Tips for avoiding unforeseen events on trips to the middle east

Being prepared is worth its weight in gold. The same can be applied to any traveler, especially when traveling to the Middle East, where cultural differences can lead to unexpected situations. In this post, Mandala Tours offers you some tips to avoid unforeseen events before and during your trip.

Travel with an insurance that covers flight cancellation

In these first two sections of the post, we reference travel insurance, but we distinguish between flight insurance and health insurance because both are crucial aspects. The first is about the possibility of having to cancel the flight. This risk is inherent to any journey, not just those to the Middle East. However, these flights are generally long and not always cheap. Therefore, it’s advisable to have insurance that reimburses you in case of personal reasons for cancellation. Sometimes, the airline itself offers this insurance, but you can also purchase it separately through your trusted insurer, even though this might mean additional paperwork.

Travel with comprehensive medical insurance

Another significant use of travel insurance relates to medical issues. In many of the countries we operate in, this is particularly relevant. Not all destinations have quality public hospitals and healthcare centers, and agreements between countries regarding healthcare reciprocity can lead to complications or misunderstandings. When traveling, it’s often more convenient to opt for private healthcare if needed. Private healthcare in these countries typically meets expected quality standards but can be quite expensive. Thus, it’s highly recommended to have a policy with extensive coverage.

Check the medical entry requirements

None of the North African and Middle Eastern countries we work in have specific health advisories. And the recent restrictions due to Covid-19 have long been lifted. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to review the health recommendations provided by health authorities, such as advised vaccinations for at-risk groups, especially if visiting areas where there might be contact with wildlife.

Pack a comprehensive first-aid kit

Several reasons make it advisable to bring a well-stocked first-aid kit when traveling to the Middle East, including the sun and heat, sudden changes in diet, or arriving in rural areas with few pharmacies. Some essential items for this kit are antibiotics, antidiarrheals, water purification tablets, gauze and wound disinfectants, or medication for insect bites. Sun protection or skin repair products are also vital.

Trust a travel agency

Lastly, as a general tip, we recommend relying on a trusted local travel agency to plan your trip, like the Mandala Tours branches. It’s essential to remember that safety is always a crucial factor when visiting these countries. Hence, the best advice is to entrust your trip to people familiar with the country, who speak the local language, and can make necessary decisions in case of unexpected events. In short, this is much better than traveling independently to these regions, where language can be a barrier, and solo travelers might raise suspicions among locals and authorities, especially in remote areas.

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