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Check-list while overseas


 Look after your passport
You need it to enter and leave a country, check into accommodation and use travellers’ cheques.

Safeguard your passport from theft or loss. Replacing it will cost money and may take time. The replacement may have limited validity.

If your passport is lost or stolen, contact the local police. Take a copy of the police report to the nearest national post.

Take extra passport photos with you so that you can get a new passport quickly if you need to.

 Stay in touch
Leaving a copy of your travel itinerary with friends or family and keeping in regular contact with home is important.

 Please keep to your schedule and keep in touch by telephoning or e-mailing regularly.
 Ring home if something like a transport accident or natural disaster happens somewhere in your region.

 Coming and going
A visa is no guarantee of entry. If a barrier official suspects you won’t obey the visa conditions or rules for visa-free entry, you may be turned back. 
Vague or inconsistent answers, discovery of a resume in your bag or even an ironic manner can create suspicion that you intend to work illegally or overstay. Some countries do not give reasons for denying entry.
Your Exit Date: when a country lets you in, it usually give you an entry permit that tells you a date when you must exit. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for an extension. Visa-free schemes may not permit extensions. If you overstay, you could be fined or jailed.

 Obey the law
 When you land in another country, its laws apply to you. Ignorance is no defense. You remain subject to your country’s laws as well.
 Don’t carry anything in or out of another country for another person. Don’t leave your bags unattended or in the care of a stranger.
 Illegal drugs: In some countries, drug offences carry the death penalty or life imprisonment and flogging. Don’t assume “soft” drugs carry milder penalties. Penalties for marijuana and alcohol can be severe.
 Child sex: Many countries have laws against sex with children. The age of consent varies. 
 Your access to consular services: If you are arrested in another country, you have the right to contact your country’s government. You can ask the police to contact them - they may not, unless you ask. Consular staff will do what they can to help, but they can’t get you out of jail, represent you I a court or obtain special treatment for you.

 Observe local customs
Touching, pointing, staring, sitting or standing in ways that are regarded as disrespectful or threatening by the local culture can give offence.

Find out as much as you can about local customs (from the internet or guidebooks) before you arrive in a country, and observe them. At some religious or cultural events or sites, special rules of conduct apply. In many countries, special protocols apply when visiting a private home. 

In some Islamic countries women’s arms, legs and hair must be covered. Violating these standards can lead to unpleasantness or even arrest. In South East Asia, Buddhist temples and palaces have dress rules about covering limbs. 

Both men and women need to know when to take off their shoes.

 Don’t be a victim
You need to know if localities are unsafe or if civil unrest is likely. Don’t wander into dangerous situations or do provocative things like taking photos of military installations.

In some societies, man may harass a woman who has no obvious protector. Stay calm. Don’t react but get out of the situation. If a police officer is nearby, seek protection.

Many travelers are assaulted and robbed after accepting drinks or food that have been spiked with drugs. Invitations to private gambling sessions can lead to rip-offs or worse. Scammers offer travelers deals that are indeed too good to be true.

You may be approached to take something out of the country or to buy drugs to take out yourself. Don’t be a mug!

 Hitchhiking can be very risky, especially for women:
 Don’t present yourself as a rich target. Keep your valuables concealed, preferably with a money belt under clothing. Bag and jewellery snatching is common in some countries. A bum bag is no safer than a shoulder bag and is a “rob me” beacon for thieves.
 Don’t leave valuables unattended in cars for even a few minutes.
 Always keep you credit card in sight during transactions.
 Stay in rooms where you can secure both doors and windows against intruders. Be wary about giving strangers you home contact details or your room number. Don’t leave your valuables in your room - use safety deposit boxes if these are available.
 Negotiating safe sex with a stranger from another country may be difficult. In some countries, condoms may not be readily available or readily used. Victims of sexual assault can seldom negotiate. In some places accepting even a polite invitation to go out can give the wrong signal and lead to sexual assault.
 Both men and women need to recognize that drinking alone and accepting friendly invations can lead to dangerous situations.

 Look after your health
You may do things overseas you wouldn’t dream of doing at home. Always think about your health and safety.

 Marriage overseas
Every year people fall in love and get married overseas. This can be a good thing, but it can also lead to problems. You should be aware that laws regarding marriage vary from country to country and legal complications can arise. 
If you plan to marry overseas, check out the legal implications for yourself, you intended spouse and any children either you may have now or at a later date. 
In many tragic cases, people who married overseas have been scammed or even killed for their assets.

 Departure tax
Many countries have a departure tax. When you go to the airport to leave a country, make sure you have enough local or convertible cash to pay the tax. If you can’t pay the local authorities the way they take payments, you may not get onto your plane!