General travel advice:
Most travellers encounter no problems — but occasionally things do happen to upset your plans — but that doesn’t mean to say that they will be a disaster.
Before you leave: Study your destination : learn a little about where you are going and plan your visit. Learn about the local laws, customs and climate. Learn a few useful phrases in a local language. Your itinerary may well change — but try to be clear that you know and understand the main points. Get a good guidebook, and maybe a phrase book.
Once you arrive:
Local laws: remember that, as a visitor, you are subject to the laws of that country. Especially do not get involved with narcotics. penalties can be very severe and there will be no sympathetic treatment because you are a foreigner. Be especially careful at borders. Never carry a parcel or baggage for another person, don’t cross borders with people you don’t know or in someone else’s vehicle - don’t accept lifts. Remember - ignorance of the law is not a defence. Also, remember that you may also be liable under the law of your home country for some activities.
Valuables: keep your valuable possessions (passport, money traveller’s cheques etc.) with you at all times and keep your bag held close to you. Preferably keep your passport separate from other ID - don’t risk losing them all together. Don’t leave valuables (that includes documents) unattended in your hotel room or vehicle. If there is a safe - use it. Lock valuables out of sight. Don’t take anything you would hate to lose.
Baggage: do not carry baggage through customs for other people. Pack you own baggage and don’t leave it unattended or in the care of a stranger. Keep an eye on it at all times - especially in crowded areas like airports, bus stations etc.
Money: try to avoid being seen as «rich» - where possible use local currency and do not have large sums. Keep money, credit cards etc. distributed between several pockets. Avoid using unofficial exchange offices. Make sure you know if you need receipts when changing money - in Kyrgyzstan you don’t. Carry a list of contact numbers for reporting lost and stolen cards etc.. Have two credit cards - and keep them separate. Make a note of any credit limits and don’t exceed them.
Theft: Keep to well lit streets and avoid short cuts, dark alleys etc. Try not to travel alone at night. Keep aware for people who might be «distractions» for bag snatching and pickpockets. Report all thefts to the local police as soon as possible. If confronted or threatened, give up your valuables, «your money and passport can be replaced - you can’t»
Dealing with strangers: Be careful about what information you give to strangers, especially your home contact details, details of your itinerary and your hotel room numbers. Don’t let strangers into your hotel room - if you are meeting visitors - meet them in the hotel lobby. Be careful when drinking with strangers.
Taxi: avoid unofficial or unmarked taxis. In Bishkek there is a taxi agency which is reasonable and responsible. Better call one. Plus of it if something happens or you forgot some of your stuff you can easily find that car and driver by companys database.
Driving: If you are involved in an accident contact your insurers as soon as practically possible. Protect your vehicle against theft and don’t leave your documents in an unattended vehicle.
Post: If you decide to post some things home - be careful to observe the rules about what can be posted - and what can’t. Don’t post things that you would hate to lose. Ask how long it will take. Make a note of any details of the package and ask for receipts of postage. If you send postcards - don’t be surp[rised if you arrive home before they do.
Avoid public demonstrations and large crowds. If there is trouble on the street - stay indoors. Keep yourselves informed of current affairs that may affect your personal safety whilst travelling abroad.