Dos and Don'ts When Travelling Abroad in 2018



With 2018 getting nearer and nearer, it's easy to get excited by the prospects of traveling abroad and spending some well-earned quality time with the family or developing new business contacts and opening new markets.

 

However, before you let the excitement cloud your judgment, there are a few things you must look out for to ensure your safety when traveling.

Here are the Dos and Don'ts when traveling abroad in 2018:

DON'T...


Exchange your money at the airport. They will rip you off and you probably won't need all the money right away anyway.

Be obvious when driving a rental car. When traveling abroad, looking like a tourist can attract the wrong crowd. So keep all maps and brochures out of sight.

Travel without international medical insurance. Anything can happen during your trip and if you're not prepared an adventure can turn sour pretty quickly.

Walk with a bag, purse or mobile phone in your hand. Thieves can snatch it easily and run away before you even find out what happened.

Keep your cash, credit cards, jewellery, and other valuable possessions in your luggage, and never leave your luggage too far.

Carry your passport or large sums of cash in your pockets. You'd be surprised how easily a pickpocketer can go through a tourist's pockets without raising any suspicions.

Go shopping without a trusted local in countries with a weaker currency than yours. Merchants can spot a tourist a mile away and raise their prices accordingly.

Walk through unfamiliar locations, isolated, or poorly lighted areas at night since these places are where tourists are more likely to get mugged.

DO...


Travel in groups. There is safety in numbers and meeting other fellow travelers can make your stay even more exciting.

Check that your credit card works in your country of destination. Many banks abroad now use EMV technology. So if you're still using a magnetic-strip card you might have to carry more cash with you.

Be aware of any man-made distractions, like somebody asking you for a cigarette, spilling a drink at you, or being noisy all of a sudden. These are all common tactics used by pickpocketers to rob tourists while they are looking the other way.

Make copies of your passport. If it gets stolen or lost you're going to have a hard time coming back home. Take several copies, leave one at home and bring another one with you.

Use luggage straps to stop thieves from quickly taking something out while you're not looking. Also, keep your money, passport, and credit cards in a travel wallet and put it in a place where it is easy to see but difficult to steal.

Get an updated guidebook. If anything, guidebooks are filled with detailed maps that will help you get where you want without having to ask a complete stranger for addresses.

Decide whether to check your bag or not. Every airline has their own guidelines, so make sure that you do your research first and then you won't have to pay any incremental fees later.

Keep your vehicle's door locked and your windows rolled up while you're driving. This will prevent thieves from quickly reaching inside your car and snatching any valuable at hand while you're waiting in traffic.

 

Take all this advice and you will avoid unnecessary upset.

 

Mayfair, we care.

Where in the World is it safe to travel?



Security and personal safety are among the most critical factors to keep in mind when travelling abroad whether for work or leisure.

According to the latest Global Peace Index report the world, since 2009, has turned into a more dangerous place. With a continually worsening atmosphere developing across the globe in recent times, we looked at the safest places there to live or to travel on business.

In identifying the list of the safest destinations for travel, this article refers to the comprehensive report called Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 courtesy of The World Economic Forum who have ranked destinations on the basis of their security and safety.

There are various criteria used to assess the safety of a nation with the obvious one being terrorism incidence index.

All nations with a high percentile score (95 %+) tied as boasting the least occurrences of terrorism. The criteria also include factors such as the overall cost terrorism has on businesses as well as the cost of violence and crime on these same business ventures.

Luckily, ‘secure’ and ‘safe' doesn't necessarily mean boring! Here are are the five nations that ranked top on account of being secure and safe for travel.

# 5 Denmark

While Scandinavia makes the list of the safest areas to travel to with Sweden and Norway among the favourites, it is Denmark that beats all the odds with a high GPI score (1.337). Referred to as the Happiest Nation, this southernmost Nordic nation features amazing amusement parks, world-class museums and a plethora of historic architecture designed to make business travel or holidays a delight.

# 4 Austria

Surrounded by at least three other nations that have a respectable GPI score regarding safety, it is safe to say that Austria is ideally nestled in a perfectly safe haven amidst the continually erupting terrorism and safety concerns in Europe with a decent GPI score(1.265).

While you are here, you can take yourself off to visit Vienna for typical Old World allure and a significant dose of tradition and culture.

# 3 Portugal

A relatively overlooked nation, Portugal boasts some of the most beautiful castles in Europe, not to mention Instagram-worthy sunsets and incredible cuisine!

It has a 1.258 GPI score which only serves to add to its characteristic lustre. If your business trip or holiday includes Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, then get ready to enjoy the excitement and pleasure that comes with exploring a spectacular blend of modern wonders and ancient sites.

