After traveling the world, you will learn a lot about staying safe – sometimes the hard way. Here are the best travel safety tips for avoiding trouble on your trip.
1. Learn Common Travel Scams
Wherever you go in the world, you’ll always find people ready to fraud you out of your hard-earned cash. If you’re lucky, they’ll be kind obvious – but there are plenty of craftier,professional con-artists out there too. Everyone thinks they are too smart to be ripped off — but it happens.
2. Write Down Emergency Info
If tragedy strikes, you might not have time to search for numbers for local police or ambulance services or directions to the nearest embassy for your country. You may also be too stressed and panicky to think forward.
Save it on your phone somewhere (or else use the Evernote App).
you can also write it down on a small card or sheet of paper, get it laminated (easily done at your local office supply store) to protect it from moisture, and keep it in your wallet/purse. That way, if something goes wrong out there, you’ll always know exactly to whom you call and where to go for help.
3. Check the State Department Website
However, a big warning for this one: it’s the State Department’s job to warn you about everything that could go wrong, which is sometimes different from what is likely to go wrong. This means their guidance is generally on the hyper-cautious side. Factor that in, while you see more on-the-ground information. But inquiring on travel warnings will give you a general idea of what’s going on in the country you’re visiting, and specific problem areas you may want to avoid.
4. Lock Up Your Valuables
Usually, it’s a bad idea to Putting aside the fact that traveling with anything super valuable, there will always be with you something which you absolutely cannot afford to have stolen. You travel with a lot of expensive camera gear for example. Your job is to minimize the easy chances of theft. It’s easy to sense that a zipped, even locked bag is a sufficient obstacle to any thief, and doze off next to it. Waking up to find someone’s slashed a hole in the side!
You can use your backpack as a pillow on train/bus routes that have a reputation for theft, and will sometimes lock it to a seat using a thin cable. You can call your accommodation to ask about secure storage options like a room safe, lockers, or a locked storage area. You can Carry your locker padlock when staying at backpacking hostels.
5. Get Travel Insurance
If you’re concerned about the safety of yourself and your gear while you travel, you can almost completely calm if you have some good insurance. When you are traveling, you should carry some kind of health and property insurance when traveling. Why? Because what will be happening with you in the future nobody knows. Whether you will think about it or not. It doesn’t matter how alert you are. If you’re going to be traveling for a long time, there are good long-term options like a mixture of ex-pat health insurance and photography/computer insurance.
6. Ask Locals for Advice
If you want to know which neighborhoods are safe and which might be sketchy, ask a resident of the area. Most local people are friendly and will warn you about straying into risky areas. On the other hand, if a stranger offers up help, it’s also wise to get a second opinion – just in case they don’t know what they’re talking about but simply wanted to help (or worse, are trying to freak you).
IN this regard taxi drivers can be hit or miss. Some can be excellent sources for good information, others are miserable who might lead you into trouble. You find that hostel or hotel front desk workers are generally pretty good sources for local advice.
Don’t be nervous to ask them which parts of the city to escape, how much taxi fares should cost, and where to find a great place to eat!
7. Don’t Share Too Much with Strangers
If you’re ever enticed to make your itinerary more public, say in a Facebook post, just remember it can be a roadmap of your movements – just the sort of thing someone with ill- intentions would love to know. But, don’t tell a local shop owner or street tout where you’re staying when asked. If someone does ask, rather than be vulgar, you can be unsure about an area of town rather than the name of your hotel or else lie name a hotel you’re not staying there. Sometimes people will ask you, it’s your first time visiting their country or city. If you don’t trust them, you can pretend it isn’t your first trip. Because sharing that you’re new might also signal you’re a good target for fraud. When feeling unsafe in a strange place, little white lies won’t hurt.
8. Email Your Itinerary To Friends/Family
Once you have done with researching part where you’re going and when make sure someone else knows too.
The best way is to email your full journey book to a few family members (and double-check with them that they received it – don’t just accept it landed in their Inbox, make sure it did). Then, if you can, check-in from time to time.
Before you travel anywhere, you make sure your parents know where you are going, what your general plans are, and when you should be back. That way, if they don’t hear from you for a few days after you are supposed to return, they can help notify the proper local authorities, the embassy, etc.
9. Be Aware of Your Clothing
Wearing the right clothes is a good sign of respect and when you are traveling the wrong clothes scream “TOURIST” and make you a target for scammers, and thieves. The less visitor you look, the less consideration you’ll get from the wrong kind of people.
However, it’s possible to stay within the law and still provoke locals with what you’re wearing – generating a lot of hostility towards you in the process. Avoiding local customs can come across as both arrogant and ignorant. In conservative countries, it’s just safer to dress more traditionally yourself. Start by checking out Wikipedia’s general guidelines on clothing laws by country – and then narrow down your research until you find someone giving advice you can trust, ideally, a resident or ex-pat turned local.
10. Learn Basic Self-Defense
You don’t need much more knowledge like black-belt skills and all, but joining a few self- defense classes is a worthwhile investment in your safety. A great way to negate a threat is to get yourself as far away as physically possible. If someone with a gun or knife just wants your cheap things which are not much costly, give it to them, run away, and live another day. Use force only when your life is intimidating & there are absolutely no other options available.
If you want an extra level of personal security, you can keep a tactical pen with you and learn how to use it and often carry one, and it doesn’t set off any alarms when going through customs.