The lure of sun, sea and a good time – all just a short flight away – lures Aussies to popular spots such as Bali to let their hair down.
As recent news headlines show, Aussies who leave their inhibitions at the boarding gate and do things overseas they would never do at home can feel the repercussions.
Recent research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance shows:
- Over two thirds (68%) of travellers admit to being a ‘wildcard’ when overseas.
- Common wildcard behaviour includes strip clubs, skinny dipping, late-night swimming, knocking back mystery alcohol and the local variety, and eating strange foods, as well as taking risks with personal safety such as walking alone down back streets at night.
- More than half of travellers surveyed ended up at the doctors or in a hospital waiting room as a result of their behaviour.
- Travellers also ended up on the wrong side of the law, with some getting arrested or fined.
“Aussie travellers are finding themselves in some compromising situations, from extreme hangovers to a hefty fine from the police,” Craig Morrison, chief executive of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, comments.
Morrison’s tips for staying safe overseas without comprising a good time:
- Learn the local laws and etiquette – good manners and being courteous of the local way of life is a must Etiquette and rules vary from country to country, so brush up on the local destination and be respectful of their culture. Knowing the laws of the destination will also keep you out of trouble, as something legal in Australia may not be legal abroad.
- Weigh up the risks – different destinations carry different risks. From hygiene and safety standards, to the local petty crime rate, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the destination you’re visiting before stepping on the plane so you can make informed decisions when you arrive.
- Avoid ‘burning out’. Letting your hair down on holiday can be healthy (to an extent!) but too many late nights, drinking and over eating takes its toll. Keep everything in moderation to avoid ending the holiday with a hole in your back pocket and weakened immune system.
- Party-goers – The vibrant nightlife of holiday hot spots such as Thailand and Bali is a drawcard for many Aussies, but don’t let the lively atmosphere relax your attitude to personal safety. Drink spiking is quite common overseas, so make sure your drink is always with you, and be cautious of strangers you meet on a night out. It’s also important to stay hydrated if you’re out drinking as your judgement is impaired when intoxicated. When walking home stick to well-lit areas, avoid shortcuts and travel with a companion rather than alone.
- Keep in contact – Time flies when you’re having fun, but don’t forget to keep friends and family in the loop with your travel plans. Before you leave Australia, remember to register your details and travel plans on the Smarttraveller website.
- Don’t skimp on travel insurance. It’s not uncommon for Aussie travellers to find themselves in hot water on holiday. Make sure you’re insured for the worst case scenario, from a dodgy stomach bug to a dreaded delay. Always confirm that whatever you’re doing is covered by your insurer, particularly if it’s an extreme activity such as free diving.
Edited by Peter Needham