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Free Booklet Helps Kiwis Travel Safe

11 June 2004

Don't leave home without your free Lonely Planet Safe Travel booklet available from sellers of American Express Travellers Cheques throughout New Zealand until 31 August 2004.

"The Safe Travel booklet is available free when you buy your American Express Travellers Cheques from one of our selling partners ? this includes all leading banks in New Zealand (ASB, ANZ, BNZ, NBNZ, TSB & Westpac) as well as Holiday Shoppe locations and select foreign exchange bureau," said Nick Dinopoulos, Area Director, American Express Travellers Cheques and Pre-paid Services.

"Following the step-by-step guide outlined in the booklet will not only give you peace of mind whenever and wherever you travel, it could make the difference between a good holiday and a great holiday," said Mr Dinopoulos.

Travel Money is one of the many areas covered in the booklet.

"The ease and convenience of card usage overseas has meant an increasing number of travellers these days are opting to rely on ATM machines. However, some travellers are putting themselves at risk by solely relying on ATMs, taking minimal cash and not taking travellers cheques," Mr Dinopoulos said.

"If there is no ATM available or ATMs are malfunctioning, travellers need to ensure they can continue their trip hassle-free."

The Safe Travel Guide includes tips on how to stay healthy, security advice to help keep valuables safe and sound, the best ways to manage travel finances, what to do if things don't go as planned, and an extensive "before you go" checklist.

The following travel tips ? and many more ? are available in the Lonely Planet Safe Travel booklet, an initiative by American Express to help travelling New Zealanders spend their holiday ? on holiday!

· Leave yourself plenty of time to organise your passport at least four weeks is recommended. And, do some research on your destinations. Some countries require at least six months validity remaining on your passport before they allow you to enter, and you may also need a visa.

· With security an increasingly important issue for travellers, it's important to be aware of the current political hotspots. A good starting point for information is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (www.mfat.govt.nz ).

· If you take medication for any pre-existing medical condition, ask your doctor to prescribe enough to last you for the duration of your trip. And pack a copy of your prescriptions, just in case they run out.

· If you are heading somewhere long haul and exotic, you need to take steps to protect yourself against tropical diseases with travel vaccinations. Visit your doctor or a travel health clinic at least a month before you go to discuss the shots you need for your destination.

· Check your insurance policy covers you for flight cancellations, medical care and emergency evacuation, as well as protecting your belongings · Never rely on just one form of travel money.

Experienced travellers carry a mixture of travellers cheques, cards and cash.

Copies of the Safe Travel booklet are available on request.

ENDS


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