Is it Safe to Travel to Bangkok?

Bangkok is the sprawling capital of Thailand. It’s a city that claims to never sleep, a city that dazzles with bright lights at night and glows golden in the sunlight. It’s a must-visit city for anyone travelling to South East Asia. But it’s important to be aware of the risks and dangers that you might encounter while you are there.

This is one of the biggest cities in the world. It’s a place where the traditions of Thailand and Asia merge with the modern world, and it’s a metropolis like no other. Ride classic tuk-tuks through the streets or use ultra-fast public transport, enjoy timeless Thai street food or dine at world-famous rooftop restaurants.

The choices are endless in Bangkok. But with such a vast number of new things to do and experience, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best travel insurance to keep you safe in case of accidents or incidents.

Don’t worry too much, because Bangkok is generally a safe place to travel, but a few tips and tricks to help you get around won’t harm you.

aerial-bangkok

Here’s our guide to staying safe in Bangkok, Thailand.

Health Concerns in Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most vibrant and colourful cities in Southeast Asia, and while the city is, in general, a very safe place for travellers, you will want to be aware of the health concerns that are potentially present in the Thai capital before you arrive.

There are no mandatory vaccinations that are needed to actually enter the country, but you will certainly want to ensure that you are up to date on all your standard vaccinations before your Thai trip.

Several weeks before departing, visit your local GP or travel clinic, where you can see a travel nurse. They will be able to provide the most up-to-date advice on vaccinations and will advise if you need any boosters or courses. You will want to make sure that you are fully up to date on vaccinations for diseases such as hepatitis, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, and tetanus.

You can also check the Fit For Travel website, which is run by the NHS and keeps up-to-date information on health concerns for individual countries around the world, including Thailand.

An additional immunisation that you will want to seriously consider when travelling to Bangkok is the rabies vaccination. While not an effective stop against contracting the disease, you gain valuable time to get to a hospital for treatment if bitten by a rabid animal, and this can save your life. Unfortunately, Bangkok has large numbers of stray animals, as does the rest of Thailand, and many of these animals are known to carry rabies.

Mosquito-borne diseases are present across Thailand; however, Bangkok is a lower risk area when it comes to catching diseases. Malaria is not an issue in Bangkok, however, some rural border areas do have malaria, so if you are travelling further afield you may want to consider precautions. Japanese Encephalitis is also present in Thailand and you can vaccinate against this, however, for short stays in Bangkok, you have an incredibly low chance of catching the disease from mosquitoes. Dengue fever, however, is a common disease and one that can’t be vaccinated against. The only precaution is to avoid being bitten. Cover up in the evenings and wear tropical-strength mosquito repellent.

Bangkok has a problem with smog and haze, which can be hazardous to health. It’s generally more pronounced and noticeable for anyone suffering from asthma or any other respiratory diseases. In March and April, haze is at its worst due to land clearing and burning in rural areas of Thailand. You will want to avoid travelling to Bangkok this time of year if you think you will be affected by the bad quality of air.

Bangkok is a hectic city and the roads can be particularly hazardous to your health if you’re not careful, particularly if it’s your first time in the Thai capital. Be careful when crossing roads and even, at times, on pavements. It’s not a good idea to attempt to drive and riding tuk-tuks, while fun and authentic, also puts you at higher risk of being involved in a road traffic accident.

Bangkok is home to some of the best hospitals in Southeast Asia, and the quality of care and treatment you can receive in the city is second to none in the region. However, the best hospitals are always private, and public medical facilities are somewhat lacking in comparison. For treatment at the private institutions, you will need quality travel insurance and you will need to prove upfront that you have access to the funds needed to cover any treatment.

woman-Thailand

Food and Drink

Thailand has some of the most delicious food in Southeast Asia, and Bangkok is the culinary hub of the entire country. So rest assured you’ll be eating lots of excellent food during your trip to the region.

