One of the best benefits of an assignment in Asia is the fact that a large number of extremely popular holiday destinations are at your doorstep. Many take advantage of this by traveling extensively. While you will certainly be able to explore Asia as a backpacker you increase your level of safety and security by booking upper class accommodation and safe means of transport.
Traveling expenses increase by choosing comfort at remote destinations. However, money spent for exploring the world is well spent. Whatever will happen in your life: memories cannot be taken away from you!
Soon you will feel the urge to explore the country and the region. Planning your year-round trips is a major task! Booking home leave, hotels and plane seats successfully when all other expatriates do and still being successful needs to be planned months in advance, especially if you want to enjoy air mileage on your favorite airline. Here is some advice:
● Start collecting brochures and newspaper cuttings about interesting places and sort them in boxes.
● Look at all future holidays and school vacations and circle your calendar.
● Any long weekend and chances to build bridges to weekends need to be considered.
● Make a list of places you want to go for a beach holiday or adventure holidays.Consider the local weather conditions (monsoon) at the time you plan to travel.
● Ask friends about their recommendations of hotels as quality varies considerably.
● Request prices (ask for company rates!) and extras. Promotions are often connected to low seasons i.e. bad weather.
● Discuss home leave well in advance and book your flights as early as possible. Flights at the beginning and the end of international schools’ holidays are often taken up three months in advance.
● Bookings of accommodation, tours flights, ferries, train can be canceled at short notice but on the other hand, you only will get a valid confirmation if you have paid.
Travel Planning on the Internet
You may plan your travel via Internet as many local travel agencies in Southeast Asia do not provide the service you are used to. Some expatriates use their home country travel agency and have the advantage of being covered according to their national consumer rights.
Emergency Network Part 4
This section of Emergency Network advises you on preparations before you travel around in the country and to its neighbors. The world out there is quite different from the one in the cities. Do not expect hospitals and doctors of the highest standard to be at your service if an accident or sudden illness occurs.
Make provisions, as you have to insure that people who want to help you will find the necessary information in their own language. We recommend to inform close friends and family at home what you are planning with a schedule as detailed as possible. Asia’s face has changed over the years and with it political situations influencing safety and security in a negative way.
While we already strongly advised you to register at your local embassy for assistance in a political or personal emergency we want to stress this once again when you plan to travel to a remote area. Make it a habit to inform your home trustee of your travels by e-mail or fax by listing telephone and fax numbers and your means of transport.
Friends and relatives need to be able to contact you if there is any emergency back home. Pass your travel schedule on to your secretary and the maid as well and take along all numbers and documents of your emergency network. If possible, always take along your hand phone with back-up batteries, loading plugs and the chip to make calls within the respective country. Make it a habit to take along one credit card with major overdraft facilities in case of the unexpected, like booking your own helicopter for medical emergency flights.
Check what Health and Emergency Assistance Company your employer is using, get their details and carry them always with you at a prominent place! You may consider joining SOS International or find out if your credit card has an enhancement agreement with them. See “Step 3 – Insurance” for Travel Insurance.
Blood Emergency Transfusions
There are still many countries in Southeast Asia where blood is not adequately screened for HIV and you may risk contracting HIV or other diseases through blood transfusions in an emergency. Certain blood groups are quite rare and it may be advisable to have your own blood stored in a blood bank for emergencies. Ask your family doctor.
International Women’s Clubs in many Southeast Asian countries provide a list of blood suppliers, which is very helpful in an emergency where a negative blood type is required as this type is rare in Southeast Asia. Get their telephone number.
Medical Travel Kits, Online Doctors
As you cannot rely on proper medication being available everywhere you need to travel with an extensive medical kit. Do not forget to take along your long-term medication. It is best to consult your company / family doctor about what to take and which vaccinations and malaria prevention is required.