# 2 New Zealand

Home to incredible wildlife and breathtaking views, and with a 1.241 GPI, New Zealand can only be best named the Middle-earth modern mecca for any adventure junky. Once you are here, be sure to visit Queenstown right at the South Island for a taste of great activities set to inspire your stay.

# 1 Iceland

For several consecutive years now, Iceland has dominated the headlines as the ‘most peaceful nation on the entire planet.'

This small island nation located in the heart of North Atlantic Ocean scores particularly high for its low population and strategic location. With an impressive GPI score of 1.111, Iceland's supremacy as a haven is unchallenged. With an outstanding capital city and breath taking landscapes, this nation is as gorgeous as is safe.

SUMMARY:

Undeniably in today’s world, no city, town or region is immune from dangers. As such, it is up to you to pay close attention to any visible indicators of insecurity that can compromise personal safety. While this list of destinations only serves as a guide, you should exercise caution when setting out to a new place whether for official business or leisure.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

Global health 2017 scorecard: what have we achieved so far?



The beginning of every New Year comes with a promise of hope and concern.

 It was no different for 2017. New threats and new regimes promised to tug the world of global health in different and unknown directions. In fact, everyone is already feeling the road of change among us.

As the year wears on, the global health sector is filled with measured hope for progress and a huge air of uncertainty. Climate change, refugee crises, and global migration are also in the list of the things affecting the global state of health. If you come to think of it, the course of these three will come to affect the state of global health for many coming decades or centuries.

Three quarters of the way through the year is an appropriate moment to reflect on what 2017 has done to the state of health; have we achieved anything?

Alternatively, has complacency taken centre stage allowing apathy to set it? We look at some of the outstanding health issues that would objectively show the highs and lows facing the health sector in 2017.

The era of superbug

A Nevada woman visited India where she broke her thigh and got a bacterial infection. That was last summer. Back in Nevada, she went in for treatment. As the world knows it, antibiotics would stop the infection. But this time they did not.

 

Not just one type of antibiotics but rather the 26 of them available in the world today could not stop the bacterial infection.

As it came to be called in the medical corridors, this was a superbug. It could not be stopped by the extensive medicine arsenal the world has today. Sadly, these incurable infections are claiming 700,000 lives each year.

After the UN General Assembly recommended some ways to deal with the threat last September, this is yet to be put into action.

The perilous complacency around HIV

If it was possible for fatigue and progress to reproduce then they would surely call it Complacency?

The world has come far with HIV. You can now comfortably say treatment and management of the virus are at a better place. Dealing with stigma is no longer a big problem among victims and their families. The world has come to understand HIV. Great achievement you would say.

However, that is how far the good news goes about HIV. In a place like Namibia, HIV infection rate among women stand at 31%.

People no longer see HIV as a threat: they perceive it as a normal life condition. That is dangerous. Complacency has set it and the results are new infections that in a single swipe could take to drain all the achievement the world has had all these years.

Zika has settled in

Approximately a year ago, the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency for Zika virus. Surprisingly, 10 months later the emergency was lifted. Why? It is no longer a threat. No vaccine for Zika yet. The virus is not going away. Just like yellow fever and malaria, Zika is not going anywhere.

The world had better prepare because it is far from over with Zika.

A dead end for reproductive health

With new world leaders taking office in the last 12 months, reproductive health funding took a turn for the worse.

Bodies under the umbrella of better reproductive health have had to deal with constrained funding and bureaucracy in getting projects approved. The world is at a better place with very few maternal death rates, teen births and abortions. But the politics around reproductive health threatens to bring down all the achievements.

In summary

In terms of health, the world is at a better place in 2017 than the years before. New vaccines, continued research and societies that are more informed are some of the things to be proud of. However, complacency and bad politics threaten to wash away all that has been achieved. It is time humanity puts its best interests first and health is one of them.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

A Simple Guide to Buying Complicated Travel Insurance


Travel insurance is one of those things that many people pay little attention to but is critical when traveling abroad for extended periods. Travel cover essential in many circumstances which many include when you have to cancel your trip, receiving emergency medical treatment or problems with your airline while travelling.

A wide variety of things can go wrong on a trip abroad. There are many travel insurance brands and each with distinct policies. Below is a brief guide about what you should consider when shopping for travel insurance.

Where are you going?

The cost and travel insurance and level of cover will vary considerably depending on the region(s) in which you are traveling. For this reason, insurance companies may consider some areas to be greater concern than others. You have to familiarise yourself with your travel destinations. 

Always ensure that you are informed of the risks against which against which you want your cover to protect you. Not all policies cover for epidemics, pandemics or civil commotions. If you are traveling to multiple countries, you need to get a policy that guards you for every country you will be visiting.

How long are you going to be away?

