There’s nothing like saving up for a few years to go on a once in a lifetime trip to then have your government foreign affairs department issue some alarming Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings to the very destination you are about to board the plane to.
Sometimes there is an impending natural disaster or civil unrest which makes you think twice about turning up, and sometimes it’s best to stay away for a little while.
But really, I’ve found that the vast majority of travel alerts and warning are of a general nature, and basically don’t mean much. Things like ‘watch out for muggers and scammers’. Fair enough, there are those issues to deal with in some destinations (and maybe even in your home town!), but the reality is that we’re dealing with a very small proportion of actual travel experiences.
I’m not saying don’t take any notice of them, but knowing how the media works, they love blowing up stories all out of proportion and what you see on the news is often a mis-representation of the actual reality.
For example, I went to Argentina a few months after their economic meltdown in 2002, and had a great time there. There were warnings about riots and other disturbance, but I’d be angry if the government had siphoned off my savings to try and fill up their coffers too! Yes, I saw protests in the street, but I stayed away. The locals were friendly and they showed me the best of what Argentina had to offer.
So to pay tribute to these travel advice bulletins, I’ve put a list together of 50 travel alerts and warnings that I would love to see on any official government travel advice website.
It would make my day! Here we go!
The Travel Tart’s silly list of Travel Alerts and Warnings we’d love to see!
- People considering travelling to Bali are advised to avoid Bogans
- Travellers to the United States are advised that larger food portions may lead to increased dieting costs when returning home
- Exercise a high degree of caution when trying to figure out how many Vietnamese Dong your currency converts to
- Do not travel to Thailand if beer causes you to find lady boys attractive
- Normal safety precautions such as buying a machine gun to protect yourself should be considered
- Reconsider your need to travel to [insert country here] because the government won’t foot the bill if you come back home in Coffin Class
- Pay close attention to your security when trying to haggle over that kitsch touristy item for the sake of a 2 cent discount
- Health services in local hospitals are probably way more cheaper, but most likely way more dodgey than those at home
- Beer in this country is much cheaper to that found at home and may cause you to change your name by deed poll to ‘Sir Osis of Liver’
- Danger, this country broadcasts an unreasonable number of Keeping Up With The Kardashians repeats
- Register your details at our website so we can contact you in the event of nothing really happening
- You should keep away from all demonstrations supporting Justin Bieber
- We do not have an embassy or consulate in that country, so if something bad happens, you’re screwed!
- There is a high threat of experiencing the travel blues if you come back home from this destination
- Kidnapping is common in remote regions – the government doesn’t have any money for ransom to bail you out so don’t bother going there
- Immunisations for loads of diseases are required so that you don’t spend your entire holiday on a toilet
- Landmines are a risk in remote areas. Proceed only if you feel like losing a limb
- If you want to travel to [insert dangerous country here] to try and beat Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, go right ahead. The world doesn’t need you in the gene pool!
- Riots are common, make sure you bring your own riot gear
- Drugs are freely available on the street. So are the filthy jail cells if you get caught snorting something white up your nose.
- Involuntary organ donations can occur as the result of drunken nights in dodgy nightclubs.
- Hurricanes in this region are a good opportunity to tap your shoes together and say ‘there’s no place like home’
- Armed rebels are friendly and will only take you hostage for a few days before releasing you
- Failure to produce adequate documentation may result in a free cavity search
- Tear gas and cannons are often discharged as part of weekend recreational activities
- Dodging small scale bombs can be described as a form of adventure travel in this city
- You should seek professional legal advice when entering into a contract with anyone, including buying milk from the local store.
- The World Health Organisation suggests that you would be completely crazy to drink the water here
- Catching malaria is a good excuse to see if your cheap arse travel insurance is worth the paper it’s written on
- Missiles pointed at this country could be fired off at any time, so please find a bomb shelter as your accommodation type
- Earthquakes may cause your hips to shake like Elvis Presley
- Women are advised to tell horny men to ‘get their hand off it’
- Borders are closed until you pay the officials an exorbitant amount of money to get through
- The murder rate in this city will make that violent video game you play seem like a walk in the park
- We advise not to hike in isolated areas unless you feel like becoming a serial killer victim
- Hitch hiking is recommended to avoid to almost suicidal public transport system
- A national state of emergency has been declared. Feel free to test if our diplomatic relations work.
- Curfews occur from 8pm every night so that tourists don’t annoy the locals.
- School leavers are prominent at this time of the year. Avoid destination at all costs!
- Assaults are common in the early hours of the morning due to the presence of too much alcohol and testosterone occurring at the same time
- Marriage proposals from strangers are commonly said to women here. See what happens if you say yes.
- Do not travel on public transport – this country wants to increase it’s carbon footprint
- Flooding is a great way to see if your portable flotation device works
- Mudslides can occur if you spend too much time in kitsch tourist bars
- Pickpocketing will most likely occur whenever you leave the hotel, airport or any tourist attraction
- Theft of personal belongings will most likely occur if you don’t bring your own, small personal version of Fort Knox
- Mortar and rocket fire might give you the best blow job ever if you visit this region.
- Volcanoes can erupt at any time. Ask the locals first if they undertake any human sacrifices at this time of year
- We recommend your purchase travel insurance so that you don’t have to mortgage the house to pay your medical bill, and finally…
- Warning, Danger Will Robinson! Don’t go there!
There you go! Leave a comment with the travel alerts you would love to see on the travel advisory sites! I’d love to hear them!