Is it Safe to Travel to Jordan?

Jordan is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Middle East. It’s a beautiful country of contrasting landscapes and cosmopolitan cities, a place where ancient ruins are hidden by deserts and fantastic dive sites await you underwater.

But while Jordan is one of the most stable countries in the region, its geopolitical location in the centre of an at times unstable part of the world, leads many travellers to shy away from visiting.

That shouldn’t be the case. Despite being bordered by Iraq and Syria, and despite having a less than friendly history with neighbouring Israel, Jordan is a perfectly safe place to visit.

Of course, there are different laws and customs to follow and certain border areas to keep a distance from. To help you to plan your next trip, here’s everything you need to know about staying safe when you’re travelling to Jordan.

Jordan architecture and Ruins

Health Concerns in Jordan

The first thing to point out to would-be travellers is that it’s important to be up to date on any vaccinations you might need before departing on your trip to Jordan.

It’s highly recommended that you keep up to date on the best information available, as things can change quickly anywhere in the world. The first place to check is the NHS website, where you’ll find expert and up-to-date medical information. You’ll also want to check the Fit For Travel Website, which offers excellent insights into both health and safety and the vaccination requirements in Jordan.

Book an appointment with your local GP or travel nurse who will both be able to give you the up-to-date information you need before departing for Jordan, as well any vaccinations or boosters you require before your trip. It’s best to begin this process several months before departure, as you might need to wait for some vaccinations.

Minimum requirements for your trip to Jordan will be vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, typhoid, polio and diphtheria, which most people will generally be up to date with anyway. Rabies can be a problem in rural areas, so it might be wise to consider the rabies vaccination if you’re planning on travelling away from major tourist sites and cities.

Healthcare isn’t generally free in Jordan, and all hospitalisation will require payment. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have up-to-date travel insurance that covers you for any potential medical emergency or illnesses that might arise when you are in the country. Costs can quickly mount up in an emergency, so make sure that you have adequate cover.

Jordan is a country of contrasts. While medical facilities in the capital Amman are in most cases superb as they are in tourist centres such as Aqaba on the Red Sea, in more rural areas they can be somewhat lacking. Make sure that any travel insurance policy you take out for your trip to Jordan covers you in more remote areas, and allows for evacuation to a major city if you plan on travelling to remote destinations.

Jordan is also a popular diving destination, as the country has a short Red Sea coastline and access to spectacular dive sites. If you’re planning on going scuba diving while in Jordan, then make sure you dive to your qualifications and abilities, and make sure that your travel insurance covers you. Check your depths and limits, or you might find that you are not insured when it comes to the worst. Aqaba is the dive centre of Jordan, and there are great medical facilities available here if you are involved in an accident.

The biggest problem that tourists encounter in Jordan though, is usually the heat. Don’t underestimate the sun, because this is a dry and arid country in the Middle East. You can eliminate the danger of sunstroke or heat exhaustion by timing your visit. Don’t visit in summer, and instead plan your trip for the much cooler and more pleasant winter months. Stay hydrated and avoid hiking in the middle of the day, particularly in desert areas such as Wadi Rum.

Diving Red Sea

Food and Water

For travellers visiting Jordan, it’s also important to know about any health and safety issues that might arise when it comes to the food and water situation in the country.

Jordan has a rich culinary tradition that goes back centuries, and that draws on influences from across the region. Certain dishes might be familiar from across the Middle East, but in Jordan, they are served in a distinctly local style, and you can find variants on the likes of falafel and shawarma and everything else in between.

In fact, Jordan is a great country for foodies, be you a meat-eater or a vegetarian, and there’s little to worry about when it comes to food safety. In Amman and other cities like Aqaba, food hygiene standards are high, and you can’t go wrong when you’re eating out in restaurants or at hotels.

Some of the best food in Jordan however is the street food or local fast food. This is where you’ll find the best shawarma and falafel. Luckily, the preparation processes for dishes like falafel ensure that it’s difficult to get ill from, and they’re usually prepared and deep fried right in front of you.

