Safety is a crucial topic that should not be separated from traveling. While we travel because we want to enjoy and experience new things, will it still be pleasurable for you if you got mugged, are in a hospital bed, or worse, at a police station?
Whether we like it or not, accidents can happen anytime and every country has its fair share of crimes, so the importance of safety while traveling can’t be stressed more than this. If you’re planning to embark on an around-the-world adventure, here are the things that you should keep in mind to stay safe wherever you are.
Research Your Destination
In traveling, preparation is key. Sure, you’ve heard about travelers and backpackers with no itineraries that just go with the flow — they go to where their feet will take them. Nothing wrong with it, but if you’re the type who is not as quick and street smart as other people, better research your destination.
Especially if you’re traveling in big cities and remote villages, it helps to gather information about the place. Ask about the unsafe areas and if there are rules or laws that you need be aware of. Remember, ignorance of the law excuses no one, so it pays to do a quick study first before packing your bags.
Get A Travel Insurance
Before traveling around the world, one of the most important things that you should never forget is travel insurance. When traveling abroad, in essence, you are leaving behind your comfort zone to go to a place that’s entirely new to you — new culture, new people, new language.
In a place where you have no one but yourself (except if you’re traveling with companions), getting travel insurance is beneficial as it gives you 24/7 support when an unfortunate event happens. Depending on your coverage, travel insurance ensures that you get assistance when you need it the most.
Learn The Language
When traveling abroad, it always helps to learn the language, especially if you plan to stay there long-term. If your stay is only for a few days, learning the basic expressions and words are as important because it allows you to communicate with and ask questions to the locals. This is especially true when going to a non-English speaking country.
Because of technology, we can download an application in our smartphones that lets us easily translate foreign words or phrases to our own language; however, if you want to connect with the locals on a more personal level, we suggest taking the harder route and learn the language.
Be Alert At All Times
Traveling enhances not only your interpersonal skills but also your ability to discern. Especially if you’re traveling solo, being on full alert at all times helps keep you safe. This is also true when it comes to your stuff. If going from one place to another with all your luggage, keep an eye on all your belongings. It is much better if you pack light.
If you’re in a crowd, mind the pickpockets. If you’re a frequent traveler, investing in a good backpack will benefit you in the long run.
List Emergency Contacts And Logins
Making a list of your emergency contacts and logins on a piece of paper is advantageous for when your things are stolen, or you lost them. Emergency contacts include but aren’t limited to insurance, family, and bank. If your laptop is lost or stolen, the backup list of your logins can help you deactivate your different accounts for the meantime.
Withdraw Only In Banks
Of course, being on travel means you will use money. If you need to withdraw money using your debit or credit card, do so only in banks. As unfortunate as it sounds, it is true that skimming is commonplace all over the world. Avoid withdrawing from ATMs in shopping malls and remote places, as skimming is rampant in such locations.
If your card got skimmed, make sure to get in touch with your bank so they can block it. It is also beneficial to get a card that has a safety mechanism, so if misuse is detected, the card will automatically be blocked by your provider.
Carry Your Valuables Close To You
Traveling is not meant for showing off. Keep your valuables inside your bag close to you and don’t go around showing them. Carry and use your expensive devices only when necessary. This also applies to your passport, IDs, cash, and cards. If possible, use a belt bag or crossbody bag to ensure that your valuables are guarded with your body to deter and prevent access by pickpockets.
Another tip: carry cash that will suffice you throughout a day of sightseeing. If you are to pay in a market or shop, use the money from your special, everyday wallet (one you can give out to muggers).
Stick To A Group And Don’t Get Drunk
Going out with a group is also a great idea to stay safe, especially if you want to enjoy a night out. If you are fond of clubs and bars, don’t drink beyond your limit. It is important to stay sober, as excessive drinking in a foreign country will only lead to problems. A drunk person is an easy target for criminals. If you’re driving in a foreign country, you can get into an accident due to drunk driving. Click here for when you need an expert drunk driving attorney.
Aside from pleasure, safety should also be one of the top priorities when traveling. These basic tips mostly entail common sense, but it is shocking how many travelers are still falling short in most areas. Last tip: when traveling, trust your instincts.
Joanne Reed has been writing about law and business for almost a decade, and is currently writing her next big law project. She is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.