Traveling is an inevitable part of life, and so are accidents during your trip.
Whether you are a novice or seasoned traveler, the fact that you haven’t experienced an accident in your travels doesn't mean they don’t or can't occur. Tourists, especially first-time travelers, are often prime targets for cons, theft, and other risks.
As such, it is important to follow safety guidelines to reduce the risk of that happening. Here are some practical tips to guide you on any journey.
Study Your Surroundings
Whenever you travel, you enter new territory with unfamiliar surroundings. It is good to familiarize yourself with a new environment and look out for potential hazards. Cases of travelers being conned are pretty common. To avoid such risks, look up information about the safety of your intended destination as well as popular types of scams in the area. Having this information beforehand makes it easy to spot danger lurking around.
Use Reputable Ride-Share Cabs
The quickest way to get around any foreign city is by using a taxi. They offer a convenient trip and eliminate the headache of looking for parking spots and navigating public transport. While many drivers are often professional, some are downright criminals. They harass their passengers by charging more and even refuse to take them to their preferred destinations. As a safety tip, run the driver’s phone number through PhoneHistory to verify their identity. Always do this before committing to them, especially if they are strangers to you.
Duplicate and Secure Important Documents
Burglary, lost luggage, and other accidents are common, particularly en route to your destination. Since traveling requires you to carry critical documents, it is prudent to have copies stored in another accessible location. Accidents happen, and luggage can be lost, so this backup is vital. Scan all copies of your travel documents and store them on the cloud. Digital copies are secure and easily accessible from wherever in case you need them.
Register with Your Consulate or Embassy
Registering with your embassy before embarking on your adventures lets the government know of your whereabouts and contact you in case of any emergency. Unforeseen eventualities like getting arrested can happen, especially on foreign land. In this case, the embassy intervenes to provide the necessary legal help, extend your visa, and update your family accordingly. Furthermore, some peace of mind comes with knowing you will get help when you need it most.
Learn About Local Customs
If you travel enough, you will notice that almost every country plays by different rules. If you are visiting Japan, for example, excuse yourself before blowing your nose because doing so in public is considered impolite. Additionally, most Middle Eastern countries detest nudity and public displays of affection. When exploring unfamiliar territories, read local travel blogs for general dos and don’ts. You could also visit government websites to get information about culture and customs.
Handle Your Money Carefully
If you are traveling to another country, you might feel the urge to carry cash and jewelry around. While there is nothing morally wrong with doing so, it exposes you to unnecessary risks. Tourists dressed in expensive outfits are often prime targets for thieves and scammers, particularly in crowded areas. Try dressing down so as not to raise a lot of attention. Alternatively, you can keep your money and debit cards in a money belt or hidden pocket.
Be Careful What You Eat and Drink
Most dining you will make on your journey is in hotels and restaurants. While these establishments are responsible for their customers’ well-being, sometimes this service comes up short. Cases of food poisoning, particularly when traveling, are not news. Hence, it is prudent to look up good restaurants in your travel destination and along the way before dining there.
Get Travel Insurance
Things don’t always go according to plan, so you need something to fall back on when they fall apart. Your flight could be canceled; you might get sick, damage a rental car, or find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Travel insurance helps cover some financial risks that may occur on your journey, like loss of luggage, theft, or medical emergencies. Furthermore, you are able to rest easy and enjoy your trip, knowing that you are covered in the event of any emergency.
Pack Emergency Kits and Contacts
Traveling involves a lot of uncertainty, so be proactive and prepare for emergencies. Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. It is, therefore, crucial that you pack a first-aid kit and other essential items for emergencies. You can look up emergency numbers at your destination beforehand.
Inform Someone of Your Whereabouts
Allowing family, friends, or someone you love to be part of your adventures can be a lifesaver. If you are a frequent hiker or camper, you are no stranger to poor phone reception, especially in remote destinations. If you have watched one of those scary movies where a camping trip goes south, you can relate. Keep your loved ones updated on your adventures because it makes it easy to track you during emergencies.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
Our bodies are naturally wired to detect danger. So, if you get one of those sickly gut feelings telling you not to use a certain trail, hike, or bungee jumping, don’t ignore it. These signals often stem from subconscious cues which warn us of potential danger. Subsequently, you should only listen to your intuition if you can accurately differentiate it from anxiety. Traveling is not always rosy, and because of the fear of the unknown, anxiety builds up. You might worry about what to wear, where to go, or what will happen to your pet when you are away. While this is normal, it might hold you back from enjoying your trip.
Whether you are traveling as a tourist or a local, you should expect challenges from time to time. Apart from being conned or falling victim to identity fraud, travelers are often exposed to many potential risks. However, when you know what to expect, you can properly brace yourself for any eventualities that come your way. By adhering to these safety tips, you can rest assured of a safe and enjoyable travel.