As with anywhere in the world though, if the restaurant or fast food shop doesn’t seem hygienic for any reason, then simply give it a miss and move onto the next. If there’s no one eating there, then you might want to move onto somewhere busier too. Noting where the locals eat is always a good indicator.

In the cities tap water is safe to drink, which means you don’t need to worry much about fresh fruits and salads being prepared with tap water. It’s all generally safe and you’ll have to be unlucky to get ill. You can stay extra safe though by avoiding tap water if you think it might unsettle your stomach as you’re not used to the mineral content. You can bring along a refillable water bottle and make use of refill stations or, better yet, bring along a bottle with a purifier and simply filter tap water.

There are some great restaurants, both local and international, and plenty of excellent dishes to try across the country. There’s no need to fear the food or drink while you’re travelling in Jordan.

Shawarma

Crime

Jordan is a welcoming and hospitable country, and crime levels are generally very low. For visitors, the chances of being a victim of crime are hardly worth worrying about. It’s incredibly rare to be caught up in something untoward.

Petty theft can occur, as it does anywhere in the world, so keep an eye on your valuables and keep anything important locked away in your hotel room. More serious crime isn’t generally an issue either.

One problem that can affect travellers, although it’s very unlikely, is if you’re travelling in remote areas. Tribal and feudal lines are very important in Jordan, and issues are often solved by families without getting the authorities involved. While tourists won’t directly have a problem, they can become caught in between two feuding sides, so keep a close eye on local politics and customs when travelling.

Terrorism Risks

Despite being surrounded by countries that seem to be perpetually at war either with themselves or their neighbours, Jordan is a country that’s incredibly peaceful and stable.

This might be the Middle East and this might be a country that shares borders with Iraq, Syria and Israel, but there’s a relatively low chance of terrorist attacks occurring in the country. Security is kept tight in the cities and at tourist attractions. But of course, don’t let your guard down and always keep abreast of the news.

Given the country’s location, politics can cause rapid changes and conflict can arise quickly and suddenly. For that reason, it’s best to keep away from the border with Syria, where conflict has been ongoing on the Syrian side for several years.

With tensions across other parts of the Middle East, such as in Iran for instance, British nationals always need to be aware that they might face dangers in other nearby countries, including Jordan. While this isn’t too much of a worry in Jordan itself, it always pays to be careful and to listen to the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, even if it’s just to make sure your insurance will still be valid.

Family Travel Safety (Jordan with Kids)

Traditionally, Jordan hasn’t been seen as a family travel destination, but things are changing as the country becomes better known to travellers. It’s becoming increasingly apparent how easy and safe it is to visit.

Jordanians are welcoming to families with young children, and they’ll go out of their way to ensure you have a smooth trip and get all the assistance you might need. Family is a big deal in Jordan, so you can rest assured that it will be easy to travel around with kids.

If you are travelling as a family then try to avoid the heat of the summer, as it will be uncomfortable for young kids not used to scorching hot temperatures. Even in winter, it can be hot, so make sure you bring along plenty of sunscreen and keep the kids covered up (as well as the adults, of course).

Children will love all the traditional Jordanian sights, such as the ruins of Petra, while in Amman there’s even a Children’s Museum to visit. On the Red Sea coast, be careful when visiting the beaches and keep an eye on your children, just in case there are strong currents. For teenagers though, the Red Sea is a true adventure playground where you can swim and snorkel.

Petra Ruins Jordan

Family Travel Safety (Jordan for Women)

While most women will enjoy a friendly and hassle-free trip to Jordan, some solo female travellers might, unfortunately, face harassment from men in cities.

Jordan is a male-dominated society, while women are expected to behave conservatively. To avoid trouble, female travellers should research local traditions and dress modestly while they are in Jordan, even if they don’t always agree with the local customs.

Women in Jordan

Tips for Staying Safe in Jordan

Buy the Right Insurance

It’s incredibly important that you choose the right travel insurance before you depart. Everyone’s trip is different and you never know what might happen, so it always pays in the long run to be prepared for the worst eventuality.

