to phone the front desk before opening the door. When leaving your room, leave the *do not disturb* sign on the door, and leave the television on. Women may also want to carry their own condoms and medication for birth control, yeast infection or urinary tract infections. If planning an extended trip, they may also wish to see their doctor for a PAP test and physical before traveling, and possibly to discuss the morning after pill.


Business Travelers
Business travelers should be wary of scam artists at airports, and banks. Be very careful of new friends offering you trips. Kidnapping of affluent travelers is a very big problem in some countries.
Wear business clothes and carry a briefcase only when necessary. Do not discuss accommodations, business plans, or itineraries with strangers. Varying a schedule (walks, driving) makes you less predictable for kidnappers to target. In bars watch your drink as it is poured.
When traveling, do not carry unlabeled prescription medications. If available, a letter or prescription from your doctor will be helpful. Always carry more than enough medication when traveling, as many countries may not have access to your prescription.


Mini Buses
Mini buses are frequently involved in accidents. It is advised to avoid travel by night,

mountainous travel, and trips during the winter. Rooftop luggage is valuable to thieves
. Try to choose your taxi rather than them choose you. Don't take unmarked cabs. The fare should be agreed on before you get in (check with airline personnel about what a fair price would be). You can have a door-man help you negotiate a fare in advance. Keep your luggage in the back seat not the trunk. Don't offer unnecessary information about your trip. Avoid driving yourself if jet lagged, unfamiliar with local language, road signs, or in bad weather.
High- risk countries for road accidents are Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Driving a bigger car, wearing seat belts, and reducing speed significantly, reduces accidents.

Boat Safety
Don't take out over crowded boats, or boat during rough weather like monsoon or hurricane season. On larger ships, pay attention to safety instructions and lifeboat positions. Prepare for seasickness, sunburns, glare, and chapped lips. Pirates are still present off the coasts of Malacca and Thailand, and the Phillipines and Southern China, so avoid them.


Flight Safety
Recent terrorism has made flights more suspicious. Some suggestions to avoid problems include: stick to U.S born carriers and avoid national carriers that are not allowed to fly in the U.S. Try to fly between major airports. The safest seats in the aircraft are the last 10 seats, above the wing, or near an exit. Aisle or first class passengers may be singled out by terrorists for abuse.


Surviving War Zone
If traveling soon, contact recent travelers who have more updated information. Avoid politics or challenging the beliefs of people. Do not go to meetings in public. Be careful about accepting invitations to social activities. Travel under the permission of the controlling party.
Check in with the local embassy, Red Cross, United Nations or aid workers. Dress conservatively and try to avoid obvious American brand-name clothes or expensive jewelry or cameras. Learn to say *thank you* *please* and *excuse me* locally.Flying between cities may be safer than traveling by ground (bus, car, or train)

Land Mines
Never travel before 0900-1000. Most fresh mines are laid during the night. Tr to follow heavy trucks at least 200 yards behind. Never walk first (take point). Keep a distance of 60-100 feet away to avoid shrapnel. If someone is pierced, apply a tournequet to stop blood loss. If a mine goes off, do not run. Stay where you are and walk backwards in your own tracks.
Always stay on the pavement. If you have a flak jacket or a bullet-proof vest, sit on it while driving to prevent shrapnel injury. Travel with the windows open or with the doors of car off. This releases some of the blast. Never touch unusual or suspicious objects, as they may be mined.

Different countries mine differently. In northwestern Somolia, mines are placed in potholes, while Rwanda, Burundi, and Zaire, place them in off road tracks of vehicles, avoiding potholes. If you find a mine, do not touch it, but mark it for later removal. Put a sign up with *Skull and Crossbones* with English or local words for *mines* on it.

Common places to find mines in Afghanistan include:

- unused foot paths
- verges of tracks and roadways
- vehicle turnaround points
- near culverts
- along damaged building walls
- in deserted wells and around wells


For more information:


Fielding*s Danger Finder
*http://www.fieldingtravel.com

United States Travel Advisory
*http://travel.state.gov/osac

Canadian Overseas Advisory
http://dfait-naeci.gc.ca/english/menu.htm

For your reference a downloadable version of this text can be found at this link.
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