We are always anxious to travel abroad. All the unknown things make us excited: see stunning views, embrace different cultures, and even eat exotic foods. Meanwhile, you might be freaking out and anxious about travel safety since the media tend to show us how dangerous out there. According to my several years’ traveling experience, you needn’t worry about too much for the world is increasingly safer these years.
However, who are well prepared can help themselves in need. So, read these 20 tips earlier and enjoy your next traveling abroad safely:
1. Get Your Travel Vaccines:
It’s smart to learn if you need travel vaccinations before your trip to protect you from serious illnesses because some certain areas/countries require visitors to shot travel vaccines before traveling. And you’d better have a body check before traveling to make sure you are healthy enough to go out for travel. So make sure that your body is prepared for a trip abroad.
2. Prepare a First Aid Kit
Besides necessary travel vaccines and body check, it’s also important to bring a small basic first aid kit while abroad. No matter how careful you are, injuries like cuts, sprains, stomach issues, and burns might happen sometimes. You don’t need to bring with you every medicine, just some basics. In this way, you could protect yourself and travel companions in time.
3. Electronic Backup Your Travel Documents
Travel around the world with the necessary travel documents is of vital importance. You could get in trouble if your paper documents are lost or damaged. Hence, remember to scan your passport, visa, travel insurance, insurance card, plane tickets, itinerary and immunization record before leaving, and email them to yourself or backup in cloud storage so that to access them easily when needed.
4. Create Emergency Info
If disaster strikes, you might be too stressed and panicky to call whom for help. To avoid this position, you should create emergency info and print it to keep in a wallet or purse and backup in your phone app or note at the same time in advance. If tragedy happens, don’t be freaking out, calm down, take out your emergency info and you will know what exactly to do, who to call and where to go for help.
5. Check Your Destination Travel Warnings
Every country has a website to state current difficulties and threats to visitors’ security. One of the National Department’s jobs is to warn travelers about the possible dangers to visit some places at some time. Therefore, despite checking the Department’s website, you could dig up more on-the-ground information. Checking your destination travel warnings is for you to avoid some specific problems rather than stop you go to that country anymore.
6. Don’t Pack Everything Together
Don’t tempt to keep all your cash, credit cards, debit cards and ID cards in one pocket or one wallet. Separate money and keep them in different safe places. In addition, spread your cards and cash evenly in the same area. Moreover, keep the money, ID cards and checks you don’t use in your hotel room.
My favorite hiding valuable stuff places include:
Secret pockets sewn into my clothes
Hidden pockets on the back of my smart travel backpack
An Inside hidden chamber in the backpack/suitcase
Empty container like chapstick, belt pouch
7. To Study Common Travel Scams
Don’t let scam ruin your dream trip. That’s why we should study common travel scams. Everyone thinks they’re too smart to be scammed--but it happens. These years, I came across some scams like the milk scam in Cuba, Broken taxi meters in Costa Rica, Or the ring scam in Paris. If you are lucky, you will find it’s an obvious scam. If not, you might suffer from thousands of dollars. Therefore, I recommend you Google your destination before you start your trip. Believe me, this safety tip will help you a lot.
8. Buy Traveler’s Insurance
You never think you need a traveler’s insurance until you encounter bad things, like emergency events, illness or lost valuable items. Buy yourself a healthy and property insurance when traveling, you will not worry about losing your expensive computers and camera, or spending a lot of medical care abroad. Moreover, it is easy and cheap to buy. So getting a traveler’s insurance is a good idea.
9. Leave Valuables at Home
In the interest of your safety, you should wear simply and appropriately for visiting. In addition, hide your camera when you’re not using it. If you wear your favorite expensive jewelry, you might be a worthy mugging target to potential thieves. Thus, leave valuables at home or hotel lockers.
10. Email Your Travel Itinerary To Family Members
Before I leave home for a trip, I always ensure my parents know exactly where I am going and when I am back. So email your travel itinerary to your family members, once you work out your travel plan. That way, if you are not back or contact for a few days, they can help notify the proper local authority, the embassy, etc.
11. Better Not Travel Abroad Alone
Travel in numbers will make you safer from being ripped off, also have more legs to run after thieves. If you’re traveling alone, consider going explore with new friends in the hostels. But please DON’T trust new friends TOO quickly. No matter how friendly they are, don’t tell them too much or leave valuable stuff with them.
12. Never Keep Things in Your Back Pockets
Tourists’ back pocket is one of the most common targets of the pickpocket. So never keep things in your back pockets, including your cash, wallet, purse, or hotel room keys... anything!
13. Pay Attention to Your Belongings
If you are planning to get out of your hostel for sightseeing, you’d better pay attention to your belongings. For example, lock your valuables with your own padlock; keep your properties in your front pockets or wear your travel backpack in front. Keep an eye on someone getting close to you.
14. Ask the Locals/Hotel Front Desk for Advice
If you want to know which area is safe and which restaurant has good cuisine to eat, ask locals or hotel front desk of the area for advice. Most of them are friendly and will warn you not to visit dangerous areas. If you meet someone new to give you advice, be careful and get a second opinion, just in case they are not scamming you.
15. Never Share Too Much with Strangers
Sometimes people just met might ask where you live in, is it your first time here, what’s your next destination and so on. Don’t tell them too many details, if necessary, tell little white lies. And don’t post your itinerary public, like Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram posts, etc. Someone with ill-intentions might tempt to know your movements. So keep an eye on new people and surroundings in a strange place is a safety tip you should know.
16. Learn Basic Self-Defense
Learn basic self-defense and bring a defense-weapons like a tactical pen. You don’t need to be a master but just learn some basic self-defense skills. And please avoid physical confrontations, if they want your phone or money, just give to them; if your life is threatened or there is no option, attack explosively and escape.
17. Call Your Bank Where You’re Going
If you use your credit cards unusually in some countries or areas, your banks might consider your cards being stolen and lock your cards. For irregular activities of credit cards will be recorded and blocked in case credit cards fraud. Therefore, call your bank and let them know where you are going before leaving. Or you might be in trouble for you should take days to unblock your cards.
18. Food & Water Safety Tips
After so many years of traveling at domestic and abroad, I’ve concluded the following tips on food and water safety:
a. Dine at popular restaurants/stalls with long lines
b. If possible, see how your food is prepared
c. List your allergies and translate them into local languages in advanced. Choose fully cooked food
d. Peel fruits to avoid bacteria
e. Drink bottled water
f. Bring a filtered water bottle to avoid plastic waste and save money
19. Use ATM Machine Carefully
You may hear that there are hidden cameras trying to record cards pin while keying in at an ATM, or cards are eaten. To avoid unfortunate things like these, always take a close look at ATM machines before you use them. If you think there is something wrong with it, try another machine. Better tedious than sorry!
20. Never Drunk While Traveling Abroad
Travel around in unfamiliar destinations, stay relatively sober, never drunk. Your travel may be unexpected risky if you drink too much or get too high. Pay attention to how much you’re consuming, and be aware of surroundings to avoid drugs. In this way, you still can enjoy yourself.
If you want to travel around the world, you cannot avoid a 100% risk. In fact, the risk is a part of the adventure of your journey. In these years, the world is much safer than the old days. Although there may be something unexpected happen to us, still we can manage and be prepared to avoid them to stay safer. So arm yourself with safety knowledge and tips and enjoy your journey abroad with confidence.