You need to be sure that you’re covered for all eventualities, particularly if you are planning on partaking in a few adventure sports, such as hiking in the desert or scuba diving. Make sure you have adequate insurance for any sports that you’ll be doing in Jordan.

Learn the Language

The local language in Jordan is Arabic, and this is spoken by almost all Jordanians regardless of their race or ethnicity. Jordanian Arabic is the standard that you’ll find spoken in Amman and other cities, and the language that you’ll see written down and spoken on the television.

Various dialects exist outside of the cities though, with the most prominent and distinct being Bedouin Arabic, which is spoken by the semi-nomadic Bedouin tribes of the desert. While most Jordanians in the cities and in the tourism industry will speak English to a high level, it pays to at least try and learn a few words of Arabic. You’ll instantly endear yourself to the local population, and start to make many more positive connections.

Bedouin Tribe Man

Know the Laws

Jordan is a majority Muslim nation and the local laws and customs reflect this fact. To be safe, then make sure you keep informed of local laws that might differ from your home country.

What might seem normal at home, might be completely illegal in Jordan. To avoid unwanted trouble in an unfamiliar country, then learn the local laws and stick to them, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them.

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

 

Is it Safe to Travel to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is undeniably one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. The small South Asian island is packed full of adventure, culture, history and wildlife. You can lounge on white-sand beaches, hit the waves for great surfing, go on safari in search of herds of elephants, or marvel at ancient lost kingdoms hidden long ago by the jungles.

There’s so much to experience. But an unfortunate recent string of terror attacks in the country coupled with the aftermath of a brutal civil war that ended just a decade ago means many travellers still see Sri Lanka as a dangerous place to visit.

For most of the country though, this simply isn’t the case, and there are many misconceptions that Sri Lanka is desperately trying to dispel. Yes, you could get caught in a terror incident, but the odds are incredibly low, and where in the world are you ever completely safe?

Keep abreast of news and events, and Sri Lanka is a glorious island to visit. To inspire your next adventure, here’s everything you need to know about staying safe in Sri Lanka.

busy-street-Sri Lanka

Health Concerns in Sri Lanka

Anyone travelling to Sri Lanka needs to be up to date on important vaccinations that might be required. The best way to find out the most up-to-date information – and remember, things can change rapidly – is to check with your local GP practice or to see a travel nurse. They can offer excellent information on destinations around the world, including Sri Lanka, and will be able to advise on which vaccinations you might need and which you might want to have boosted.

A great starting point as you plan your journey to Sri Lanka is to check the NHS website and the Fit For Travel Website, which is run by the NHS. Here you can find excellent overviews of the vaccinations needed for different countries.

As with anywhere in the world, it’s highly recommended that you are up to date on any regular vaccinations before you set out. These include basic vaccinations that you should keep boosted anyway, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, polio and diphtheria. You might also want to consider a rabies jab and Japanese encephalitis vaccination, however these are not mandatory. Always make sure you leave several weeks in order to get any boosters or vaccines before you travel to Sri Lanka.

Malaria is not found in Sri Lanka, however other mosquito-borne diseases can be contracted across the country, particularly in remote and rural areas. Dengue fever can be caught in Sri Lanka, and unfortunately there is no vaccine against this disease. While rare, the only way to stop it from being caught is to prevent mosquito bites. This means wearing mosquito repellent and covering up exposed skin, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are at their most active.

Sri Lanka is an extremely hot and tropical country, and that means that heat stroke or heat exhaustion are real dangers. If you’re not used to intense heat or humidity, then this can be even more of a problem, so always wear a sun hat, use sun cream and drink plenty of water, especially if you’re out on safari or hiking.

Healthcare can be basic in Sri Lanka, especially outside of the capital, Colombo. In some cases, hospitals and health clinics can essentially be non-existent. For this reason, it’s important to have travel insurance that will give you access to private health centres across the country and that, in the worst situations, will cover your evacuation back home to the United Kingdom for treatments.

beach-Sri Lanka Fish

Food and Water

Eating and drinking is a big part of travel; for visitors to Sri Lanka, food is often seen as one of the biggest reasons to visit. A fusion of cuisines from across South Asia, Sri Lanka’s tastiest food can be found in small restaurants or bought from street vendors. However, this brings with it a whole array of health risks.

