Staying safe when traveling abroad is very important! So here are my tips!
There’s nothing like going on holiday and seeing new things and experiencing different cultures, but sometimes this can come at a price. Traveling abroad can be serious business unless you know how to stay safe.
Here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe –
Travel with a friend
Although many people love travelling on their own, I think it is safer to travel with a friend, a relative or even a group of friends. There are also companies like Contiki who do group tours which is a great way to make new friends! People are less likely to give you any hassle if there are at least two of you.
Check out weather
Check out the weather for every place you are heading to. Plan for possible flight delays if the weather seems to be iffy in one or more areas. These days flight delays can happen for lots of different reasons.
If there’s a chance of severe weather, like a hurricane, for your destination then plan on going another time if possible. Play it safe and don’t risk getting caught in severe weather like that.
Inform your bank
Make sure you tell your bank where you are going so they don’t block your cards thinking you are being scammed.
Tell a friend or family member where you are going
Before you head off on holiday, always inform a good friend or family member what your holiday plans are and where exactly you are heading to. Email your itinerary to friends and family.
Check for security concerns
Find out what’s going on within the country you plan to visit. Are there any political arguments that could lead to an all out war? Don’t get caught in the middle of a battle!
Research the culture of the country you’re planning to go to
Different countries have different cultures. Don’t assume that the country you’re planning to go to will accommodate your cultural beliefs. Check out if there are any clothing restrictions, or some countries find tattoos offensive…there are quite a number of things certain countries don’t like.
You may offend someone in another country by what you think is just innocent behavior. But this can cause them to retaliate against you. Know as much as you can before leaving for your trip. Best to know before you go!
Don’t share too much with strangers
Never share too much information with strangers about where exactly you are heading to or what you are planning on doing there and definitely don’t tell them where you are staying. Don’t tell them that this is your first time visiting the area either as they can take advantage of you.
Be aware of what you eat and drink
Always buy bottled water and eat at popular crowded places. Watch how your food is cooked and make sure the place looks clean. You don’t want to end up with food poisoning!
Learn about travel scams
Join chat groups on Facebook or other social media platforms and find out what travel scams they have experienced so you know not to fall for them. For an example, I have heard that there is scam which involves a local person handing you a young child to hold for them and while you are holding them, the local grabs your handbag and takes off. Another one is locals hand you a rose and once you touch it they make you pay for it (even though at first it seems they are just being friendly and handing you a flower for free)
Get a slash-proof handbag or backpack
Before you go on your holiday, buy yourself a slash proof bag . In some countries some locals carry knives and scissors with them and they simply slash your bag off you and take off with your wallet, camera or phone inside.
Never put your bag down anywhere as it can quickly be snatched.
Now days you can even buy socks or belts with a tiny secret money zip so you can hide an emergency stash of money in case anything happens!
Learn their language
Learn as much of their language as possible. Some people can take advantage of you if they think you don’t have any idea of what they’re saying like charging you more for vehicle hire or restaurant food or anything. It can also help to eliminate any misunderstandings, which may cause violence.
Ask the locals for advice of where to go or where the no so safe areas are. Don’t be afraid to ask them which part of the city to avoid!
Learning some of the language will also help you out when asking for directions to somewhere.
Check with your health insurance company
Find out if your health insurance will cover medical costs abroad. Don’t just assume they will. If they do cover medical costs abroad, find out what they do and don’t cover. Remember to always read the fine print of your insurance plan so there is nothing hidden.
Keep copies of all your documents
It is a good idea to keep copies of your travel and insurance documents in case you lose your originals. It will make it much easier to obtain new copies. You could even just take photos of your originals and email them to yourself.
Staying safe and sober
Try and stay sober on your holiday as people like to target the tipsy people. Always buy bottled alcohol and always watch your drinks, never put them down anywhere as someone could slip something in it and spike it.
Stay at the more popular tourist attraction hotels
Popular hotels are more likely to have better security than ones that are off away from the tourist spots. Don’t wander away from hot tourist areas because you can be an easy target for the locals. If you have a trustworthy guide, then it’s okay to explore – but only with them. Never go off alone, especially at night.
Don’t make it obvious that you are a tourist
Try to wear clothes that will make you blend in with the locals. If you choose to rent a car while abroad, don’t go for anything too flashy. It will only scream out to the locals that you’re a tourist and you then become a target. Also don’t wear too much or flashy jewelry. Before you head away on your holiday, buy yourself an RFID blocking handbag and wallet so your information and money can’t be stolen. It’s also a good idea to keep your passport in your hotel room instead of carrying it with you everywhere during the day when you are out sightseeing.
Don’t carry lots of cash on you, you can always head to an ATM machine to get more out.
Traveling abroad to another country can be a safe experience if you take precautions before you leave on your trip and don’t let your guard down when you reach your destination. Respect the locals and their cultural beliefs and try not to offend anyone. They’re more likely to welcome you then and may even protect you if needed.
I hope you found these tips for staying safe helpful for your next trip! What are some of your own tips? Feel free to share them below!