Travel chaos: UK 'worst affected' says Simon Calder
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Simon has visited over 100 countries and describes himself as “risk averse”. He shared his safety checklist with Express.co.uk.
Simon said: “My first concern is about road accidents, which very sadly, are responsible for a greater loss of life among British travellers abroad than any other cause.”
According to Government research, British tourists are three times more likely to be involved in a road incident than local people while overseas.
Simon advised: “I minimise the amount of travel by road I do. Rail or air are generally better.”
He added: “The next thing I do is remind myself about riptides because we’re just getting into the kind of peak holiday season.
“It’s really really good to remember the basics of swimming in the sea which you can search very easily online.
“There are really good sources of information about how to read the tide, and if you are caught in one, how to respond safely.”
The RNLI warns that riptides can be hard to spot but can sometimes be identified by a channel of churning water.
It advises the best way to stay safe is to swim at beaches with lifeguards and always stay between flagged areas.
If tourists are caught in a riptide, they should never try to swim against it as they may become exhausted.
Always try to stand and wade if possible or swim parallel to the shore. Tourists should also shout and wave for help.
Simon said that vaccinations and specific destination health risks are always on his safety checklist.
He said: “It’s older travellers that are worse at doing a simple risk assessment. Shocking, because they really should know better.”
Research from travel health info site, Bewareofthebugs.com, found that 62 percent of over 55s don’t research vaccinations or local diseases before travel.
Simon told Express.co.uk: “I’ll always have a look at what I need for a destination. It’s a sensible thing to keep your jabs up to date, although of course I do travel a lot.
“People get fixated on going off and having a fantastic holiday and I’m always doing what I can to encourage people to stay safe.
“Everybody needs to be aware of the possible perils, even in familiar territory like Europe and the US.”
When it comes to health risks, Simon said malaria is the “main worry” and at the “top of his list”.
Malaria is found in large areas of Asia and Africa, Central and South America, Dominican Republic and Haiti, parts of the Middle East and some Pacific islands.
Tourists can be prescribed antimalarial tablets if they are entering an area of high risk but should try to get advice at least four weeks before travel.
Simon said: “Bewareofthebugs.com is a one stop shop which will give you instant advice and then tell you where you can get the jabs you need.”
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