The first thing to remember about staying safe in Sri Lanka is to never drink the tap water. Travellers can often find themselves hit hard by stomach illnesses, and the source is often untreated water. Sanitary conditions are not great in Sri Lanka, so always stick to bottled water, even if you’re just brushing your teeth. If you’re looking to cut down on plastic waste though, then bring a refillable bottle with a sterilising filter.

Food hygiene standards can be as poor as the water quality, and you’ll want to avoid any foods that might have been washed and prepared using the local water source, such as fresh fruits and salads. Instead, go for well-cooked dishes that won’t leave you reeling the next day. Luckily, Sri Lanka has plenty of food to choose from, and you’ll be able to indulge in wonderfully delicious curries and dhals across the country.

When choosing restaurants, go on recommendations from locals or other travellers. Remember that just because a place might look fancy and the meals might be expensive, this doesn’t mean that the food preparation standards are up to scratch. You can get just as ill from a five-star hotel restaurant as you can from a street stall. If you’re in any doubt, don’t be afraid to ask to see the kitchens, your stomach will certainly thank you later.

It can be a good idea to carry around a disinfecting hand sanitiser when you’re in Sri Lanka, to thoroughly clean your hands before you eat, especially as you’ll often find yourself eating with your fingers rather than cutlery. If the worst happens, you will want to be prepared with Imodium tablets when you’re travelling around, as well as rehydration medicine.

food-sri lanka

Crime

There’s no denying the fact that Sri Lanka is a poor country, however that doesn’t automatically mean that crime is going to be a danger to you when you’re travelling here. In fact, most Sri Lankans you meet will be honest and hospitable. But, as with anywhere in the world, you do need to follow basic travel safety advice to stay out of trouble.

Sri Lanka is a crowded and busy country and, for many, it’s this seemingly chaotic yet colourful atmosphere that gives it such an allure. It also provides the necessary conditions for pickpockets and thieves to work, so you need to be extra conscious when walking through busy markets and bazaars, and when travelling on local buses and trains. Never leave your valuables unattended, even if you are just popping to the toilet quickly, and be wary about flashing those valuables in public.

Tourists who are unfamiliar with Sri Lanka might also be the victims of unscrupulous scams, which, while not exactly serious, can leave a sour taste hanging over your trip. Be wary of any taxi or rickshaw drivers trying to steer you to a particular hotel or restaurant; always try to book your accommodation in advance and be adamant that’s where you’re going, even if they try to tell you it’s sold out. Book your train and bus tickets directly at the stations where possible, and always research the tour companies you use in advance of your trip.

Violent crime, while rare, can occur in Sri Lanka. Be especially careful if you’re heading to bars or are out late at night. Unfortunately, women will need to be extra wary after dark, especially if they are on their own.

Terrorism Risks

Sri Lanka always hits the news for the wrong reasons. If there’s a terror attack here, then other countries are always quick to tell their citizens not to visit. The last terror attack saw tourism massively decline in the aftermath of multiple bomb attacks that hit major hotels and places of worship in Colombo, the capital, in 2019. It was unfortunate but it was also a rare incident, and security efforts have increased since the deadly event.

Terrorism is a risk though, and if incidents happen then they are most likely to be carried out in Colombo, and in public, crowded places. If you are worried, then stay away from these areas and also avoid major international hotel chains and restaurants.

Until just a decade ago, Sri Lanka was still technically at war. It was only in 2009 that the conflict with the Tamil Tigers finally came to a close after 30 years of fighting. The conflict was mostly restricted to the north of the country. While fighting has stopped, the region is still recovering. Many landmines are still being cleared, and travellers should be wary of any protests or political tensions that could lead to renewed violence if they plan on visiting the north coast.

