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Home. Why Stray? » Responsible Tourism » Health and Safety

Health and Safety

One of the many benefits of travelling with Stray is that you can feel safe while exploring new places. With over 15 years’ experience operating adventure travel networks, our products are carefully designed and managed to ensure you have maximum fun with minimal stress.  

We invest in training the right people, selecting the right partners and continually refining our processes to keep you happy and safe.

Health Issues

Stomach problems and diarrhea are common for travellers. To help avoid this only drink treated water and be careful with some of the food from street vendors (ideally you want to watch it being cooked, the hotter and fresher the better, and avoid chicken). It is normal to be upset for up to 3 days but let your Tour Leader know and we can help to get something from a pharmacy.

Sunburn -  It's important to wear sunblock. Always take care as most people do not realise how quickly they will get burnt. 

Malaria and other mosquito born diseases are prevalent across SE Asia – Follow your doctor's directions on which medication to take. Also use DEET-based repellent and cover up at dawn and dusk with long sleeves and pants.

Use hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes regularly, particularly before you eat. Germs, parasites and bacteria can live on hard surfaces for several weeks. When you touch your face (mouth, eyes, ears and nose in particular) with unclean hands you can transfer germs that will make you sick. Parasites include worms and intestinal parasites.  A person can get a parasite infestation due to a number of reasons, including exposure to areas having parasites, travelling to places that have parasite infestations, intake of contaminated water or food, poor sanitation, poor hygiene and a weak immune system.  Our group is best protected when everyone is being careful about keeping clean.  

Tour Leaders travel with an up-to-date, fully stocked first aid kit. 


Safety Issues

The places we are going are generally beautiful and safe places for tourists, but as in any country where you are a tourist, there are always a minority of people who are interested in taking advantage of you.  Following these simple suggestions will help to keep you safe:

  • Try to be cautious and alert at all times by observing who is around you
  • Keep your belongings in front of you and wear your day pack to the front in crowded areas
  • Be discrete with cameras and money
  • Stick to well known areas, especially at night
  • Don’t withdraw money from ATMs at night
  • Don’t leave valuables in your hotel room
  • Use the hotel safe and to only take what you need with you for the day. 

Travel Insurance is compulsory for all Stray Asia travellers to ensure you are protected from unforeseen incidences.  All policy and Next of Kin details must be supplied to us prior to departure so we have a point of contact in case of an emergency.  


Accommodation & Activity Operators 

All of our accommodation and activities operators are checked and reviewed annually to ensure that they operate are at a standard that we are happy with.

Passengers travelling on a hop-on, hop-off pass do not have accommodation included and are free to choose where they would like to stay, but to ensure that our passengers always have a bed for the night we have contracts with an accommodation operator at every overnight destination we visit. These accommodation operators have been quality checked to ensure they are of a good standard and a good price (7-12 USD per person). Some also include a free breakfast! 


Transport Safety

Stray uses mostly private mid-sized coaches and also sometimes minivans. In most of Asia seat belts are not a legal requirement. We have been working with our transport suppliers to fit seat belts in all the buses we use; however, this is still a work in progress. With no legal requirement and more importantly no enforcement, it is very difficult to get suppliers to spend the money to equip buses with seat belts. We do request buses with seat belts and do receive them when it is possible. If you have a bus with seat belts, please wear them! We will continue to campaign for all transport to be fitted with seat belts. 

All buses are fitted with a fire extinguisher and emergency exits clearly marked. 


Food 

Every night your Tour Leader will select a restaurant in which to eat; however if you have any suggestions we are happy to listen.

You are not obliged to eat with the group so you can always ask for alternative suggestions or head out and choose your own.

On some of our lunch stops while travelling in more remote areas, there may be limited restaurant choices and sometimes the food is more expensive. In these locations, we choose restaurants that we have quality checked to ensure that food that is stored and prepared in a hygienic way and can accommodate our group and serve us in an acceptable time frame.

Trying local dishes is part of travelling in a new country and learning about its culture - if you're not sure what to order, ask your Tour Leader for suggestions! Always be clear about what you are ordering and check your bill carefully.


NIGHT BUSES

In some countries, particularly in Vietnam, you will see night buses. They look pretty cool with flashing lights and reclining seats and some passengers ask why we don't use them.

We don't use the night buses in Vietnam for the following reasons: 

  1. Overnight buses are a safety risk. 
  2. There are a lot more big heavy transport vehicles on the road travelling at high speeds at night. 
  3. Overnight bus schedules mean that you arrive at a new destination very in the early morning when you can't check in to hotels and there are no restaurants and shops open so you end up waiting around with nothing to do. 
  4. Overnight buses look good from the outside, but they are actually pretty small, cramped and uncomfortable.
  5. The operators we hire our private buses from won’t allow travel at night for safety reasons. 
  6. If we were to use public buses for some sectors we couldn't guarantee driver and bus standards would adhere to our health and safety standards and we couldn't offer flexibility on these sections as tickets are non-refundable. 

If you have any health and safety concerns while you are travelling with us, please talk to your Tour Leader. If you would like to email our operations team directly with concerns, please email feedback@straytravel.asia