Holidays are a fun time, a chance to go somewhere new, try something different or for many, just a chance to relax and unwind for two weeks. Whilst you might think little can go wrong, in some countries where health and safety considerations aren’t as stringent as others, just surviving your holiday in one piece can be a challenge in itself.
Beach holidays would seem to be a safe option but in many countries what lurks in the sea can cause painful memories to be taken home with you. In the Mediterranean, rocky beaches are the favourite haunt of sea urchins whose spines can penetrate the skin and break off causing pain and potential infection. It’s a good idea to pack a pair of the rubber sailing shoes or wear Crocs or similar when entering and exiting the sea.
Winter holidays are considered more dangerous and this is often reflected in the price you pay for travel insurance. Ski and snowboard injuries count for a significant amount of payouts by travel insurance companies as over enthusiastic holiday makers either take on more than their level of skill would allow or simply run into trouble on the white stuff. Our advice, stick to the pistes and stick within your limits and you'll have a ski holiday to remember for all the right reasons.
Mopeds are another danger zone. Many young people don’t want to pay the cost of a hire car, especially as some companies slap on a surcharge for younger drivers, so they hire a moped. Whilst most countries should, by law, supply you with a helmet, many think it’s too hot to wear one and combined with wearing just shorts or a bikini, you can imagine the scene if you come off.
Excursions are another minefield. The temptation is to find the cheapest but not only does that often mean that you won’t get a knowledgeable guide and may miss out on some of the sights but you could be at the mercy of badly maintained vehicles.
Taking internal transport in countries can also be dangerous. In the news recently, a plane crashed killing six British tourists on their way to the Himalayas and whilst investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash, many accidents are caused by poorly maintained aircraft or badly trained pilots.
On a more mundane note it’s often the simple things that can spoil your holiday. In many countries the maintenance of roads and pavements is poor and trip hazards confront you at nearly every step, especially when you’re looking at the sights instead of concentrating.
Minimise risks by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, use common sense, take out good quality holiday insurance and remember that cheapest isn’t always best. If flying internally in a third world country, investigate the airline’s safety record before you book. Heed good advice given to you and you’ll have a trouble and injury free holiday.