It’s a good idea to check exactly what your insurance covers in Sri Lanka, on the rare chance that you are caught up in a political or terrorist incident.

colombo beach

Family Travel Safety (Sri Lanka with Kids)

Sri Lanka is an adventurous destination to take the kids, but with a bit of forward planning and patience, it doesn’t need to be a challenge. Children will love the safaris, the beaches and the unique atmosphere that Sri Lanka offers.

Of course, it’s important to keep young kids close to you at all times, especially in busy and chaotic city streets and markets. Remember also that public transport is going to be crowded and uncomfortable. For a smoother holiday, you might want to consider hiring a driver or joining a tour.

Always make sure that you take out family travel insurance, just in case anything happens while you’re on the road with your kids.

Family Travel Safety (Sri Lanka for Women)

Women have more to worry about in Sri Lankan than male travellers. While incidents against female travellers are rare, admittedly they can and do happen.

Sri Lanka is a very male-dominated society and women are unfortunately likely to experience harassment, however mild. Catcalling can be common, and Sri Lankan men will commonly see western female tourists as an easy target for approaches, due to societal differences.

Women need to be careful in bars, because drink spiking can happen and harassment can occur late at night. Travelling in a group can alleviate these worries, however many women still travel solo and won’t have trouble.

sri-lanka-woman

Tips for Staying Safe in Sri Lanka

Buy the Right Insurance

Always make sure that you’re covered for the activities you’re planning to do in Sri Lanka. You can take out a wide range of insurance policies, but pick the best policy based on what you are doing and how much cover you need.

Certain activities such as hiking or scuba diving might need higher levels of cover, while cheaper policies will leave you with a higher excess to pay in the event of an emergency. In any case, when it comes to insurance you’re always better off having more cover than less, so you’re not left short-handed if disaster strikes.

Learn the Language and Customs

Sri Lanka is a surprisingly diverse country, given how compact the island is, and there are multiple languages, ethnicities and religions found in each region. Learn a little of the local customs and history, and be sensitive to people’s beliefs, be they religious or political, because events such as the civil war are still fresh in memory.

It’s never a bad thing to try and learn a little of the language either. While English is common across the country – a throwback to colonial days – learning a few basic phrases of Sinhala or Tamil can help immensely if you’re travelling off the beaten track.

Respect Wildlife

One of the most popular reasons to visit Sri Lanka is for the incredible array of wildlife found all over the country. This is one of the most biodiverse countries in Asia, and you can find everything from elephants and leopards to sloths and whales.

Seeing wildlife often involves going on safari. To stay safe in Sri Lanka, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that the animals can pose to tourists, and the dangers that humans pose to wildlife. Always be respectful of Sri Lanka’s wildlife and ecosystems, travel sustainably where you can and never get too close to the animals. And watch out for crocodiles in the rivers!

sri-lanka-elephants bathing

If you’re travelling to Sri Lanka, 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 Russia?

Russia is the largest country on the planet, stretching all the way from Europe in the west across Siberia and Central Asia to the Pacific Coast in the east.

It’s a huge, multicultural country, but a country that can be difficult to travel around. While the vast majority of Russia is safe to travel to, some border areas might be disputed or prone to violence, while remote cities might simply be unused to seeing tourists, particularly tourists from abroad.

But risk the language difficulties, brave the vast distances that await you between destinations, and take on the dangers and annoyances of being a foreigner in what can be a very enclosed culture, and you’ll find that Russia is not only an exciting place to travel to but an immensely rewarding one too.

To inspire your journey, here’s everything you need to know about staying safe while travelling in Russia.

moscow at night

Health Concerns in Russia 

There are a number of health concerns that tourists will need to take into consideration before travelling to Russia and whilst they are travelling through Russia.

Anyone planning on travelling to Russia needs to be up to date when it comes to their travel vaccinations. Before visiting, you will want to look on the excellent Fit For Travel website, which is run by the NHS and keeps up-to-date information on both vaccinations and health concerns within the country.

You will also want to book an appointment with your GP or with a travel nurse, as they will be able to advise you on your vaccination history and on any boosters or extra immunisations that you may require.