You can never go hungry in Bangkok, and the local food is both cheap and plentiful. The capital is famed for its street food scene, and some of the best dishes are served up by vendors on the side of the road and by locals in the markets.

As you can expect, the hygiene standards of some of these street food vendors can be below par, and this can be a common source of illness amongst travellers to the city. Stomach bugs and other food-related illnesses are unfortunately easy to catch, and you will want to be careful when choosing where to eat. Don’t avoid street food of course, because this is one of the best reasons to visit Bangkok in the first place, but do be picky about where you eat. If it looks or smells dirty or off or the surroundings don’t look clean, then move onto another street food stall; there are enough of them in the city.

The local authorities claim that the tap water in Bangkok is drinkable. However, it’s still best to drink bottled mineral water while you are in the city, as your stomach might take time to adjust to the composition. The claim by the local authorities is also seen as a dubious one by many travellers, so play it safe and avoid drinking it. Bottled water is very cheap, or you can take a water bottle with a filter that’s designed for travel.

pad-thai

Crime

Bangkok is a huge metropolis and the Thai capital can, unfortunately, attract the wrong types of people. While the city is, in general, a safe place to visit, you are at risk of being a victim of crime and scams in some parts of the city.

The city has an unsavoury reputation in some circles, and the loud and exuberant nightlife of Bangkok attracts many criminals looking to take advantage of tourists. Drinks can be spiked in bars and clubs, so always be careful where you are drinking and what you are drinking, particularly if you are alone. In some areas such as Patpong or the Red Light Districts, where much of the nightlife is found, the clubs and bars will also often try to scam tourists leading to hefty bills and threats of violence. It goes without saying, don’t drink too much in order to stay safe in Bangkok.

You can also be the victim of scams while visiting major tourist attractions – and there are many different scams to be aware of in the city. Be particularly vigilant if it’s your first time in the city and you are still getting your bearings. If an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Common scams can involve gems and other ‘valuable’ items, which prove to be worthless, while a super cheap ride in a tuk-tuk often means a side trip to an expensive restaurant or shop. Try to only use reputable and licensed tour guides or go by recommendations from other travellers.

Petty theft is also a big problem in Bangkok, so be careful when you are travelling around, particularly on public transport, as pickpockets are very active on cramped and crowded buses and trains. When walking around, be careful too, because cameras and bags can be snatched in drive-by attacks. Given high crime levels, it’s particularly important to make sure that your valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Terrorism Risks

There is an insurgency in the south of the country where violent attacks are often seen, however, this only rarely spills over into the capital, which is a long way away from the troubles. Attacks, including bombings, have been seen in past years and there is always a chance, however low, that tourists might be caught up in violent events.

Political protests are common in Bangkok, and the past decade has seen a huge number of politically motivated protests descend into violence, with crackdowns causing deaths and injuries. It’s best to avoid any political protests, as they can easily take a turn for the worse very quickly in Bangkok.

Family Travel Safety (Bangkok for Kids)

Bangkok can be a popular destination for families with kids because the Thai capital offers a huge range of sights, attractions and experiences for all ages.

Family travel in Bangkok is perfectly safe; just avoid the nightlife areas and districts with more unsavoury reputations. There are lots of great tourist spots though, be they temples, parks or museums that the kids will love.

Bangkok is a huge, sprawling place, so don’t lose sight of your children when you’re walking through the city. Take particular care alongside busy roads and when crossing as cars, tuk-tuks and scooters won’t stop for anyone, not even kids.

Tuk Tuk

Family Travel Safety (Bangkok for Women)

While most women feel safe in Bangkok and will have a trouble-free visit to the city, there are a few problems and issues to consider.

While Thai society is very respectful of women, in some areas of the city, harassment, especially at night in clubs or bars or on touristy streets can be a problem. Sexual assault is rare, but it does occur.

Thailand is a conservative country too, so women (and men, of course) need to dress respectfully in the capital, particularly when visiting religious sites.

