Leave Copies of Personal Info
Make photocopies of your personal documents and keep a file at home so that your family and friends have a record. Copies should include the following documents: air ticket, travel itinerary, identity cards, passport, blood type and Rh factor, eyeglass prescription, insurance policies, ATM and credit cards.
Register for Consular and Travel Assistance
You are advised to contact the consulate or embassy and inquire about any citizen registration services. Some consulates or embassies maintain a presence through email lists or social media to disseminate information on matters that concern their citizens. Such matters may include consular assistance in case of evacuation in situations such as natural disasters. It is important for you to register yourself on their communication channels.
Hong Kong residents should register their contact details and itinerary with the Hong Kong Immigration Department before you travel outside Hong Kong. The information you provide will allow the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Hong Kong Immigration Department to contact and assist you in case of an emergency. You will also be able to receive SMS updates on travel alerts and other relevant information. For more information, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
From time to time, the Hong Kong Government will announce travel alerts on its Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) System to help Hong Kong residents better understand the risks or threat to their personal safety when travelling. When there are signs of threat in a place that may affect the personal safety of Hong Kong residents, the Security Bureau will assess and consider the need to issue an OTA, taking into account factors such as the nature, level and duration of the threat.
Outbound Travel Alert System (OTA)http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/
Everyday Safety Tips
- Avoid walking in unfamiliar areas of a city alone or at night
- Never accept rides from strangers
- Stay in touch with the staff of your program or institution
- Be aware of the people and circumstances around you and follow your instincts
- Have sufficient funds to purchase a ticket home
- Never leave your personal belongings unattended and do not transport items for someone else
- Avoid all protests and demonstrations
- Keep copies of your credit cards, passport and other important documents to expedite cancellation and replacement in the event they are lost or stolen
- Do not drive as regulations and driving culture vary significantly between countries
Road accidents are among the greatest risks for healthy travelers. Roads are used by the various users (pedestrians, drivers) differently from country to country.
Below are some tips for ensuring road safety:
- Select the safest form of transportation
- Avoid late night road travel
- Pay attention to seasonal hazards that affect road conditions (such as the rainy season on mountainous roads)
Suggestions for pedestrians:
- Note the traffic pattern (from which direction are cars coming from)
- The attitude towards joggers and bikers on public roads may differ in other countries
- Know the road culture in your destination
- In all cases, always wear reflective clothing
- Do not walk in areas where you cannot be easily seen
- Never hitch hike
Suggestions for passengers:
- Do not get in a vehicle if you think the driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if the driver seems over-tired
- Ride in the back seat of a taxi
- Always wear seat belts if possible
Laws vary between countries. Behavior which is considered legal in Hong Kong may be illegal elsewhere. You will not be excused, even if you are unaware of these laws, and problems may result if you fail to observe them. You are responsible for ensuring that you are aware of local laws and observe them accordingly. Do not assume that you will be treated more leniently because you are a foreigner. In some places, punishments for foreigners are harsher than those for the locals.
The minimum age for drinking alcohol varies from country to country. The customs regarding alcohol may also be different in other countries. Countries with religious prohibitions may not tolerate social drinking. Just because you are not of that religion does not mean that you are exempt from the prohibition. Most other countries accept social drinking, but public drunkenness and intoxication are generally not acceptable anywhere, culturally and/or legally. You should be aware of the laws regarding alcohol consumption in the destination country and abide by it.
Students are encouraged to use good judgment if consuming alcohol. If you plan to drink, do so in moderation. Never endanger yourself, others and your property from drinking alcohol.
Unwanted Attention, Harassment & Assault
Cultural norms related to gender and sexuality vary widely from place to place, which may cause misunderstandings and confusion. Behaviors considered acceptable in one culture might be very inappropriate in another.
Educate yourself about gender norms in the host country and be mindful of the ways different behaviors are interpreted in different cultural contexts. Make informed decisions about where you go, whom you interact with and what you choose to do. Take guidance from the locals on appropriate behavior.