At a minimum, anyone travelling to Russia will need basic vaccinations such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Polio, Diphtheria, and Tetanus. You may also want to consider the Rabies injection, especially if you’re travelling to remote regions.

Unfortunately, the quality of healthcare in Russia lags far behind that of the rest of Europe, and local hospitals and medical services are not up to the same standards as the West.

While you will find a few excellent private facilities in big cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, on a more regional level it can be hard to find quality medical services in an emergency. For travel in Russia, you need to be covered by specialist insurance that can evacuate you to the best facilities in the country, particularly in a severe emergency.

Healthcare for foreigners isn’t free in Russia, so you will always need adequate travel insurance, as there are few reciprocal healthcare agreements.

In remote areas like Siberia, you may want to consider taking medical equipment such as syringes with you, because these can be difficult to come by in isolated areas. With a high rate of HIV in the population, you do not want even the smallest chance that needles are being reused.

Food and Water

Russia isn’t exactly renowned as a foodie destination, and the country is perhaps best known for its Soviet-style canteens that could have been in use, unchanged, for decades.

While this is very much a generalisation and there is, in fact, a huge range of cuisines to be found across Russia, it can be said that in general food hygiene standards are below Western levels.

For starters, it’s advised that foreigners don’t drink tap water. Most of the locals won’t drink the tap water either, unless they can’t afford not to. The tap water is not up to standard in most locations, with the exception of cities such as St Petersburg and Moscow, and it can lead to illness and stomach problems. At the very least you’ll want to filter the water, while in more remote areas you will want to stick to bottled mineral water where possible.

You’ll also want to be careful where you eat. While most upmarket restaurants will have high food standards, this won’t be universal. If it seems unclean or risky, then it’s not worth eating if you’re only in Russia for a short time. You don’t want to spend your holiday fighting food poisoning.

But Russian food can be excellent, and it’s not all Soviet-style soups and gulag goulash. In fact, it’s very diverse and each region has its own unique dishes.

You’ll find many delicious types of dumplings, stuffed with meat or vegetables, across the country, while staples such as potato salads, chicken salads, and pork or chicken cutlets are always a safe bet.

You can also indulge in a variety of ex-soviet cuisines from surrounding nations, including delicious food from Georgia and the Caucasus, or excellent rice dishes such as Plov, from Central Asia.

Of course, no trip to Russia is complete without sampling the local vodka. But be careful and only drink from reputable sources, because illicit, home-brewed spirits passed off as vodka are all too common and far too dangerous to drink.

russian-bosch

Crime

Russia has an unfortunate reputation when it comes to crime, and particularly when it comes to crime against foreigners. Unfortunately, this reputation isn’t exactly unwarranted, so when travelling through Russia you will need to keep your wits about you.

Petty theft and opportunistic crime can be a real threat, and you need to keep your valuables safe in your hotel room and on public transport such as trains.

In certain areas in cities, you will also want to be wary, especially at night, when you could become the victim of muggings. Research the neighbourhoods in advance, and make sure your valuables are well insured.

Scams can also be a big problem, especially in touristy cities such as Moscow, and you’ll be wise to avoid taking taxis, but rather to use ridesharing apps or public transport such as the metro where possible.

Try to avoid any trouble with the police or government officials, because it’s unlikely that they will be on your side. All too often you might find yourself having to hand over substantial bribes in order to get assistance, or if you happen to have committed some sort of minor infraction.

While violent crime is rare, it’s still an issue, particularly if you don’t look Russian or speak Russian. Racism and xenophobia are rife across Russia, and unfortunately, this can be a big problem for tourists.

While most visits will be trouble-free, persons of colour might find it harder to travel around Russia and may even be confronted by right-wing groups. Avoid the streets during demonstrations and avoid nationalistic holidays or days of importance to these ultra groups, who are tolerated far too liberally across the country.

the-kremlin

Terrorism Risks

Russia has often been hit by terrorist attacks in the past, and most governments advise that tourists should be wary of future attacks, as they are all too possible in the current political climate.

