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5 Things to Check Before International Travel

5 Things to Check Before International Travel

Travel is adventure, but this does not preclude taking precautions so that the stay does not turn into a nightmare. Whether you are going for a holiday, study, internship, job or volunteering, here are some guidelines that could facilitate your expatriation:

Get your valid papers and visa

The first thing is to make sure your papers are in order. In the European Union and neighboring countries (Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra), a valid identity card is sufficient. But most other countries now require a bio-metric passport that you must carry out with the municipalities equipped with the appropriate equipment (digital photography and fingerprinting). The procedure can take up to two months, so it is better to do it in advance. It’s the same situation for your visa which, depending on the country, may take some time to be issued. Do be aware, some countries may also require that the expiration date of the passport exceeds several months by the date of return. Inquire directly with the consulate or the embassy of the country, to be found on the directory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs..

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Find out about your social security options

To what extent will your care abroad be reimbursed? As part of a professional detachment, especially for civil servants, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of social security. However, an expatriation to study or work makes you dependent on the social security system of the country of destination. If you are going on holiday in Europe, you can get the European health insurance card, which covers medical care when you travel. It must be ordered 15 days before your departure with your health insurance fund. Outside the EU zone, only medical expenses deemed urgent by the medical officer of your health insurance can be refunded upon your return, but you will have to pay for them at your expense. Also you can yourself a city discount card which can save you a lot of money during your exploration of these host cities.

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Make an appointment with your doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor to ask him or her what precautions to take for your destination. Check with your doctor if your vaccines are up to date. Some countries require you to show your vaccination record and proof that you have been treated against yellow fever or malaria as soon as you enter the country. For the latter, you may need to take anti-malarial treatment for prophylaxis, starting one week before your departure and continuing four weeks after your return.

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If you receive treatment in the UK, take advantage of your visit to the doctor to ask under what conditions to pursue medical treatment in your destination country. In addition, it may be appropriate to take out repatriation insurance if the medical structure of the host country is not sufficient.

Report on arrival

For short stays, missions, internships, holidays of less than two months, it is advisable to register with your government. Complete a brief form with your contact information and dates so that you may be quickly contacted by the center crisis embassy in case of trouble. In the case of a long stay of six months or more, it is important to register with the consulate. Doing so will be able to expedite the renewal of the passport or other official document in the event of loss or theft. You can also go to the nearest embassy or consulate when you arrive in the host country, or contact them by telephone.

Know the law

In order not to risk or receive a hefty fine or spend some time behind bars, it is strongly advised to read the legislation in force in the host country: traffic laws, and laws regarding prohibited products and medicines are particularly important. It is also important to learn about habits and customs in order to avoid offending your hosts. Always bear in mind that what seems self-evident in your country may not be so natural elsewhere. Remember also the expiration date of your visa, so you can either renew it or leave the country without the risk of an outdated date.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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