Tips for Staying Safe in Bangkok

Buy the right insurance

While most trips to Bangkok will be trouble and hassle-free, as with anywhere in the world, you never quite know when disaster might strike.

You might get ill or sick, or you might be involved in an accident that requires hospital treatment. You might be the victim of a crime or get in trouble with the police. You just never know. And while you don’t want to be scared of new experiences, you do want to know that if the worst does happen, then you are covered.

Choose your travel insurance carefully and make sure you’re covered for what you need, as each person has different requirements and will need different levels of cover.

Learn the language

Thai is a notoriously difficult language, and it’s not only a tonal language but the script has its own unique alphabet, which is very different from the Roman alphabet!

Learn a few words, even just please and thank you, and your efforts will go a very long way in Thailand because few tourists ever bother with this.

Know the law

Thailand has some incredibly strict laws, and what might be normal in your home country might be completely illegal here.

Many drugs that are available on prescription in other countries are banned in Thailand. Illegal drug possession can be met with huge penalties in Thailand, and smuggling leads to the death penalty.

It also pays to be respectful of the royal family, because it’s a crime to insult or disrespect royalty, even on social media or online. Respect the local laws and customs, even if you don’t agree with them.

Bangkok-river market

If you’re travelling to Bangkok, then stay safe and keep covered in the event of an accident by taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy with Navigator Travel Insurance.

Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico?

Mexico is a country that often hits the headlines, sometimes for all the wrong reasons. The North American nation has a fascinating history, a rich culinary scene and a diverse cultural heritage. But there are occasional reports of narco lords, gang violence and border problems with the USA that often make the news.

While these are real issues that contemporary Mexico faces, this isn’t the entire picture by any means. News agencies are often quick to underline that the country must be unsafe for travel. In fact, large parts of Mexico are perfectly safe for travellers.

Mexico has a lot to offer, from beautiful beaches on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts to an intriguing past of Mayan, Aztec and Spanish history. There are ancient ruins to explore, there’s excellent food to sample, and much, much more awaiting you in Mexico.

Of course, in some areas, the security situation isn’t ideal for tourists, but many areas are hugely popular with visitors. Just make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance and research well before you depart.

car-Mexico street

Here’s our guide to keeping safe while travelling in Mexico.

Health Concerns in Mexico

When travelling to Mexico, you will want to be aware of what vaccinations you need, and what health concerns you may face while abroad.

Mexico requires no mandatory vaccinations as such, but you will certainly want to ensure that you are up to date on basic injections and booster, for diseases such as hepatitis, polio, diphtheria, typhoid and tetanus. You can get up-to-date information on vaccinations by arranging an appointment at your local GP with the travel nurse, who will be able to advise on any boosters based on your personal vaccination history.

You may also want to consider being vaccinated for rabies, especially if you plan to visit remote areas of Mexico. The rabies vaccination gives you valuable time to get to a hospital for potentially life-saving treatment if you are bitten by an infected animal, such as a stray dog.

Malaria is present in some parts of Mexico; however, it is a very low-risk country and you only need anti-malarial medication in remote and rural areas. In the southern areas, in states such as Chiapas or Quintana Roo, malarial cases are seen, however, these are rare amongst travellers. You will, however, want to take precautions against mosquito bites regardless, and this means using mosquito repellent and covering up arms and legs when mosquitoes are most active at dusk and throughout the night. Mosquitos are also responsible for dengue fever and are carriers of the zika virus, all of which are present if rare in parts of Mexico but cannot be vaccinated against.

Many parts of Mexico, including the capital Mexico City, are found at high altitude. Mexico City is at 2,200 metres, and other destinations can be even higher. If you are arriving from sea level, then you may experience mild altitude sickness as your body adjusts to lower levels of oxygen. The only way to counter altitude sickness is to either allow time for your body to adjust or head to a lower altitude.

Many parts of Mexico also experience high temperatures, particularly during the summer. So you will want to make sure you have adequate sun cream and stay covered up where possible, especially in tourist areas on the coast such as Cancun where beach holidays are popular.

