Travelling is a fun and enriching activity that exposes you to new sights, broadens your horizons, and lets you encounter people from all walks of life. This applies no matter where your destination is, whether it’s right here in our beautiful country of Australia or thousands of kilometres away abroad.
However, just like with many activities that get you out of your comfort zone, you will have to deal with a certain amount of risk when you travel. Properly accounting and preparing for potential risks and hazards during your travels can be done easily, and provides you with peace of mind. To help you ensure that your trip will remain a safe and pleasant one, we present you with a travel safety checklist that you should make sure to complete before you set off.
Always pack a first aid kit in your luggage
Never forget to pack a first aid kit in your luggage along with the rest of your belongings. By having easy access to one during the entire duration of your trip, you’ll be able to resolve many types of minor medical emergencies that can be treated with first aid. This is especially handy if you are travelling to an area or country where there is a significant language barrier, and getting access to medical supplies may be difficult or tedious. It will also help if you are already formally trained in first aid, as it ensures that you’ll be able to put your first aid kit supplies to better use during an emergency.
Always bring water along with you
If your travel destination or itinerary involves a lot of walking outdoors and in hot weather, then make sure that you always have an adequate amount of drinking water on your person. Otherwise, you may risk experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, both of which come with some very serious health complications. The latter is especially a concern, as it could result in death without prompt emergency treatment. As such, make sure to drink up and stay cool as much as possible, all while also taking frequent rests and breaks under a shade. Remember, you’re there to have fun, not to get sick.
Always exercise caution when swimming or walking in beaches
If going to picturesque beaches is your kind of travel goals, then you should take care when swimming in the water. This is because there is a small but genuine chance that you could encounter hazardous marine wildlife, especially if you’re exploring one of the many remote beaches in Australia. Examples of sea life that you will want to avoid are certain species of jellyfish, specifically the box jellyfish and the Irukandji. Both species sport venom that have the potency to kill humans, although confirmed reported deaths are few and far between, especially for the Irukandji jellyfish. Other creatures that are just as deadly include the blue-ringed octopus, certain varieties of sea snakes, and cone snails.
Should you or any travelling companions find yourselves stung while swimming, immediately send for emergency services, and apply first aid for stings as necessary. Be sure to move quickly, as any delay in the victim receiving medical attention could result in the venom causing more serious health complications.
As potentially fatal as this particular travel risk is, it can be avoided entirely. Just seek out tourist-safe beaches instead of unmanned ones, or those that have been declared safe to explore by the local tourism department. This will keep you clear of any potential sting attacks.
Always shake out your clothes and shoes before wearing them
If you’re backpacking across Australia or going camping in a forested area, then one safety practice you should quickly adopt is to always check your shoes and clothes before putting them on. This is because a venomous insect or arachnid may have decided to make a temporary home in your clothes or shoes, and this could result in you being bitten if you’re not careful.
That being said, even if you do get bitten by a spider, do not panic. The majority of spider species in Australia are largely harmless, and their bites will only cause minor symptoms such as itching and rashes. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take being stung seriously, especially if you know that you’ve been bitten by a particularly venomous species, such as the redback spider or one of the handfuls of funnel spider species. Seek emergency attention ASAP and administer immediate spider bite first aid to delay the effects of the venom for as long as possible.
Always be mindful about your allergies
Finally, if you have any allergies, make sure that you are equipped to treat yourself if you are exposed to allergens. Learn how to give yourself and others first aid care against common hayfever, and make sure that you know how to deal with asthma attacks or particularly nasty allergic reactions known as anaphylactic shocks. Keep your medications and epinephrine pen with you at all times. If your allergy is food-based, don’t hesitate to let your travelling companions know about it, along with the staff of any establishments you’ll be eating in. This will help prevent you accidentally ingesting any of your allergy triggers.
On the other hand, if your allergen is mainly of the airborne variety such as dust mites or pollen grains, then consider avoiding areas where they are known to be abundant in. These include locations such as dusty places or flower fields. Also make sure to wear a medical mask whenever necessary. Doing so will limit your exposure to airborne allergens. All these can help prevent your well-deserved trip from taking an unfortunate detour to a local emergency room.
Travelling is much more rewarding if done in a safety-conscious manner
Whether you’re travelling abroad or just indulging in some domestic tourism, it’s always best to do so with safety in mind. By doing so, you avoid the ordeal of having to interrupt your journey with an untimely visit to the doctor. Take heed of the abovementioned tips, and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in your newfound surroundings safely and with peace of mind.