Most people are best served by a one-off policy for a set number of days. However, if you happen to be a regular traveller, a good value solution is an annual multi-trip policy or credit card travel insurance. These types of cover often restrict the length of travel allowed. 

Depending on the insurance brand, this can range from 30 to 90 days. A long-term standalone insurance policy is necessary if you are traveling for a period of more than 3 months.

The purpose of the visits

It is very important to note that some activities will not be included in a travel insurance policy. As such, you should go through the list of activities that the insurance provider covers.

This way, you can determine which activities you will have to pay extra for. It is advisable to keep alcohol and drug consumption to a minimum since an adverse event under intoxicated circumstance may not be covered by your policy.

Valuables

You first have to decide whether you need cover for valuable items such as the laptop or other electronics. The extent of cover for valuable items can vary considerably and in some cases, valuable item cover will only be provided in the form of a higher premium. 

Different travel insurance providers have different policies on an exclusion of cover for valuable items. For this reason, it is vital that you do your research on the policies of the selected travel insurance brands. Remember that the devil is always in the details!

One more important aspect to consider is any medical conditions that pre-exist the purchase date of your travel insurance policy. Some providers may not provide cover in this instance. Contact the insurance to determine if they have automatic cover or require an assessment to provide cover.

Remember, Mayfair Cares.

 

An update on the Zika virus - where has the danger spread to?


According to World Health Organization (WHO), Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that was first discovered in Uganda, 1947 in monkeys. It comes from the Zika forest of Uganda Later in 1952; it was discovered in humans in now both Uganda and Tanzania.

Zika virus can be transmitted through a mosquito, Aedes aegypti which bites in the evenings, sexual transmission in partners, and mother to child during pregnancy and blood transfusions.

Brief History

1947- It was first discovered in Uganda, where monkeys tested positive for the Zika virus.

1952- It was discovered in human beings where at first the symptoms resembled those of yellow fever.

1954-1983- The virus spread across African and Asian countries during this period

2007- The first outbreak of Zika virus beyond Africa and Asia was discovered on the Island of Yap in the Federal States of Micronesia. 

2013-2014- Zika virus spread to French Polynesia, Easter Island, Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

2015- Zika virus crossed borders from Brazil to countries in South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have been infected by Zika virus in Brazil.

2016- World Health Organization declared Zika virus as a long term disaster rather than an emergency.

2017- Angola reported two cases of the Zika virus.

Zika virus at the moment

According to newsroom reports, below is the statistics as per today.

Caribbean

There are 598 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

South America 

There are 5439 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

Mexico, Florida and Texas 

There is evidence of Zika virus in the US & Mexico. Expectant mothers and those intending to conceive together with their partners have been warned not to travel to Zika transmission areas.

Zika forecast

With a view of the Aedes aegypti map, Africa, South America and Asian countries will have highest infections of Zika virus infection in the next five years. The infections will primarily be transmitted through mosquito bite.

What can we do?

It is said prevention is better than cure and as we can see in the current situation cure is becoming hard to find and if it is there, not everyone can afford the cost that comes with it. Health providers have therefore come up with preventive measures for people to follow.

• Sleep under treated mosquito net. It is recommended everyone should try and sleep under a net more especially those in affected regions.

• Shut windows and doors to avoid entry of the mosquitoes. Apply insect repellent. This can apply to people who do not want to use a net. The repellent has an annoying scent to keep off these tiny monsters.

• Wear clothes that cover 99% of your skin to minimize mosquito biting.

• Abstaining from sexual acts with infected people.

• Using protection when engaging in sexual act with an infected person.

For Expectant mothers

Avoid unnecessary travel to regions that are prone to the Zika virus until after delivery.

Zika Vaccine

Scientists are working round the clock to come up with the vaccine. It is expected that by 2018, health facilities across the Globe will be fully equipped with the vaccine.

And remember, Mayfair Cares and will keep you informed.

References

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/yes-zika-will-soon-spread-united-states-it-won-t-be-disaster

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?_r=0

 

Some Zika virus do’s & don’ts – a practical guide.


With the Rio Olympics and Paralympics over, the focus for the Zika virus has moved with hotspots of the virus being reported across the Africa and Asia Pacific regions due largely to mosquito friendly weather conditions.

A recent cluster of cases in Singapore has given cause for concern and if you live in any of the regions affected, or are likely to be visiting, then you may find the following facts, do’s and don’ts very helpful:

Key facts

·         Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.

·         People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache.

·         These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.

·         There is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

·         Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated

Do’s:

Prevent and control mosquito breeding by:

    • Covering all water tanks and containers with tight lids.
    • Disposing & destroying all unused containers, junk materials, tyres, coconut shells etc.
    • Emptying, scrubbing & dry deserting coolers every week before refilling.
    • Using larvivorous fish in ornamental tanks at houses and hotels
    • Observing a weekly dry day
    • Emptying and scrubbing all containers holding water for a week like bird bath, flower vase, ant-trappers etc

 

For Personal Protection

·         Use bed-net at home and hospital during Dengue/ Zika Virus fever to prevent mosquito bite so as to interrupt transmission.

