Plan your trip abroad carefully. Prudent planning is especially important when travelling overseas or in the Middle East, Asia or Africa. The earlier you get started, the better. Any necessary vaccinations must be had a certain length of time before travelling, and it may also be time-consuming to get the required entry documents.
How you prepare for travelling abroad depends very much on the destination or destinations on your travel itinerary. Find out what documents you need to enter the countries you are visiting. Depending on your nationality or the country you are entering, you require a valid passport and possibly a visa including confirmation of insurance. Don't forget also to take your blood group card with you, if you have one. Make a note of your passport, credit card and ticket numbers and keep copies of these documents at home.
Your bank or travel agent can advise you on how much cash you should take with you and what the best methods of payment are when you are travelling. Remember that phone calls and surfing the internet from abroad can get very expensive. Ask your mobile phone provider about the cheapest solution and only use your phone if you really need to.
Ask your travel agent about the current safety situation in your country of destination. You can also find information on the website of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA).
Vaccination and medication
Vaccinations may be an issue when preparing to travel to some destinations. Don't forget to pack any medication you may require and a well-equipped travel first-aid kit as outdated or fake medications are in circulation in some countries. But be careful: special provisions apply in some countries for importing medications containing narcotics such as methadone, antidepressants, etc.
If you are pregnant, suffer from allergies or a chronic illness, we recommend you consult your doctor before you travel. He or she will inform you about any risks and preventive measures.
Take your insurance card with you when you travel and always have it on you. The uniformly designed back of the card is valid as a European health insurance card and is recognised by all EU and EFTA states.
Please pay any unpaid premiums before you travel. You can then be sure that you can rely on your insurance protection if the worst comes to the worst without any administrative bother.
For a liberating holiday feeling: lavender
Mentally ill people tell their stories
Mental disorders are some of the most common illnesses in Switzerland. According to the Swiss Health Observatory, some 17 percent of the population suffers from one or more mental disorders. Four sufferers talk about their illness, how they cope with it and what is helping them to recover. They hope that their stories will encourage others.
The right insurance while abroad
Security for extended stays abroad