safety & security tips

Top 10 Safety and Security Tips for Expats Living Abroad

Learn About Staying Safe While Living Abroad – Top 10 Safety and Security Tips

As we all know, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” This old adage definitely applies to expats. Moving to a new country can be exciting as well as challenging; however, taking the necessary steps can keep you safe from various risks associated with expatriate life. You don’t have to compromise on your safety when you pack your baggage to move to your desired destination. Remember that feeling secure is one thing that you will have to work on initially no matter where you plan to relocate. This doesn’t mean that you will have to live in fear as an expatriate. Get armed with all safety and security tips for Expats given below and make your stay in your new abode all the more fascinating and blissful. 

1. Check Political Stability of a Particular Destination

Doing thorough research on the political situation of your expat destination is a must. Being informed and prepared always helps. Life as an expat can be full of surprises, but you don’t have to worry too much if you have adequate information about a place where you intend to stay for long. Online research can also give you a fair idea about the political stability of a particular destination. You can also get in touch with your native country’s foreign department to get accurate information or even travel alerts during an emergency. It is important that you feel secure no matter where you would like to spend your expatriate life. Check if your insurance company can provide you the desired coverage if your chosen destination has security issues.

research on political situation

2. Get Vaccinated

Check with your doctor if you require certain vaccinations before you move to a particular country. Pre-travel vaccinations are a must in some countries and you will have to get these injections administered months before you hop into a flight to your new host country. Carry hard copies of your vaccination documents during your travel and save their soft copies in your email inbox as a backup.

3. Check Your Insurance Coverage

Having solid insurance is vital for every expat or traveler. Getting travel insurance may be enough if you are on a short vacation; however, for expats looking for a long-term stay, purchasing international health insurance can be the best bet. You will have to check if your employer has medical evacuation coverage. Most individual expat plans will have an exclusion for civil strife, war and terrorism. Group plans may provide coverage for these risks, but you will have to check the fine print. Many expat employers will provide security evacuation coverage as well. As for kidnap and ransom insurance, your employer is not allowed to let you know if you have the coverage or not.

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4. Know the Destination’s Healthcare System

Being aware of your host nation’s healthcare system is important. Check if your current medical insurance plans would be enough to cover you completely in your expat destination. Generally, you won’t face any issue if you are moving to a metropolitan or major city, but settling in a remote place would mean that you may not have easy access to adequate healthcare facilities. You may have to drive for hours to reach a good private hospital if you are staying in a place which is far away from major cities. This can get very tough on you if you have any pre-existing health issue. So, do the necessary research before you decide to move. Don’t forget to carry prescriptions of all your regular medications during your trip.

healthcare system

5. Get Prepared for a Comfortable Journey

Traveling may not be a risky affair, but it can take a toll on your health, especially if you are on long-haul flights. You can avoid deep vein thrombosis by wearing flight socks during the flight. Avoid sitting continuously and keep moving around the aisle in at regular intervals. People with travel sickness should carry the necessary medicines even during short trips. There are chances that you can reach your host country in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. Make the necessary arrangements in advance including hotel bookings so that you don’t have to spend long hours waiting at an airport lounge for someone to pick you up.

Thinking for Abroad

6. Research and Understand Local Law and Culture

Knowing the customs, laws and culture of your new haven will assist you in avoiding uncomfortable situations like offending a neighbor or a nearby shopkeeper. Local laws and traditions may vary from nation to nation, but it would be wise if you know the basics. For instance, carrying an alcoholic drink container openly may be fine in Germany, but you may get into trouble doing so in the UK. There are ample resources online to guide you and let you know the local customs of a destination. A simple Google search would be a great way to get started and learn the basic tradition and culture of a particular place. Also, check out if your host country has strict dress codes, especially for places like temples and churches. Ask the local people or fellow expats if you are in doubt.

7. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and tsunamis can have a great impact on your travel itinerary. So, it is always better to be prepared for various unforeseen incidents that may come your way. Prepare yourself for evacuation during natural calamities by checking out the local news and keeping yourself up-to-date. Keep your travel plans flexible and find out if there are any warnings issued by your native government.

Check your destinations

8. Check your Destination’s Crime Levels

You must do detailed research on your destination’s crime levels before you make the move. Crime situation may differ from country to country, so knowing a place thoroughly will keep you mentally prepared. Understanding potential risks would be important, but you don’t have to panic or get carried away by what people say. It would be wise to talk to fellow expats and local folks to get a better idea and real-life insight. It is also important to understand that petty crimes like pickpocketing and thefts do happen in the best of places, but being cautious and aware of your surroundings will certainly help in the long run.

9. Stay Safe at Your Workplace

Depending on the profession you are in as an expat, there may be certain risks involved. For instance, working with heavy machinery is more challenging and risky than a desk job in a metropolitan city. No matter what your job assignment is, ensure that your employer does the necessary risk assessment and take safety procedures for workers seriously.

Life as an expat may not be a cakewalk at all times; however, being a little cautious can save you from a lot of hassles. Simple steps like avoiding street food that may not be hygienic, eating freshly-prepared delicacies, and checking the safety standards of public transport can go a long way in keeping you safe and secure in a foreign land. Thorough research on your chosen destination is a must before taking the major decision of starting an expatriate living abroad. Adequate planning and guidance from reliable sources will ensure that your transition is successful and you feel safe to start an exciting life in your favorite country overseas.

10. Understand the Local Transportation System

Consulting a map whenever you are outdoors can be very cumbersome. Make friends with locals and get the necessary guidance in terms of local transportation. If you are professional working abroad, understanding the local transportation system will ensure that you reach home safely after office hours. Knowing how to get back home is a must for every expat across the globe. Also, research the neighborhoods that are considered unsafe, and always try to avoid them. Even if you are in a hurry, don’t hop into unlicensed taxis. It is not worth taking the risks.

Life as an expat may not be a cakewalk at all times; however, being a little cautious can save you from a lot of hassles. Simple steps like avoiding street food that may not be hygienic, eating freshly-prepared delicacies, and checking the safety standards of public transport can go a long way in keeping you safe and secure in a foreign land. Thorough research on your chosen destination is a must before taking the major decision of starting an expatriate living abroad. Adequate planning and guidance from reliable sources will ensure that your transition is successful and you feel safe to start an exciting life in your favorite country overseas.