Travel Aware

Before you pack your bags and set sail on your epic Sunsail adventure, we’d like to ensure you and all your crew enjoy a safe and healthy charter experience. In addition to following our charter safety tips, we strongly recommend your skipper and crew member attend a full safety briefing before you undock at the base.

As a first step in planning any trip abroad, please review the following travel advice and information:

Before you depart

  • Take out appropriate travel insurance before traveling and make sure it covers you for all the activities you want to do.

  • Learn about the laws, customs and entry requirements of the country you’re visiting and understand how they differ from home.

  • Check your passport is valid, fill out the emergency details, look after it while traveling and keep it in a safe place. Make sure you have all necessary visas.

  • Make copies of important travel documents, take a picture or make copies and store them securely using a secure data storage site.

  • Research vaccinations or any other medical requirements for your destination, and if necessary visit a travel health clinic before you travel. 

  • Tell your friends or family about your travel plans and where you’re going and leave emergency contact details.

  • Take enough money with you and have access to emergency funds.

  • Ensure you take the contact details of the local Consulate in case of emergencies.

  • Understand what consular staff can and can't do to help you.

  • Act responsibly, and be responsible for yourself when abroad.

  • Take your time to familiarize yourself with our yacht charter’s safety features and equipment, reporting any hazards to a member of staff.

  • Contact details are provided to get you directly in touch with the base and local services should you need them.

Your government’s Foreign Office has up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. The advice can change so check regularly for updates.

Swim safe 

Swimming is a fun and important part of a vacation – and a great way to enjoy some exercise, but remember that local rules, flag systems, beach currents and where swimming may be permitted are different and vary from country to country.

There are lots of things to consider before swimming on vacation, from whether your swimming technique is up to scratch to beach safety. Here are some tops tips for safe swimming which is applicable throughout the year, wherever you choose to travel on your vacation.

Make the most of your time in the water

  • For your safety and for environmental reasons, the feeding of fish is not recommended and may be prohibited in some destinations. 
  • Brush up on your swimming skills before you go away. If you’ve got kids then get in the water with them – it’s easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun – remember children should always be supervised in or near water.
  • Be aware of your surroundings

  • Check warning flags and signage on the beach.

  • Beware of dangerous beach currents: these can be very powerful. Ask locally if there are any known dangerous currents or dangers caused by the tides and avoid swimming in these areas. Learn how to spot a riptide.

  • Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.

  • Only dive where it is permitted to do so, and don’t dive or jump from rocks, piers, breakwaters, poolside furniture or decorative pool features.

  • Always follow pool rules, pool safety signs and local signs. 

  • Check the pool layout to know where the deep and shallow ends are, especially before jumping or diving in.

Snorkel Safety

  • Be confident in the water - You need to be a strong swimmer to enjoy snorkelling. Lifejackets are available on board – wear one to snorkel if you are not entirely confident of your swimming ability. Each boat carries one highly visible swim buoy/Diver down flag. It makes you noticeable for your snorkel buddy and other people in the ocean. Boats passing nearby will spot you easily as well as you can rest on this flotation buoy if feeling tired.
  • Spend time on selecting the right mask, snorkel and snorkelling fins for you and learn to use them properly.
  • Find a snorkel buddy, NEVER snorkel alone - Unexpected emergency situations could happen to everyone, so it is better if you could help each other. Useful snorkelling  safety tip is to take your phone with you in a waterproof phone bag so you can call help in case of emergency.
  • Stay close to the boat - If there is an assigned snorkel area stay inside and you can spend safe snorkelling hours in the water. Staying within the buoy line means that the area is not only safe to swim but also boat free. If there is no sign where to snorkel, ask the locals about the conditions, currents and things to see. Before you go snorkelling, check the entry and possible exit points, make a plan where can you come out of the water if you feel tired or not well or do not have energy to swim back to the point where you entered.
  • Check the weather/marine weather forecast - Always check the weather forecast. Conditions on the sea could change in seconds, wind, waves and currents can be extremely strong in short time. Take beach warning flags seriously and follow lifeguards’ instructions. For safe snorkelling, learn how to recognize rip currents and how to escape if getting caught in.
  • Protect your skin - Sunburn could be not only be painful but also dangerous. A high elasticity swimming shirt or suit provides 50+ UV protection as well as good against jellyfish. There are different type of rash guards from different manufacturers (short and long sleeve shirts, trousers and full suits or there are specific stinger suits).
  • Be fit and healthy - If you are not 100% fit do not snorkel. If there is strong current or you swim too far from your entry point, you will need a lot of energy to return.
  • Stay hydrated but no alcohol - Swimming under the impact of alcohol can lead to dangerous situations (even if the alcohol was consumed the night before). Being hydrated is important, especially while you are out on charter. Drink lots of water and/or no sugar added juices.
  • After eating take a rest - Do not go snorkelling when your stomach is full. Eat light but nutritive food like fruits, vegetables, salads with chicken, wholemeal pasta which will give you energy for swimming, and give your food time to digest.
  • Never touch the corals/marine life - Do not touch corals or chase sea creatures. Skin contact with poisonous species can cause severe allergic reactions. Keep safe distance from marine life. If you need to stand in the water, search for a sandy place or a big stone, never stand on corals.

Fingers and toe injuries

Fractures, sprains, strains, bruising, injured fingers or toes and dislocations are all common injuries whilst sailing. To avoid these injuries ensure you are aware of where you are placing your hands and feet whilst on-board. Wear sturdy shoes, boat shoes or trainers/sneakers (sandals, flip-flops, loose footwear or bare feet are not advised).

Follow safety advice

  • Speak to our staff, hoteliers or local people about local beaches, beach currents or pools.

  • Read the pool safety rules before you swim and remember, not all vacation accommodations employ lifeguards.

  • Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.

Look out for others

  • Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party.

  • Children should be supervised by an adult at all times and never left unattended, even if a lifeguard is present.

  • Armbands can be a good training swimming aid for children but are not a substitute for supervision.

  • Never swim at night, after drinking alcohol.

  • Know how and where to get help, if you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm preferably the emergency services – ensure you know the correct number for the country you’re in.

Don’t overestimate your ability

  • Consider lessons before you go if you think you might need them to learn proper swimming technique.

  • Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different.

Quad bike and moped safety

We would advise customers against hiring mopeds whilst overseas, and to only ride quad bikes as part of an organized excursion. While these vehicles may be fun to drive, they can also leave riders very vulnerable on the road. There will always be safer alternatives to hiring mopeds or Quad bikes, including hiring a car, taking a taxi or using public transport.

It’s also important that vacationers are aware of the limitations and exclusions of standard travel insurance policies – many of which will not cover accidents from quad bikes and mopeds, leaving seriously injured vacationers facing unaffordable medical bills.

Hotel balcony safety

Top tips for balcony safety

  • Never lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall or railings
  • Don’t try to pass items to someone on another balcony
  • Don’t climb from one balcony to another
  • Never stand on balcony furniture
  • Never jump into the pool from your balcony
  • Take extra care on balconies after drinking alcohol as your judgement may be affected.

The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs office provides up-to-date travel advisories for guests who travel abroad. 
For the latest travel advice including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check travel.state.gov/stayingconnected and follow @TravelGov and facebook.com/travelgov.

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