You need travel insurance for Mexico because hospitals require this in order to provide treatment. Medical standards can vary across the country and are lacking in rural areas, so ensure that your policy can provide evacuation and that it will cover you for treatment in private hospitals.

cancun-canal

Food and Water

Mexico is a destination for foodies, and the country has one of the most exciting culinary scenes in the world. This is the home of the taco, it’s the inspiration for Tex Mex, and across Mexico, each state has its own unique dishes that blend a fusion of Mayan, Aztec and Spanish styles. In big cities and on the tourist strips such as the Mayan Riviera, you can also find a range of restaurants from around the world, catering to the large number of package tourists.

Despite this glorious culinary history, travellers still need to be aware of the risks of food and water in Mexico.

For starters, the country has seen an unfortunate rise in water-borne diseases leading to traveller’s diarrhoea. Even if you are staying in 5-star resorts in Cancun, you are at risk of catching a stomach bug. While in many cases it can pass quickly as you adjust to the different bacteria, it can disrupt your holiday, particularly if you are only in the country for a short time.

For this reason, it’s important to drink only bottled mineral water or water that’s been properly filtered and treated. Avoid drinking tap water and, if you are travelling to remote locations, consider taking a purification or sterilisation system with you.

A big part of Mexican culture is street food, and some of the best places to eat truly authentic Mexican fare are small eateries and food stands. Be careful eating here, but don’t let the risks discourage you. Just watch how the food is stored and prepared, and if you aren’t happy move on to the next place.

Mexican tacos

Crime

When it comes to travel safety in Mexico, crime is always the biggest talking point. The country is associated with gang violence and narco criminals, and the government is essentially waging a war against these violent gangs across the country.

For the most part, though, these headline-grabbing violent acts aren’t ones that actually affect tourists, and the most popular resorts and tourist areas don’t see the level of violence that other parts of the country suffer from.

Travelling in Mexico is more about being aware of where you are because the gangs aren’t interested in visitors but are more interested in their own problems and law enforcement agencies. It’s good practice to check locally when you plan to travel to different destinations to find out what the situation is like. In cities, the major central areas are usually trouble-free, but there are areas you will want to avoid, especially in places like Mexico City.

Tourists can be at risk of robbery however, even in areas such as Playa del Carmen or Cancun – sometimes more so, as criminals specifically target these touristy areas. It’s best to take taxis where possible after dark and to avoid dark streets or deserted beaches.

The police won’t always be there to help you either. Given the unfortunate levels of corruption in Mexico, you can equally find yourself being forced into paying bribes for minor infractions. This is particularly true when driving rented vehicles.

Terrorism Risks

Despite its problems with gang warfare, Mexico has had very little in the way of terrorism, at least in the western sense of it.

Terrorism risks are very low across Mexico, although in the south in heavily indigenous areas such as Chiapas, you may encounter problems with bandits acting in the name of local paramilitary organisations such as the Zapatistas. They are known to hold up buses or cars and relieve those inside the vehicles of their belongings in the name of their cause, although violent incidents are rare.

Family Travel Safety (Mexico with Kids)

Mexico has a big market for family travel, but it’s mostly concentrated in certain areas of the country that have been heavily developed for tourism. The most popular destinations are in the south along the Caribbean Sea. Places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen have been developed as resort destinations. If you are travelling as a family, these are the most convenient places to visit.

These areas are very safe for family travel, even with babies and small children, and it’s easy to get around and to experience the many family attractions. If you are travelling with kids though, you will want to make sure that on the beaches and in the sea, you stick to designated areas. These areas can be home to crocodiles, so don’t stray from the marked, safe destinations. Currents can also be strong for small children and not all beaches have lifeguards, so remain vigilant.

If you travel further afield with the kids, then be careful when exploring cities, as it’s easy to get lost, particularly in large cities such as Mexico City.

