Travel Tips for Odyssey Travellers (part II)
Small Group Tours Travel Tips for mature aged travellers
Many travellers ask us how best to prepare for their Odyssey Traveller programs, seeking out advice on clothing, medication, insurance, among other concerns.
All of our programs come with detailed, country-specific advice, along with reading suggestions and other important information. However, there are pieces of general travel wisdom that apply across all of our tours. We’ve collated this advice in two blog posts, which is offered as general guidance for those heading overseas. Click here for the link to the first post.
Altitude and Motion Sickness
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a common problem for those travelling to high altitudes: mostly between 2,400 and 5,500 metres. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure and thus the less oxygen available. The effects of AMS can be reduced by rest, drinking additional fluids, eating light, high-carbohydrate meals, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives. Looking in the direction of travel and getting plenty of fresh air can also help minimise motion sickness. If the condition is severe or if it persists, moving to a lower altitude may be required.
There are also certain medications available that can reduce the effects of AMS. A medication containing an antihistamine is suitable for a long exposure to motion but does tend to cause drowsiness. Contact your doctor for more information.
Personal Health and Safety
Always adhere to the following advice to preserve your personal health and safety:
- Always take proper care of your belongings, stay alert, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid taking unnecessary valuable items on your trip.
- Hide valuables on your person (passport, money, credit cards etc.).
- Money belts or pouches loosely hung around the neck are easily cut or ripped off. Wearing them on the outside highlights where you keep all your valuables. Wear under clothing if possible.
- Be especially alert in crowds. The most common sites for bag snatching are railway stations, crowded shopping areas, and places heavily frequented by tourists (including public buses, trams, and subways).
- Thieves often strike when travellers are distracted. A bag casually at one’s feet or on a baggage trolley while checking information, or while using a telephone, is an easy target.
- Travel with a copy of your passport (e.g. a photo of the identification page sent to your email, or a hard copy kept separate from the passport itself) in case your passport gets lost or stolen.
- Keep photocopies of all credit cards separate from your cards.
- Avoid carrying excessive cash and displaying it in public. Where possible, use credit cards for purchases.
- Always fasten or zip up your handbag and carry it in front of you. Men should not carry a wallet or similar in a back trouser pocket.
- If someone jostles or bumps you, immediately check your wallet or handbag.
- Beware of “bargain” purchases at marketplaces and make sure you get what you paid for.
- As a pedestrian, remember to look both ways before crossing a road. In some countries, traffic may come at you from a different direction and will not necessarily stop for pedestrians even at a marked crossing.
- If you should fall victim to crime, advise your Program Leader immediately.
It is a condition of travel in all our international programs that you hold valid comprehensive travel insurance.
Make travel insurance arrangements as soon as you can, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions. If you are not automatically covered, some insurers will require you to get a medical assessment. For pre-existing conditions, check the limits and procedures for getting cover and make sure you understand the insurer’s terms and definitions.
Try and keep up to date with what is happening at your travel destination. There is generally an exclusion among insurers that a claim is not covered if you do not follow travel advice in the mass media of any government or other official body’s warning. Visit www.smarttraveller.gov.au or www.safetravel.govt.nz for more information.
Report any incidents of theft or lost luggage to local police as soon as possible. Please remember to keep all your receipts and relevant documentation for any possible claim.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (Australian)
Australia has reciprocal health care agreements (RHCA) with some countries. The list includes Finland, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Under these agreements, Australians can be provided health care in some circumstances, though not all health care needs are covered. Reciprocal health care agreements do not replace the need for travel insurance. Please advise medical staff that you want to be treated under the RHCA with Australia and prove you are eligible for Medicare in Australia. Other requirements may also apply depending on the country visited. For detailed information, please click through or call Medicare’s general enquiries line on:
Please note that this agreement does not cover New Zealand citizens.
We always try to offer a range of local and international dishes during the included meals on our programs. We ask you to try the local food, whenever possible, as it is often surprising how a dish cooked locally can differ from what you may have eaten at home!
If you have informed us of any special dietary needs, these will be passed on to our local services providers. It would be useful, however, if you reconfirm any special needs with your Program Leader, who will liaise with the relevant kitchen staff. You should note that although we will make all efforts to deal with dietary requirements there are sometimes limits as to how far any particular request can be catered for on a tour.
Where local tap water is not safe, drink only bottled water (also use this to brush your teeth) and always check the seal on the bottle. Be sure to avoid ice in cool drinks – freezing preserves germs, it does not kill them. Also beware of uncooked food, including salads and fruit that you cannot peel.
Local legislation often restricts smoking in certain areas, including restaurants, bars, cafes, and other public areas. You are requested to observe these restrictions. Please note that there is a non-smoking policy on all Odyssey Traveller coaches.
Duty-Free Limits and Quarantine
Duty-free limits and quarantine requirements vary according to the country being visited. For details on the specific allowances and restrictions, please consult your customs pages. Remember to also check the pages of the countries being visited to avoid multiple duties.
Small group tours Travel Tips for Senior Odyssey Travellers: Useful Websites
For further travel advice, we recommend visiting the following websites:
- www.dfat.gov.au (Travel advisories, passports, Australian Embassies, High Commissioners and Consulates throughout the world)
- www.mfat.govt.nz (Travel advisories, passports, New Zealand Embassies, High Commissioners and Consulates throughout the world)
- www.smarttraveller.gov.au (The Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service)
- www.safetravel.govt.nz (The New Zealand Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service)
- http://www.traveldoctor.com.au (Travel Doctor – Travel Clinic & Vaccinations)
- www.who.int (World Health Organisation)
- www.visasdirect.com.au (Visa information for all destinations)
- www.lonelyplanet.com (Travel guides)
- www.xe.com (World currency converter)
- www.worldweather.org (World Weather)
Small group tours Travel Tips is a general advice blog.
The purpose of the blog is to assist you with planning your vacation.
For Odyssey Travellers joining us on a small group tour, specific advice is typically provided. This is influenced by the country and places being visited. Odyssey also gives consideration to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice (DFAT) for specific countries when preparing its tours.
This advice and general travel conditions should be considered when planning your next vacation.
Please do not hesitate to contact Odyssey Traveller with any questions that you may have about the tours offered. Since 1983, each year, Odyssey Travellers offers some 140 small group tours all around the world for clients to consider. We look forward to you joining one of our tours in the foreseeable future.
For Small group tours Travel Tips for Senior Odyssey Travellers please also read part one. Click here for the link to the first post.
If you have any comments on this blog Small group tours Travel Tips for Senior Odyssey Travellers please do not hesitate to contact Odyssey.