·         To avoid mosquito bite during day time wear full sleeved clothing and apply mosquito repellent.

For managing fever

·         Use paracetamol for fever.

 Don’ts

    • Don’t allow water to stagnate in and around your house in coolers, buckets barrels, flower pots, bird baths, freeze trays, coconut shells etc.
    • Don’t throw broken utensils, unused bottles, tins, old tyres and other junk materials here and there as Aedes mosquitoes breed in these objects during rainy season.
    • Don’t use Aspirin to treat fever.
    • There is no specific medicine for Zika Virus disease
    • Don't self-medicate – always consult your doctor 

Prevention against Mosquito Bites

Protection against mosquito bites is a key measure to prevent Zika virus infection. This can be done by wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; using physical barriers such as window screens or closing doors and windows; sleeping under mosquito nets; and using insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or icaridin according to the product label instructions.

Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly. Travellers and those living in affected areas should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

More information is available on www.who.int as well as government websites.

Keep safe if you are travelling around and remember – Mayfair Cares.

With acknowledgement and thanks to the World Health Organisation

Travel and safety in 2016


Travelling is one of the most exciting things to do. But when the world is seeing an increase in the number of apparently random terrorist attacks, travelling has its risks. So, whether it is a business trip or a holiday it is important to plan, prepare and exercise caution in every part of the world simply because when you are in unfamiliar surrounding is when you are at your most vulnerable. 

April 2016 statistics in Ireland alone showed that more than 800 tourists were victims of attacks or robbery. Allowing for the fact that this should be one of the secure places in the world, these statistics are worrying. This raises the question, “How then can one safeguard themselves when they are travelling?”

At the other end of the scale in Europe during 2016 we have seen terror attacks in Paris, Brussels Nice and Normandy; random attacks across Germany, Ukraine, Turkey and in London with tourists, often being caught up in the violence.

The perception is that European countries are dangerous places to visit either on business or for a holiday – but is this factual or is it the widespread publicity that these dreadful incidents attract that is creating an exaggerated perception?

The United States, Africa, The Middle East and Asia all have their issues as well so what are we to do when planning a business trip or holiday? These are our thoughts

There is a certain euphoric feeling about being away from home in a foreign country, and this is a logical explanation as to why a lot of people forget to exercise caution when it comes to ensuring that their safety is paramount. Regardless of whether you are on a business or leisure trip it is important to protect yourself because you are oblivious of what danger looms in your surroundings. 

There are different measures that one can employ when it comes to keeping yourself safe. |We examine a few:

Keep your itinerary private

One of the most important safety measures when on a business trip in a known problem area is ensuring that your movements are not monitored or predictable. For this reason, your schedule should be confidential as it will minimise the likelihood of being targeted.

Always have a contact person who can be accessible at anytime

It is important always to have someone who can come to your rescue if you get into trouble when in the foreign land. It does not matter whether this person is family or a friend but the fact remains that they should be readily available on the phone. 

Watch your suitcase at the airport

Most people fall prey of robbery at the airport, railway, or bus station. Many thieves will use distraction techniques to target bags, wallets and other valuables. Be on your guard at all times when you are carrying all your valuables.

Consult your hotel management

If you want to take a tour of the new city, the best alternative is to ask your hotel staff for safety tips. Needless to stay keeping your travel safe is a collective effort and you might need the guidance of someone who knows the place better than you do. 

Blend with the locals

Easier said than done but one of the reasons why people travel is to interact and meet new people and learn a little of a different way of life. It is not only exciting to meet new people but socialising, and mingling with others makes you less vulnerable. Making friends is also a way to learn the areas to explore and those not to explore. 

Do not drink and drive

Even though this is a universal rule everywhere, drinking and driving are even more dangerous when in a new environment. 

Insurance

Hopefully you will have a trouble free trip abroad but if you are unlucky it is important to have comprehensive travel insurance to fall back on. Check your policy before you go and perhaps even make a phone call to the insurer to be certain that you are covered for your destination.

In summary, travelling can be great fun and please don't be put off by the publicity generated by admittedly terrible events across the World but if you can, minimise the risks to maximise a positive experience of your foreign travel and remain vigilant at all times.

Good luck, have fun and remember – Mayfair Cares.

References

www.itb-berlin.de/...all/...all...all...all...all.../ITB_World_Travel_Trends_Report_2015...

http://www.thejournal.ie/tourists-attacked-and-robbed-in-dublin-2701644-Apr2016/