Things have changed dramatically since the release of my 2017 Nicaragua episode (which I have pulled due to the current civil strife and do NOT recommend visiting until things settle down down there!). In today's episode, learn about what's going on in Nicaragua right now and get tips on how to check the current status of any country you are considering visiting. In today's episode, we speak with Mary Charleson of www.CarryonQueen.com who recently visited Nicaragua for an update.
PLUS! Get tons of Travel Safety Tips and learn how to easily check out safety issues for any country you are considering traveling to.
TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS: TRAVEL SAFE AND TRAVEL SMART
You want to travel safe AND travel smart! Here's how:
1. Before choosing an international destination, it's a good idea to check the US State Dept Travel section to see what, if any, travel advisories there are about your potential destination. To get a good general idea of the state of the world, check out this Safety Color Coded World Map. The color of the country indicates the travel advisory in effect and also stars where the US has embassies.
2. Sign up for Country Specific Alerts. They will only email you whenever there is a change in alert status. I have at least a dozen countries set up. There is no cost for this program, so sign up for all countries you think you may want to visit.
3. Once you choose a destination and have planned your trip, US citizens can enroll in the SMART TRAVELER program. In the unlikely event of a natural disaster (remember the tsunami in Thailand?), and uprising in civil unrest (think Nicaragua), heightened criminal activity (poor Mexico), or terrorism (crazy man in Nice), the State Dept knows where you are and may be in a position to assist you. If you are a citizen of another country, check to see if your State Dept offers a similar program. Again, this program is free.
However, should you need to be evacuated, the law says that the government must try to collect the cost, so it is still smart to buy TRAVEL INSURANCE that offers evacuation coverage. A small price to pay. Most policies also include delay coverage, lost bag coverage, and trip cancellation due to serious illness or death of a family member.
4. Bookmark this Emergency Link. In case the worst happens, you'll know who to contact. Also put the Embassy contact information in your phone. This link provides you with what you need to do in the unfortunate event you have to deal with:
* Lost or stolen passport
* You become the victim of a crime
* If a loved one goes missing
* If you get arrested
* A pandemic breaks out
* Maritime piracy
* Other horrible events
5. Students, women and LGBTI may have special concerns, so check to see if a country targets these groups. It's a good idea to check this link anyway as if has special considerations for other groups like cruise ship folks, faith-based groups and more.
6. Make copies of your passport: keep one in your suitcase, give one to a trusted friend or family member and email a copy to yourself in case your bag gets stolen.
In this episode, we talk with Mary Charleson about her visit to Nicaragua. My own visit to Nicaragua is one of the first destinations Active Travel Adventures covered. I loved the country and the people and encouraged folks to go visit before it changed due to tourism. However, a little more than a year after that broadcast, things began to unravel. The US State Dpet issued its first warning in April of 2018, right when Mary was planning to go. After checking into the situation, she and her friends decided to continue with their plans. At the time, the civil unrest was centered in Managua, which even in my post and episode recommended that you avoid and have a driver pick you up at the airport for safety reasons.
In June, the US State Dept raised the warning from a two to a level three and the situation deteriorates further, the civil unrest has spread throughout the country, there is a major increase in crime due to lack of police resources to handle the day to day events, and with the violence, the hospitals are overwhelmed, so access to care has plummeted. It is all so very sad, especially since they were on the verge of emerging as a ‘go-to' travel destination.
I love to travel to developing countries, and if you do, too, you need to do a bit more homework before committing. Use these resource links above so that you can travel safe and travel smart!
Download your FREE 21 point printable Travel Safety Checklist which includes many more special precautions and actions you can take to mitigate any danger when you travel. These important travel tips can safe you aggravation, money and possibly your life.
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What to do BEFORE you travel (or even make plans!) and how to mitigate risk once you are there. Includes many tips you may not have considered!
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Mary Charleson is a freelance travel writer and blogger based in North Vancouver, Canada. A marketing speaker, author and consultant by trade, but an adventure traveler and writer by passion, she pursues her love of story and travel tips in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, the Vancouver Sun and the Province, in addition to her travel blog CarryOnQueen.com
Mary is the author of two books, Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile and Five-Minute Marketing, each featuring tips for the time-starved business leader. She is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the Global Speakers Federation and is one of fewer than 12% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP,
She has published numerous lifestyle pieces in national publications including Zoomer Magazine, Cottage Life, Outside Magazine and Pacific Yachting.
Mary is the author of two books, Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile and Five-Minute Marketing, each featuring tips for the time-starved business leader. She is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the Global Speakers Federation and is one of fewer than 12% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the international measure of excellence for professional competence and proven experience. A contributor to Business in Vancouver since 2002 and a monthly marketing columnist for the Huffington Post, her work has also been published in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, Marketing Magazine and Strategy. Mary has been a repeat guest on CBC TV news and CBC radio The 180 with Jim Brown, offering her opinions on marketing, social media and business trends.
Check out a couple of her recent travel pieces here:
- The Province, January 13, 2018: Prepping for Peru http://theprovince.com/travel/local-travel/prepping-for-peru
- Vancouver Sun, January 22, 2018: The road less traveled to Machu Pichu https://vancouversun.com/travel/local-travel/the-road-less-traveled-to-machu-picchu/wcm/6e471c2e-0fe6-4d29-bb0c-0bccd316a86d
- Huffington Post, Oct 25, 2017: What I Learned While Trekking At 15,170 Feet In Peru https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mary-charleson/what-i-learned-offline-while-trekking-at-15-170-feet-in-peru_a_23252729/
- Vancouver Sun, March 16, 2017: Traveling with your teen: Memories to last a lifetime https://vancouversun.com/travel/travelling-with-your-teen-memories-to-last-a-lifetime
- Globe & Mail, July 28, 2016: Tell Your Kids to Write Letters Home From Their Travels https://vancouversun.com/travel/travelling-with-your-teen-memories-to-last-a-lifetime
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