Credit card and mobile phone are not always enough while traveling
In today’s world, traveling has become so common that few people bother to prepare for possible problems. However, they can always arise even in well-known, seemingly safe destinations. We generally think – there is always money on the plastic card, we cannot get lost because we have a phone with navigation, and we can communicate in foreign languages in the same way. So, what could go wrong? Unless we lose that precious little thing with a colorful screen.
Our advice is: even when you feel safe, at least read the tips for safe travel.
1. Information and documents
- Prepare for the trip, check the security situation in the country you are traveling to.
- Find a security assessment with details about the current situation at your destination – in addition to the pages of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia:
Information from Ministry
- To check individual destinations, you can use data from countries with a developed diplomatic and informative network of open access. For example:
- or online travel service information such as:
- Check if a visa is required for the country you are traveling to and what is the issuing process.
- Check the validity of your passport (in some countries, Croatian citizens can travel with a valid ID card, provided that it is not older than 2003), however, some countries require the passport to be valid for another 3-6 months after entry.
- Here you can find information from the Ministry of the Interior about countries that allow entry only with an ID card:
Ministry of the Interior – crossing borders
- Don’t forget that when entering another country, there may be an obligation to register the entry, and failing to do so may result in high fines and bans on entering certain countries.
- Make a photocopy of your passport/ID card. The copy will make it easier and faster to obtain a travel document in case of loss or theft of the passport.
- Check which Croatian embassy is competent for the country you are traveling to (write down the address and phone numbers).
- Check which currencies are the means of payment in individual countries, whether it is possible to pay by credit card, and what is the minimum amount of money you need for your stay.
- Inform your relatives and friends about the trip, and it is useful to leave contacts of a person in Croatia to whom the Ministry can turn in case of need.
- If you are Croatian citizen, in case you are traveling to distant countries and security-risk areas, you can provide your travel plan to e-mail address: email@example.com, so that the Embassy staff can contact you if needed. The Ministry recommends that you include the following information in such correspondence:
- Your full name and mobile or phone number where you can be reached during your stay abroad.
- Information on whether you are traveling through a tourist agency, on your own, or by any other means.
Place and time of stay.
- Hotel or other accommodation where you will be staying.
- Notify your family of any changes to your plans or other information while traveling.
- Use mobile location tracking and sharing applications during your trip.
- Have important contacts printed on paper in case of theft, loss, or phone failure.
- Make copies of the most important documents (ID card, passport, flight tickets, etc.)
- Check regulations related to local COVID procedures.
- Get information about the health situation at your destination, as well as in case of health problems.
- Bring your medications if you are taking any.
- Collect information about health insurance conditions during your stay abroad on the website of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (www.hzzo.hr), and if necessary, obtain and bring the European Health Insurance Card (https://hzzo.hr/zdravstvena-zastita-u-inozemstvu).
- Due to diseases caused by the COVID-19 virus, bird flu, influenza A (H1N1), SARS, Ebola, malaria, viral meningitis, and other similar diseases, obtain detailed information before traveling on the websites of the World Health Organization (www.who.int), and on the website of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (http://www.hzjz.hr/) to learn about vaccination options before leaving abroad.
3. Scams and thefts
- Pickpockets, thieves, and scammers are active in most countries in tourist hotspots (train stations, tourist attractions, beaches, etc.).
- Blend in with the environment, as experience shows that potential scammers target tourists who stand out, are unsure, confused, and easily deceived.
- Be discreet in communication, do not reveal too much information about yourself, keep money, mobile phones, and valuables in a safe place.
4. Violence and laws
- Although Croatia is one of the safest European countries, respect the laws and customs of the country you are traveling to, and when staying in Islamic countries, respect local dress and behavior customs. In some countries, there are laws that provide for long prison sentences, and even the death penalty for possession of drugs and other prohibited substances.
- The danger of terrorism is global. Terrorist attacks are most often carried out in places where a large number of people gather (airports and train stations, tourist centers, religious gathering places, markets, etc.), and they often result in many civilian casualties. We advise you to seek information about the current situation in the country you are traveling to from all available sources before traveling.
- Even when not traveling to countries with a low level of public safety, it is useful to inform yourself in advance about the basics of self-defense and tools that can help you in case of danger.
- There are numerous courses, and among the globally most respected are skills such as Israeli Krav Maga:
- Special rules, courses, and information should be sought when traveling to crisis areas affected by war conflicts, unrest, frequent demonstrations, low levels of public security, and generally higher security risks (especially robberies, kidnappings, and other forms of crime).
- If you are traveling with a tourist agency, check their information about the situation at the destination.
Some agencies that sell airline tickets have a well-organized 24-hour global support service for passengers, so you can contact them in case of problems, for example – especially known for the quality of travel support is the Zagreb travel agency Sunčana Vura:
- Check information on air traffic safety at:
- or services for checking restrictions when entering a particular country (especially in air transport, with an overview of COVID-19-related restrictions, visas, and similar limitations) such as:
- Inform yourself about potential transportation problems to the destination, announced strikes, demonstrations, weather conditions, traffic conditions, traffic problems, and other risks that may disrupt your travel.
- Regardless of whether you are traveling with a tourist agency or on your own arrangement, consider travel insurance carefully. There are different types of insurance that cover risks ranging from car breakdowns to the costs of treatment in case of an accident (especially in cases of sports activities such as skiing and similar), so inquire about the conditions in agencies and with insurers. The details of insured cases are important, as are the areas of application of intergovernmental agreements, given that for some emergency medical interventions in the EU, your European Health Insurance Card applies, which you can find out more about here: EU Health Insurance Card
6. Natural disasters
- In some countries, natural disasters such as severe storms, avalanches, extreme heat or cold, floods, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena are common, so information about such areas should be sought in a timely manner as well as evacuation and communication plans should be made, and you should read the instructions from local emergency services on how to behave in crisis situations.
- As well as other European countries Croatia have the same phone number 112 for all emergency services (police, fire department, ambulance, mountain rescue and civil protection).