Traveling is the most rewarding and enjoyable experience anyone can have. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef, walking across the Great Wall of China, and seeing the Northern Lights with friends and family is something we all desire to do in our lives. But, wherever you go in the world, safety should always be at the top of your mind.
Whether you’re going backpacking with your friends, or on a weekend getaway with your family, employing the following safety precautions before and during your travel can definitely make your trip safer.
So, let’s jump in!
#1. Do proper research
The first rule of staying safe while traveling is to research your destination thoroughly. So, before you embark, make an effort to learn about that place, its cultural norms, popular scams, political situation, and other safety information. Below are some of the questions that you need to consider before heading to your destination.
What are the most dangerous neighborhoods or regions?
What kinds of taxis and public transportation are available in that country?
What are the most popular scams in that specific region?
Do you need any vaccinations or prescriptions before your trip begins?
When it comes to adventure sports, what is the level of safety?
You could also consult with your friends and family who have already visited your intended destination. Or, you can read travel blogs and watch YouTube videos or documentaries to get a deeper insight into the place.
#2. Keep a copy of your important documents
Losing your clothes on a trip can be a big hassle, but losing all your travel documents is much worse and can get you into a lot of trouble. Therefore, it is essential to have a copy of all documents, like your passport, visa, medical card, travel insurance, credit cards, etc.
You can either write down all the information from these documents on a piece of paper or create electronic copies before you leave. Email this information to yourself so you can access the data from any device in case the paperwork gets damaged or stolen.
#3. Be aware of thieves and pickpockets
Nothing ruins your trip quicker than getting robbed. Pickpocketing and theft is an old-age problem in almost all parts of the world. Tourists are the potential targets for thieves, especially if you are unfamiliar with the language and culture of that particular place. Therefore, it’s wise to be prepared.
Below are simple things you can do to outsmart the thieves and pickpockets.
While traveling, it might be tempting to walk around with flashy jewelry and expensive camera hanging around your neck. But, it is usually a bad idea as it will make you an easy target for the pickpockets.
Your back pocket is the first place any pickpocket will check. Always keep your wallet in your front pocket as it is a lot harder to steal from without being noticed.
There’s no reason to take a stroll around the city with a lot of cash and credit cards in your wallet. Instead, create a dummy wallet with a little money in it so that you can gladly give this in case you get mugged.
Last but not least, if a thief points a knife at you, don’t try to become a hero. Instead of fighting, give them what they want and go straight to the police station.
#4. Have emergency information ready beforehand
In case of an emergency, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, you might be too stressed to search for numbers for ambulance services, fire department, local police, or directions to the nearest embassy. So, it is essential to have emergency contact information on hand. You can save it on your phone or write it down on a sheet of paper and keep it in your purse. That way, you’ll know exactly who to call and where to go for help in case something terrible happens.
#5. Never use a public Wi-Fi
While traveling, you’re likely to access your mails and post pictures on your social profiles. And without thinking twice, you connect to the free, open Wi-Fi available at popular public places like hotels, cafes, malls, and airports. But, are you aware of the threats of using public Wi-Fi?
Free or public Wi-Fi is a hacker’s dream. By using unsecured public Wi-Fi, you’re making it easy for cyber thieves to steal the personal information stored on your mobiles and laptops, which can put you at risk of identity theft.
So, what can travelers do to protect themselves? Simple – install a virtual private network (VPN) on the device you’re carrying with you. This will allow you to use any Wi-Fi network safely wherever you go. Further, avoid visiting websites that contain your sensitive information, such as bank account credentials, social media logins, and credit card details.
Since there’s a lot of violence in the world, bad things can happen anywhere and to anyone. But, this shouldn’t prevent you from grabbing your passport and journeying around the globe. By following the above travel safety tips, you can spend your time, money, and energy focusing on the fun stuff and avoid trouble on your trip.