Family Travel Safety (Mexico for Women)

Mexico has somewhat of an over-the-top reputation when it comes to women travelling through the country, in particular, solo female travellers. While bad things have happened in the past to women travelling in Mexico, this can be said of anywhere else in the world. In reality, women are no more likely to be targeted here than in the USA or Great Britain.

As with anywhere, women (and men!) should follow basic travel safety rules. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t go along with it; if the street looks too dark, don’t go down it. Mexicans are generally hospitable and friendly, and while western women might attract a bit more attention in more rural areas, it’s nothing malicious. Learning Spanish can be a big help to unravel uncomfortable situations and even just to get around safely.

danzon-Mexican Dancing

Tips for Staying Safe in Mexico

Buy the Right Insurance

Regardless of whether you are male or female, travelling solo or travelling as a family, purchasing the right insurance before you depart is one of the biggest aspects of staying safe on the road.

As well as providing you with much-needed peace of mind, having comprehensive travel insurance gives you the cover you need if something bad does occur.

Make sure the insurance package you buy covers you for all the activities you might want to take part in. You might need more specialist insurance if you are planning on doing lots of scuba diving, or enjoying water sports such as jet skiing. If you’re unsure how much coverage you need, it’s always better to have excess coverage, than no coverage at all.

Learn the Language

Spanish is the language of Mexico, although if you’ve been to other destinations in South or Central America or learnt your Spanish in Spain itself, you will find that Mexican-Spanish can be very different in many ways, with different slang, accents and pronunciation.

While you can get away with English in the resort destinations, if you are planning on travelling outside of these places, then knowing Spanish can be the biggest help. You don’t need to be fluent, but even knowing basic sentences and words will help you to order in restaurants and to find buses. Ultimately that basic knowledge can help to keep you safer on the road than without it.

In some rural areas, Spanish is a second language for many indigenous families, who still speak dialects of Old Mayan or other languages. In these situations, knowing some Spanish is very much a necessity to get around. In Mexico, knowing Spanish can help you to diffuse situations that might arise or misunderstandings that might occur, while it can also keep you out of trouble if you happen to get lost and you wander into the wrong part of a city.

Know the Laws and Culture

Knowing the local laws and local culture while you are in Mexico will also help to keep you safe when you are on the road. While areas like Cancun are used to tourists, other destinations might not be so used to foreign visitors, so it’s best to keep local customs in mind when travelling.

Mexico can be very conservative in many ways, particularly in more rural areas, and it’s best to dress conservatively and to act conservatively when this is the case. Many areas also have lots of indigenous traditions. While they might seem unusual, you should take care to always respect the local way of life.

day-of-the-dead

If you’re booking your holiday to Mexico, contact Navigator Travel Insurance to get a quote for your insurance.

Is It Safe to Travel to Tunisia?

For years, Tunisia was a prime tourist destination, attracting European tourists looking to escape the cold weather and enjoy a cheap and affordable destination in the sun.

But Tunisia’s location on the border of conflicted and unstable Libya alongside deadly terrorist attacks at popular holiday resorts led many governments to issue travel warnings for the country. As a result, the tourism industry has suffered immensely in recent years.

While the risk of terror attacks might be high in Tunisia, many parts of the country are still safe to visit and the country is much more stable than government warnings may at first make the destination appear. It’s important though, to make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance when travelling to Tunisia, and that you conduct thorough research into the security and safety levels at the time of your visit.

Here’s our guide to keeping safe while travelling in Tunisia.

tunisia-resort

Health Concerns in Tunisia

Before setting off on your travels or holidays to Tunisia, it’s important that you are up to date on any vaccinations that might be required. For the most up-to-date information on what’s necessary and what’s required, you will want to visit your local GP practice and arrange an appointment with the travel nurse. You may also want to check the NHS website or the Fit For Travel website.

It’s recommended that you are up to date on many vaccinations, including but not limited to hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, typhoid, polio and diphtheria. You will also want to consider a rabies vaccination too.

