Traveling and seeing the world can lead to some incredible adventures.
You’ll have some of the best experiences of your life when you head out exploring the planet. The world is not something to be feared of. It’s not as dangerous as it may seem at times. Of course, it’s important to do your research before you depart on your voyage. When you’re visiting new cities and countries, be sure to take the necessary precautions to stay safe. With a little planning, you’ll be aware of the risks and be prepared for any situations that might threaten your safety. Here are 10 tips to stay safe when you travel.
1. Research ahead of time
It’s likely that you’ve already read plenty about whichever location you chose to visit, but be sure to research deeper than just the information about sites you want to see and hotels in the vicinity. Don’t immediately book a stay just because it’s a great deal.
2. Let others know your itinerary and keep in touch
This, of course, means you should have an itinerary. While it might seem juvenile to plan out your whole day, it’ll save you a lot of headache if something goes wrong. Providing friends and family with your day’s schedule and setting up regular times to check in and don’t forget to provide them with the address of your accommodations.
Stay in touch with your friends and family back home and keep them updated with your current whereabouts. It’s a good idea to have an emergency contact of them. It’s good to have an easy way to communicate with your loved ones, even if you’re thousands of miles away.
3. Make copies of necessary travel documents
It’s always a good idea to have a back-up, especially when it comes to your important travel documents. Keep copies of your passport and other paperwork separate from the original ones, in case they get stolen. You can photocopy your documents, email them to yourself, upload them to your online storage space (ie. cloud drive), or keep a picture of them on your phone. It never hurts to be too prepared.
4. Research common scams
Before you leave for your trip, read articles and travel blogs about common tourist scams. These could vary from place to place. You’re in a new environment and most likely lost in the awe of your surroundings. You might be less guarded than usual and thieves will take advantage of this. You can’t be completely prepared for every situation, but it does help to learn from the mistakes of other travelers. If in doubt, use your common sense. Trust your own instincts. Don’t put your complete trust in someone you just met.
5. Get your travel insurance
Don’t skip this step. Get your travel insurance done. Whether you’re traveling for a week or few months abroad, it’s always a good idea to be insured. Even if you’re perfectly healthy, it’s always good to expect the unexpected. It’s possible that you could become sick or injured overseas.
If you haven’t got any already, get it here . Whether you’re looking to protect your valuables, get yourself off the hook in case something goes wrong at work or make sure you’ve got medical expenses covered, should you need it, insurance is a must for anyone going abroad, regardless of how long for.
6. Watch your valuables
While it’s best to leave any unnecessary valuables at home (like fancy jewelry), we do tend to travel with some fairly expensive gear in the form of technology. Multiple cameras and lenses, a drone, smartphones, tablets or laptops…it all adds up. Thieves realize that tourists travel with expensive belongings and steal items that you leave unattended. It’s always a good idea to keep a close watch on your stuff, especially in transit – on the train, bus, or plane.
7. Keep your money at different spots
If you’re carrying a lot of cash with you, keep it in multiple places making sure that it’s not packed unnoticeably small. If you’re visiting areas where you could be robbed, it’s a good idea to store your cash safely in a money belt. Keep only a small amount of cash in your wallet. We’ve even heard of some travelers keeping a “dummy wallet” for pickpockets to steal that doesn’t have anything important inside it. If possible, keep most of your cash stored in your hotel room’s safe. And it’s always a good idea to keep an emergency stash somewhere in your luggage or somewhere safe in case you do get robbed.
And again, use common sense. Don’t use ATMs at late night. Don’t count your money in front of large crowds of people.
8. Blend in and dress like a local
Don’t stand out as an obvious tourist. Research how the locals dress and act. Try to blend in as much as possible. Follow the local customs and rules. In traditional countries, it might not be acceptable to wear shorts or tank tops. When entering some religious sites, you must cover your shoulders and knees, so be prepared for that by dressing properly or packing a scarf. Be respectful of the laws and customs of the places you visit.
It’s also much better to use an app on our phone for directions, like Google Maps. This saves you from whipping out a giant city map on the street.
9. Stay alert
Trust your gut instincts. If something feels wrong, it most likely is wrong. Don’t drink too much, especially if you’re traveling alone. It’s way easier to encounter harmful situations or have someone take advantage of you if you’re no longer in control.
10. Stay healthy
Carry your personal emergency medical and first aid kit having bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointments, painkillers, insect repellent creams and other medicine to avoid travel sickness etc. Keep it handy to avoid unpleasant illness that arrives anytime while on your travel.
By following these few key pieces of advice, you’re bound to stay safe when you travel.
Do you have any tips or advice to add to this list? Please feel free to add your suggestions by commenting below!