The more you know about the customs, climate, religion, politics and crime level of your destination, the easier it is to avoid hazardous situations. It will also help you get more out of your trip.
Vaccinations and medication
- Consult your company doctor or family doctor or nearest health centre for information about which vaccinations you should have and whether you, for example, need to take malaria prevention medication.
- It is a good idea to consult an expert about the specific health risks to be found in the areas to which you intend to travel.
- If you are suffering from any illness(es) or regularly use prescription medicine, you should take with you a certificate in English that shows which illness(es) you suffer from, and what medication you use. The certificate can be useful for presenting at customs and can also help if you fall ill during your trip. Never place your medication in your check-in baggage.
Passports, visas and credit cards
- Make sure that your passport is still valid.
- Check whether you need a visa.
- Take copies of your credit cards and write down the telephone numbers to call in case you need to block them. Write down the credit card numbers and keep this information somewhere other than in your wallet.
Always have your travel documents to hand during your trip. Place money, credit cards, etc. that you do not need on the day of travel in a security pocket under your clothes. Never pack money or tickets in your check-in baggage.
Means of transport and accommodation
- If possible, choose airlines outside international conflicts. Avoid stops if possible; it is safer to fly direct.
- Choose a hotel with good safety standards. Make sure you are staying on a floor where you can use a fire escape (no higher than six floors up). Avoid the ground floor, if possible, as the risk of burglary is higher on the ground floor.
Inform people of your itinerary
Inform your family, your office back home and your contact abroad of your itinerary before departure. Remember to tell them of any changes to your itinerary.
Packing your hand baggage
Always pack vital medicines in your hand baggage. You should also pack high-risk items, such as your camera, laptop, important work documents or fragile items in your hand baggage. It is also a good idea to pack a change of clothes, in case your check-in baggage goes astray. Remember that you are not allowed to have sharp objects in your hand baggage, such as a penknife, scissors or nail file.
Label your baggage
Use a neutral, double-sided name tag so that your address is not visible. Label your baggage with the address and telephone number of your destination abroad. It is a good idea to put a label inside your case, clearly showing your name, home address and telephone number. Make sure you have a good lock on your case.
At your destination
Be extra vigilant – thieves strike when you are busy with other things, such as shopping at duty-free or checking in at the hotel.
Use established, well-marked taxis and hotel cars. Avoid unlicensed taxis. Agree the fare before getting in. If possible, call and book your taxi in advance. Sit in the back seat.
Use well-known car hire companies. Beware of hitchhikers and “accidents” at the side of the road. In many countries, it is prudent to keep the doors and windows locked. Keep to the main roads and always make sure you have half a tank of petrol. Park your car in well-lit parking spaces. Remove your valuables from your car – before someone else does.
Never sign papers you do not understand – not even a police report in a foreign language.
If your passport is stolen or you get into legal difficulties, contact the embassy immediately. Remember to report theft, robbery and assault to the local police immediately and ask for proof of reporting. If you are assaulted, it is important that you see a doctor to assess your injuries. Make sure you keep all your receipts for any personal expenses.
Cash and credit cards
Do not carry more money than you need during the day. It is a good idea to carry “emergency cash”, kept somewhere other than in your wallet. Ideally, do not let your credit card out of your sight.
Make a note of your card numbers along with the telephone numbers to call if you need to block them. Keep this list somewhere other than in your wallet. Be careful when withdrawing money from cash machines and never let anyone “help” you with a difficult machine. Also, avoid withdrawing money late at night and ideally take a friend with you who can keep watch.
At a restaurant or bar
Do not leave any valuables in the cloakroom – even if it is attended. Beware of “friendly” new acquaintances.
At the hotel
Always use the hotel deposit box or safe and lock up your money and valuables. If you keep valuables in your hotel room, we recommend “double locking” them, i.e. keeping your belongings in a locked suitcase in a locked room.
Before your return home
What can you bring home with you?
In some countries, you can freely buy medicines that in Sweden are classified as narcotics or are available only on prescription. Make sure that you can legally bring the medication into Sweden or ask a doctor to issue a certificate if you need to bring the medication back home.
Advice and tips to help you stay healthy on your trip
- Be careful in your choice of food and drink (risks include food poisoning, gastroenteritis and hepatitis).
- Pay particular attention to personal hygiene (e.g. wash your hands before eating).
- Be careful in the sun (risk of burns and sunstroke and, in the long term, skin cancer).
- Avoid mosquito and other insect bites (many diseases in the tropics are spread by insects, such as malaria by mosquitoes).
- Avoid walking barefoot (risk of hookworms, for example), and avoid swimming in lakes and freshwater in tropical and subtropical areas (risk of schistosomiasis).
- Be aware of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
- If you have any illness(es), please consult your company doctor or family doctor about what you need to consider in connection with your trip.
- Be careful on the roads and remember that alcohol and traffic do not mix.
- Stay alert. Try not to find yourself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong company.