While travelling through Tunisia, you are not entitled to any free health or medical care from Tunisian hospitals or doctors. This means that all medical costs must be paid for upfront by the patient, and if you have a serious accident, medical costs can quickly add up. In more remote areas, healthcare is much more limited than in the cities, and access to adequate facilities can be limited. You will want to make sure that your insurance policies cover you for evacuations and transfers if you are planning on travelling to more rural areas of the country.

The risk of terror attacks is very real in some parts of the country, so you will need to make certain that your travel insurance policy covers you in all instances where you might require medical assistance, be it an accident or injuries resulting from serious incidents.

star-wars-Tunisia

Food and Water

When travelling in unfamiliar countries, it’s always important to be aware of what the risks are to your health when it comes to eating and drinking the local food and water. Tunisia is no exception. When you first arrive in the country, you will want to be careful of what you consume if it’s your first time visiting, as it may take time for your stomach to adjust.

Many tourists visiting Tunisia have traditionally been package holiday tourists. If you are staying at a beach resort, you should find that hygiene standards are high, as the resorts don’t want their well-paying guests to get ill from the food.

Outside of the resorts though, hygiene standards can vary from restaurant to restaurant. Generally speaking though, Tunisian food is safe to eat, and you’ll find it to be a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Berber cuisine. You’ll find an abundance of influences and many different ingredients from chickpeas to meat are commonly used. Food can be the most exciting part of travel so in Tunisia don’t be scared of dipping into the local cuisine.

Officially, the tap water in Tunisia is safe to drink – especially in the capital, Tunis, and other large cities – but due to high mineral contents and the use of chlorine, the taste of the water can be unusual at first. If you are only on holiday for a short period, you may want to stick to bottled water, as your body won’t have long to adjust to the different composition of the tap water, even if it isn’t dangerous. Bottled water is cheap in Tunisia, but to avoid unnecessary plastic waste, you will want to bring along a refillable water bottle to use where you can.

Harissa-Tunisia Food

Crime

Tunisia is a relatively poor country, especially in comparison to the United Kingdom, and this can lead to incidents of tourists being robbed for their personal belongings. Petty theft, as with anywhere in the world, can be a problem in Tunisia, so when you are walking through crowded streets or using busy public transport, you will want to keep aware of your surroundings and your pockets. Do not leave valuable items unattended, anywhere, and use common sense when it comes to travelling here.

Violent incidents of crime or violent robberies aren’t common, but incidents can and do occur. If you are the victim of a crime, you will need to report it to the local police, especially if you want to claim any compensation on your travel insurance. Tunisia has an unfortunate corruption problem, which you will need to be aware of when you are dealing with the government and police. Traffic police are a particular problem, and you’ll want to be certain that your paperwork is watertight, to avoid being pushed into unnecessary situations where the police demand bribes for minor infractions.

In popular tourist areas, you may be at risk of scams or fraud, and you will want to be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. Tourists can become easy money for intrepid locals, so be aware of the potential risks in tourist zones and when arranging tours or making use of services. Unofficial guides, for instance, can at first seem harmless, before demanding large sums of money.

Terrorism Risks

Tunisia is, unfortunately, a country that in recent years has seen both terror attacks and an unstable political climate in the country. The country’s geographical location means that Tunisia has long borders with Libya and Algeria, and these can quickly become flashpoints for localised conflicts, as insurgencies spillover, particularly from lawless Libya.

The country is technically under a State of Emergency, which has been in force and continuously extended month on month for several years. Protests can occur in big cities and lead to violence, while terror attacks can potentially occur in cities and tourist areas.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently lifted travel bans on Tunisia. However, there are still some parts of the country that are deemed too risky for tourism. The border areas, with Algeria and Libya, are considered no-go zones by the FCO, and they advise against all travel to these areas. In many other areas, the FCO advises against all but essential travel due to the risk of terrorism. The Chaambi Mountains are off-limits, despite being a national park, as there are consistent clashes between insurgents and Tunisian security forces in the area.

