DM going on holiday to Haiti... AIBU to think she has a death wish?

(92 Posts)
Cantwejustsaywhatwemean Wed 08-Jan-14 20:39:59

Apparently there are Air bnbs there... Oh well that makes it ok then! She was supposed to be booking a much needed break to see my DB in the USA but has announced she also plans to go to Haiti for a few days with a similar aged friend (70+). She's not an intrepid traveller and has a habit of 'adopting' people she thinks need her help then taking ages to extricate herself from situations that end up making her feel I'll. she's not in great health but loves to be a bit different and crazy. I am pretty sure Haiti is the most dangerous country on earth. AIBU to worry? NC'd obviously although I think even this title may out me... Anyone else been on holiday to Haiti or have a 70+ year old relative who has?

specialsubject Thu 09-Jan-14 21:11:40

travel insurance is available at any age.

then let her go, you are protected once she is insured. Just get someone to check she's got the policy right.

UncleT Thu 09-Jan-14 22:45:56

HyvaPaiva - I'm alarmed that you think that is the extent of the FCO's travel advice for Haiti. That is the headline summary.

Here's the more pertinent bit about safety and security (there are multiple sections of advice for each country), directly from the gov.uk site:

"Crime levels are high and the general security situation is unpredictable. You should seek advice from local contacts or established organisations and make arrangements for your security throughout your stay in Haiti. The presence of one or more travelling companions with reliable local knowledge can help deter any unwelcome attention and also provide support in an emergency. It is best to avoid travelling around Haiti alone.

Avoid displaying expensive items of jewellery or carrying large sums of money. Don’t leave property in vehicles and always travel with car doors locked and windows up. Park close to any venues you visit and where possible avoid leaving a venue alone. Avoid travelling at night. Extra care should be taken when visiting downtown Port au Prince."

And it goes on like that. Now, while it might not be Somalia, how is that not of concern for a traveler who is naive enough to think that they don't even need insurance??

I love travel, and I am generally in the 'life's too short' crew. But, there's taking calculated, informed risks, and then there's simply being completely unprepared. I would suggest, unfortunately, that she's the latter.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 09-Jan-14 23:08:41

I don't think the OP is wrong to worry. My dad recently spent several months as a missionary in Kenya. This is a safe part of Africa and he had local support. Even so, he had his laptop stolen, was ripped off by a local con artist with a sob story and saw a local man beaten to death on the street.
He has 20 years on the OPs DM and has travelled before.
Haiti is not a 'safe' place, the DM will have no insurance, no vaccinations and none of the recommended local connections. There is travelling safely to somewhere risky and there is being foolhardy. DM is being foolhardy. Yes, she is a grownup, but the OP will be the one picking up the pieces If when things go wrong.

VworpVworp Fri 10-Jan-14 23:11:50

There's an infographic in one of the newspapers today (may be the C4 website actually) that shows Haiti in last 3 years had almost all the cases of cholera in the world- worldwide cases of cholera (2010,11,12) 375, cases in Haiti- 357

Quite scary really.

XiCi Fri 10-Jan-14 23:27:09

If my 70yr old DM announced she was going to visit Haiti I would seriously think she had lost her mind. Have you actually spoken to her about what to expect out there?

olgaga Sat 11-Jan-14 00:32:04

I doubt she's going to Haiti.

My MIL, on a trip to visit family in California, sent us a card saying how much she'd enjoyed a short break in Santiago.

We were a bit puzzled and rang BIL - but it turned out they'd had a weekend in San Diego.

MrsSquirrel Sat 11-Jan-14 11:21:43

grin olgaga maybe she is really going to Little Haiti in Miami.

ScarlettInSpace Sat 11-Jan-14 11:35:58

Could she mean Tahiti? I always thought they were the same place blush

flamby Sat 11-Jan-14 16:11:59

Any chance you could persuade her to look for a compromise? E.g. fly into the Dominican Republic and stay in an AirBnB there and then travel overland to Haiti (I think there are tourist buses) if she wants to. That would give her the chance to hear from local people and get some advice and if she takes the bus into Haiti and hates it (it might shock her how poor it is), she'll know she can turn around and come back somewhere more tourist-friendly and with more infrastructure.

My mum's book group read a novel called "In the Time of the Butterflies" about the DR and loved it - maybe you could recommend it and see if you can get her interested in going there? Flights are easier to the DR anyway and they also have charter flights from the DR to the UK for the way home.

Oldraver Sat 11-Jan-14 17:17:01

You say you would repatriate her if she fell ill, could you afford to ?

IndridCold Sat 11-Jan-14 17:25:20

Channel 4 news yesterday had a report on the cholera epidemic in Haiti, report here.

Your DM will DEFINITELY need a jab against cholera before visiting - or even better, avoid it completely!

NigellasDealer Sat 11-Jan-14 17:51:18

sorry OP have you got any idea how much it costs to repatriate?

Cantwejustsaywhatwemean Sat 11-Jan-14 20:51:43

Sorry, other dramas overtook me the past couple of days and I haven't been checking this thread. Have since had a chat with DM who admitted her friend had had to hire armed guards to escort her everywhere!!!!! Give me strength. I think she is having second thoughts as she has gone very non-committal on me, either that or she still wants to go and is lying through her teeth ( not unknown behaviour). Either way I have a battle to fight with John Lewis about a fridge now and so have decided to step back. I don't know how much repatriation will cost. My sister has suggested we just leave her there...

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sun 12-Jan-14 01:02:23

A quick google says if you broke your leg in Menorca, had 10 days in hospital, and were then flown back to the UK it would cost £25,000.
That was in 2009.

rightsaidfrederick Sun 12-Jan-14 03:35:52

Might be one of those places where certain parts are fine, others aren't. If she's going with a friend who knows the area, then chances are she'll be fine, as they'll know where to go / where not to go, and be able to act as an intermediary with the locals.

For what it's worth, there are even part of Iraq that are safe enough to go to - I know a couple of people who have backpacked through Kurdistan, lived to tell the tale, and spoken highly of the experience. Similarly, you can go to North Korea (on an organised tour only) and so long as you don't do anything very silly like taking photos of politically sensitive things or acting as a missionary or journalist, you're fine.

No insurance is, however, as always, utterly bonkers - and I say this as someone who harbours ambitions to visit North Korea, so I'm not exactly timid about these things.

rightsaidfrederick Sun 12-Jan-14 03:38:24

Bloody hell - just seen the bit about armed guards. You don't even need that in Kurdistan FFS

MM5 Sun 12-Jan-14 05:11:46

I think the no insurance problem is the bigger issue!

70+ travel insurance is very expensive. I helped my father recently get insurance for a two week trip to sttes and it nearly cost as much as the holiday!

He didn't want to get it at first. I reminded him, should anything happen to him while away, that I had NO money to sort it out! God forbid if it was a death, what was I going to do?

This was his wake up call and he got the insurance. In the end, he did need it for something minor. However, thatminor thing well made up for the cost of the insurance!

As far as Haiti, not my choice of holiday destinations. My parents always seemed to be holidaying and trouble followed them. It was their lives and decisions. The whole living life to the fullest.

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