There are 101 reasons why everyone needs to take a vacation every once in awhile, and time off can just be as – if not more – productive than time at your desk.
But whether you’re relaxing by a beach in Phuket, skydiving from a plane in Prague or enjoying a quiet staycation over a long weekend, good judgement is something no one should ever forget to pack – for it could quite literally kill you.
Take for example the tragic case of 23-year-old Ong Chee Seng, who plunged to his death earlier this year after consuming magic mushrooms, an illegal ‘type 1’ narcotics.
The Singaporean experienced hallucinations from his “shrooms” when he jumped from the fifth floor of his hotel in Legian, Bali.
Another case of a holiday misdemeanor gone wrong, is that of Singaporean Trevor Soh, 24, who was jailed six months in 2015 for taking drugs while in Amsterdam, and bringing the drugs back to his home in Singapore.
Unconvinced? Just last month (Aug 4) a video went viral of two drunk tourists plummeting to their deaths at a waterfall in India.
In their intoxicated state, Indian nationals, Imran Gardi, 25, and Prasad Rathod, 21, clambered over safety barriers and jokingly let go of the railings, resulting in the tragedy.
These cases in point show that holidays can quite literally kill you, or at the very least, get you into deep trouble with the authorities, if prudence is not exercised carefully.
Surely you’ve heard of someone having “one drink too many” while abroad, or another bragging of having committed petty crimes like stealing since “no one knows them there personally”.
Then there’s the common after-thought: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
You could even be unconsciously harming your health on holiday, by choosing to smoke cigarettes more than usual, have unprotected sex with a stranger, or even binge-eat on local delicacies since you’re on a break and think it’s time to “let yourself go”.
So why is it that reckless behaviour seems to go hand-in-hand with holiday-making? And how do you protect yourself from making mistakes that could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare?
Business Insider spoke to a few experts, and according to Mr Daniel Koh, a psychologist with Insights Mind Centre, it’s the forbidden nature of certain activities that makes it all the more alluring.
“Trying out what is not allowed or taking on challenges can lead to bragging rights”, he said, which could boost one’s ego, “especially when you hear others talking about it or (having) seen it in movies”.
Not only applicable to individuals, groups may be partaking in such thrill-seeking activities in order to “stand out”, he added.
Ms Shirley Tee, course manager of Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management, pointed out that travellers see overseas holidays as a break from their rigid routines.
“Individuals may release their inhibitions and the self-consciousness that stops them from partaking in activities at ease.
“While it is enjoyable to engage in ‘feel-good’ activities without inhibitions, it is important to bear in mind that not all fun is safe,” she cautioned.
For a safe and fun-filled holiday, Ms Tee has the following tips to share:
1. Decide on what you wish to indulge in prior to departure – before the “holiday mood” clouds your judgement.
2. Consider the reputation of the activity and activity vendor when deciding on what sort of fun activities to partake in.
3. Remember to enjoy the activities, and not be enjoyed – you are there to enjoy yourself, not become a source of entertainment.