In 2015, a terror attack in the popular tourist area of Sousse left many foreign nationals dead, when gunmen opened fire on a packed beach. The incident led the FCO to ban all travel to Tunisia, and the tourism office suffered immensely in the aftermath.

At popular tourist resorts, there is heavy security, because the country relies on the money brought in by tourism. Terror attacks can occur anywhere though, and you will want to keep abreast of the security and political situation before and during your trip to Tunisia.

Family Travel Safety (Tunisia with Kids)

Ever since the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia, the country has hardly been a destination that’s been top of the family travel list. With FCO warnings being dropped in touristic areas, family travel to Tunisian resorts will no longer be seen as a reckless act, and many parts of the country will be safe for families and children.

In fact, the beaches and resorts that made Tunisia such a popular place in the past are perfect for family holidays, and now more than ever there’s heightened security. Just make sure you have adequate insurance for everyone that’s travelling with you to Tunisia.

At the beaches, you will want to look after your kids and make sure they stay safe in the swimming areas. If you do take them further afield into the cities and away from the tourist resorts, keep a close eye on your children, as they can easily become lost in busy markets or crowded streets in places such as Tunis.

Family Travel Safety (Tunisia for Women)

North African countries, in general, have a bad reputation when it comes to female travel safety and, unfortunately for women, Tunisia isn’t really an exception. Luckily though, women experience fewer problems than in many neighbouring countries such as Morocco. In general, by following rules and local customs, women can enjoy safe travels in Tunisia.

If you are just planning on staying in the resorts and the touristy areas, then in general as a woman you should have little trouble. Stay safe at night though, as you may still experience minor harassment.

In less-visited areas, women travelling alone may be the subject of an inquiry or perhaps intrigue, and even harassment. This is a Muslim nation and prevailing customs and traditions are on the conservative side. As a woman not seeking attention, you should dress modestly and inform yourself of local manners. Tunisian men are also known to be very direct with western women, due to misconceptions about western culture, and you may find that you need to be overly firm with local men seeking dates or more than this.

Tips for Staying Safe in Tunisia: 

Buy the Right Insurance

While most of Tunisia is now safe to travel to, it’s imperative that you purchase the correct insurance for your trip before you depart home. Depending on the activities you plan on undertaking in Tunisia, you may require specialist travel insurance, so always read up on the fine print to make sure you are fully covered.

Importantly, when travelling in Tunisia you will need to be certain that your level of insurance covers you depending on your location, as ignoring warnings from governmental bodies such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can invalidate your insurance, as in some areas you may not be covered by basic packages.

el-jem-Tunisia

Learn the Language

Knowing the local language helps immensely when travelling through any foreign country, and picking up even just a few words of the local dialects can endear you to the locals and make your life easier.

In Tunisia, you will find that a wide variety of languages are spoken and that there are many different local dialects in different regions. The most common language is Tunisian Arabic, which is similar to but in many ways different from the Arabic spoken in neighbouring countries. Other languages spoken include Berber dialects, as well as French, due to the country’s colonial past. In the touristy areas and resorts, you’ll find that people speak a variety of European languages, with English, French and German, being the most common.

Know the Laws

Tunisia is a Muslim majority nation, and in many cases, laws can seem conservative to a Westerner. It’s best to educate yourself on local laws and customs before you depart, so as not to get into trouble while you are abroad.

What might seem like normality to you can be illegal in a different country, and you don’t want your holiday ruined because you didn’t follow the local laws.

In Tunisia, homosexuality is not only frowned upon but is, in fact, illegal, while sex outside of marriage can also technically be punished by the law. Tolerance for drugs and drug use is low, and there are strict laws punishing anyone found with even small quantities of illegal substances on their person.

It’s particularly important to observe local laws and traditions during holy periods, such as Ramadan. During this time of the year, travel can prove to be much trickier in Tunisia, so do your research on when it falls before booking your holiday and plan accordingly.