Safety is a big concern when traveling. Of course, you want to explore the world and see its majestic beauty, while wishing nothing bad ever happens on your trip. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to improve your safety and lessen the odds of running into unwanted situations. Look no further, though! We’ve listed down the best tips on how to stay safe while traveling, so you have an enjoyable traveling experience, wherever in the world you’re headed.
Educate yourself about common travel scams
Various scams are out there affecting many travelers. Wherever you go, there are people who want to take advantage of your hard-earned cash, swindling you in a breeze. While there are obvious ones that you can quickly notice, others are wily, which can victimize you without even knowing.
To avoid falling for these scams, do in-depth research about the most common scams in your destination. Learning about these activities lets you know how to avoid them or what to do should they come your way. Through that, you can prevent getting tricked out of hundreds to thousands of money that can significantly ruin your dream trip.
Save the emergency info
If you get into a bad situation, chances are you’re too rattled or stressed to think properly and you may lack the time to look for the contact information or location of the ambulance services, fire department, local police, or your embassy. Don’t wait for that to happen. Search for the active numbers and addresses of these agencies. Then, save it on your phone or write it down your notes. If any mishap happens, you know what to call or where to go for help.
Avoid wearing flashy jewelry
While it may add elegance and goes perfectly with your outfit, wearing flashy jewelry draws attention and makes you an easy target for thieves or pickpockets in specific areas, especially in crowded ones. So, leave your luxurious pieces at home and use them for more appropriate occasions.
Secure your bag
Your bag makes it easy to carry your stuff and roam around your destination. With that, it is also the apple of the eye of ‘bad guys’ looking to steal your valuables for easy money. So, your job is to lessen the chances of them succeeding in their plan.
First, be mindful that not all bags are secure. There are bags whose zippers or material are easy to open or slash, and it only takes a few seconds to minutes for robbers to get a hand of your important items. Make sure to get a slash-proof backpack, that is more durable and use a lock to keep it more secure.
Second, always pay attention to your bag. If you’re eating at a restaurant, never leave it under the table, as the next thing you’ll know, it’s already stolen by crafty thieves. Place it somewhere you can clearly see it or use thin cables instead and lock it to your seat.
Lastly, ask your hotel or hostel if they have storage options, such as lockers or safe. You can use them to store and lock your valuables and bring only what’s necessary as you go to the beach, museum, or local market, preventing you from losing your valuable items.
Do withdrawals in banks
Skimming is a common practice by robbers across the world. They attach a device that disguises as a part of an ATM and collects or copies your data without your knowledge. If your card got skimmed, it can be replicated and be used for fraudulent transactions. If you need money, do withdrawals inside banks where there is better security. Be also wary of any suspicious part in the ATM. Should you see any, skip it and report it to the bank or an authorized person right away.
Parties are undoubtedly enjoyable, especially in locations where there is a hip and vibrant nightlife scene. There’s nothing wrong with partying and boozing, as long as you don’t get too carried away by the fun. Remember, you’re in a new place, no one is there to help if you’re traveling alone. Plus, it will be easier for you to become the target of people with ill-intent when you’re drunk.
One common mistake of travelers is overpacking, bringing in too many unnecessary items along their trip. If you travel a lot, be sure to pack light. It will be easier for you to go through busy areas or tourist spots if you only have a smaller bag to look after. Moreover, the fewer things you have, the less that items can get lost.
Be wary of your clothing
Travelers often wear their best OOTDs when going to new places. While it’s always nice to express yourself and your fashion sense, wearing too extravagant clothes or certain clothing styles will cause you to stand out to the wrong people. The less touristy you look, the fewer chances of being noticed by scammers or robbers.
So, blend in with the locals and wear simpler clothes. Moreover, check out any laws if you’re visiting Islamic nations, as they have certain rules on showing skin. Respecting their tradition and culture keep you out of any problem by not offending anyone while traveling. Take time to research the clothing regulations on the destination you’re headed to.
Have digital copies of your documents
While you don’t want it to happen, there is a possibility that your identification cards, passport, and other important travel documents can be lost on your trip. You may misplace them, forget them in a certain location, or worse, get stolen. With that, it’s vital to store digital copies of these essential documents on your phone, or cloud storage. That way, you have something to show as proof of identity and it’s easier to process replacement later.
Avoid sharing too much info with strangers
Traveling is more fun as you get to meet new people, from different nationalities, cultures, gender, and age. While it’s fun to mingle with them, be extra caution when sharing your information. You’ll never know how anything you say can be used by people with intentions lurking instead. For instance, don’t tell a local or any stranger about the hotel you’re staying at. Also, avoid posting your itinerary on your social media pages, as it can be a great tool for people to know your whereabouts. Thus, compromising your safety.
There is safety in numbers
There’s nothing bad about traveling alone, especially if you’re already an experienced traveler. However, if it’s your first time, we advise traveling in a group. Scammers, attackers, and thieves are often intimidated by large groups as they have lesser chances for success. They’re likely to attack those who are traveling alone and are less likely to defend themselves. With that, opt for group adventures instead as that ensures you get to explore everything around and do everything you do while being safe.
Refrain from doing stupid things for photos
Almost everyone wants to share their travel experiences on their media accounts. However, travelers often cross the line just to get the “best” photos. Thus, resulting in accidents or bad situations, such as getting attacked by wild animals, falling off high places, or being caught for trespassing. So, be sure to be smart when you want to snap that awesome photo. Try to assess the location first if it’s dangerous. Refrain from doing activities that have a high risk of getting you injured or killed. Instead, look for other artistic ways to document your trip.
Take basic self-defense classes
You don’t need to earn a black belt, but having a little know-how on defending yourself can save you in an emergency situation. However, everything has the timing, though. If the attacker has a gun or knife, don’t attempt to fight and just give your phone or bag right away. You can replace them but not your life. So, only apply force when your life is in imminent danger and the only resort for escape is to engage in a physical confrontation.
Bring a first-aid kit
If you’re the adventurous type of traveler, who loves to hike, bike, water sports, and other rigorous activities, you most likely know that injuries or wounds are an inevitable part of the fun, regardless of how cautious you are. As such, bringing a first aid kit is an excellent idea. Packing essentials items for scrapes, cuts, burns, and sprains can be helpful. Add also over-the-counter medications for headaches, stomach issues, and allergies, and you’d be prepared if ever they strike.
Trust your guts
Sometimes, it’s important to trust your guts. If you’re taking a taxi cab or bus, walking on a dark street, choosing a destination, or eating certain foods, and you feel that something is off, maybe there’s really something wrong. That also applies if your intuition is saying it’s alright, as it’s probably good. Don’t hesitate to follow your instinct – it will never let you down.
There’s no doubt that traveling is a fun, enjoyable, and thrilling experience, which allows you to explore the world, see awe-inspiring places, meet different people, witness different cultures, and relish various palatable cuisines. However, all that can turn into misery and frustration should anything bad happen. So, be sure to follow the tips listed above to ensure that you get the most out of your trips, whilst veering from harm’s way. Happy and safe travels!