Russia is a vast nation, and certain border areas are off-limits or have an increased risk attached to them. These include the border regions with Ukraine, including Crimea and other disputed areas where there have been conflicts in recent years.

The Caucasus regions, such as Dagestan or Chechnya, are also dangerous for foreigners to visit, as there is a huge risk of terrorism here due to ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts in these regions.

But terror attacks aren’t necessarily isolated to these disputed regions and, historically, disgruntled groups have attacked busy urban areas, including Moscow. While the chance of being caught up in one of these attacks is no greater than anywhere else in the world, you do need to be aware of the threat and keep abreast and informed of ongoing political events that might make such incidents more likely to occur.

honor-guard

Family Travel Safety (Russia with Kids)

Russia is not one of the most popular family travel destinations and, for many, it’s often seen as a country that’s best left to experienced travellers.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. In fact, Russia can be an eye-opening experience for families. It will be a challenge though, and you’ll need to be prepared to speak the local language to get by and to keep an eye on the kids.

But in the cities, you’ll find that the kids are perfectly safe, just as in any other European city. There are plenty of family-friendly attractions to visit, from zoos to amusement parks, and Russians will be welcoming to families in shops and restaurants.

There are lots of parks to enjoy with the children and plenty of iconic sights that they will remember for years. In winter though, make sure that the family wraps up warm, and be careful of the cold chill if you’re travelling with really small kids. In summer, the heat can be oppressive, so be careful too. You’re best travelling in spring or autumn if you have the children in tow.

Family Travel Safety (Russia for Women)

Russia is becoming more and more popular a destination for solo female travellers, because women are starting to realise that it can be a safe country to visit.

Russian society is, in many ways, very inclusive when it comes to gender equality, in large parts thanks to the equality policies of the Soviets. But that doesn’t mean that old prejudices and traditions don’t still arise.

Women need to be particularly careful walking around at night, as Russians can be notoriously drunk in the late evenings, whether you are in a remote village or the capital city.

Women also need to be wary in bars or clubs and be careful of drinks and unwanted advances. The same goes for trains, especially long-distance journeys.

But common sense and common travel acumen aside, women will find that travelling in Russia can be both an exciting and enlightening experience.

For foreigners, regardless of your gender, Russia is a destination that will always be a challenge, but that’s just part of the intrigue and part of the fun. Be prepared with a bit of forward planning, a few Russian phrases and the right insurance and you should have a safe trip as a female traveller in Russia.

girl-Russian costume

Tips for Staying Safe in Russia

Buy the Right Insurance

When travelling to Russia, it’s incredibly important that you purchase the right insurance before you leave your home country.

Russia can be an unpredictable place to travel. While the chance that you will become the victim of crime or suffer an accident is low, you want to be prepared for the worst.

Make sure that your insurance covers you for evacuation, particularly for healthcare, and make sure that you are covered in remote regions.

Be careful where you travel to as well, because some areas, such as the border with Ukraine or Chechnya, are considered to be no-go zones by many governments. Your insurance may then become invalidated if you travel to these areas of high risk without checking with your provider first whether you are actually covered.

Learn the Language

Russian is a notoriously difficult language to learn if you are unfamiliar with it, especially as the language uses the Cyrillic script rather than the Roman alphabet.

Even in big cities, few people speak basic English, so learning the language is a must when visiting Russia. At the very least, learn the Cyrillic alphabet, so you can decipher place names when you are on the road, and make sense of train and bus tickets.

It also helps to learn a few common phrases such as please and thank you, while having a phrase book or a translation app will help immensely too.

Know the Laws

The Russian law might not always be on the side of the tourist and, unfortunately, corruption is endemic across the corruption.

That means that you will want to be aware of the local laws before travelling and, in particular, minor laws such as whether you can cross roads on foot or drive on your home license.

This is to avoid being held at the mercy of unscrupulous police officers who might try and take advantage of you for seemingly innocuous infractions.

If you are travelling to Russia in the near future, please see our Russia page for more details on the type of cover we offer. Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Please call us on 0161 973 6435 or email sales@navigatortravelinsurance.co.uk.