Whether you’re deciding to hit the beach, walk through the hustle and bustle of a city, find yourself in a place filled with greenery, there are some things you should know.
Travelling anywhere in the world demands one to know about certain safety tips regardless of whether the place you’re travelling to is known to be safe. In the end of the day, you’re out of your comfort zone, most likely you won’t know anyone where you’re going, you’ll be exposed to a completely different culture and many other things such as currency and languages may be different.
So, below I have put together some safety tips that I believe all travellers should know about before venturing out anywhere in the world.
From conning taxi-drivers, insincere helpers and desperate tour guides, there are people out there ready and equipped to scam or rob you. Read on to find out more.
Google Common Travel Scams For Your Destination
Chances are that many people have been scammed or even robbed where you’re going. Or it may even be the case that those that have travelled there before you have picked up certain things that could be avoided when travelling to your destination. There are plenty of forums on the net filled with stories and even tips helping you to avoid becoming another victim.
Documents, Emergency Info & Backups
Wherever you go, ensure that you have extra copies of your travel documents, passports, flight tickets and even visas. Make sure that you also have copies of emergency information such as family contact information, a contact number for the embassies, medical numbers and other numbers you feel you may need to resort to in an emergency.
Put Away Some Emergency Cash
I’ve come across stories many times where a person was mugged and lost the entire money they were travelling with. What harm could it have had done if that person had locked away some emergency cash. Whether that’s safely in your bank ready to withdraw or locked away in a safe back at your accommodation, having extra cash in these situations will always help you out.
Study The Context – Be Situational
This is a big one! With majority of communication being based on non-verbal body language, studying your context and fitting in can help prevent you from becoming a target.
If you’re off to a densely populated tourist destination where majority of the people there are wearing clothes such as bright yellow shorts and a red t shirt, chances are that you’ll be fine wearing similar clothing. However, if you’re going to a destination which is again densely populated with tourists but is more conservative for cultural or religious reasons, you’re sure to become a target if you wear flashy clothes.
The bottom line is, dress in accordance to the place and what it demands. Use your judgement and try to be smart about it.
Inform Your Bank You’re Travelling
It’s happened to me a few times before where I’ve travelled abroad, used my card at an ATM or a retailer, returned home and found extortionate charges for those withdrawals or purchases.
Therefore, the moral of that story is, tell your bank you’re travelling. That will avoid any nasty charges and helps prevent your bank from contacting you thinking that someone has hold of your card abroad.
Let me take this opportunity to promote something to you. Monzo!
Monzo is a free card you can sign up to get using an app and it allows you to use your card for free abroad for withdrawals and purchases! It’s the first card I’ve come across that has this feature.
Medication & First Aid Kits
It could happen. Always remember that when travelling, someone could fall ill, someone could have a minor accident, someone could hurt themselves in some way or the other. Thankfully, being equipped with the right medication and a first aid kit can help go a long way. You won’t need to rush to a hospital or be stuck without any help for a long time. Having the basic first line meds and equipment can help solve many illnesses and injuries that may come up when travelling.
Keep Your Boundaries With Strangers
Whilst travelling entails conversing with strangers, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. There are many people that love meeting new people and whilst it can be a fun thing to do whilst travelling, it can potentially invite many problems.
If you are asked things like where you’re staying, instead of mentioning the name of a hotel, just mention the area. If they insist on the name, try stuttering to act like you’ve misplaced the name of the hotel in your head. Be very careful about divulging any information that can be used to track your whereabouts. It’s pretty normal to feel special when being approached by locals on your first few trips abroad, but remember to keep it short, simple and sweet.
Keep Your Belongings Light & In Sight
This is more for people travelling to places with many tourists but can also be useful for those travelling where there are less tourists. Pickpockets are everywhere and they are out there looking for opportunities to take from you without you realising. By travelling light, you’ve got less things to look out for. By keeping them in your sight, it’s harder for pickpockets to take from you.
Don’t keep valuable things in your backpack as I’m sure you know, opening a zip in a rowdy queue is not rocket science. Avoid using back pockets for your valuable or important documents or cash. Use a money belt if you need. Remember to always keep your valuables somewhere easily accessible for you and in sight.
Keep Your Family Informed
Whether you’re staying within the country or venturing off abroad, always keep your family informed of your trip details. This can have numerous benefits from assisting you in an emergency, sending you emergency cash, locating you in an emergency, informing the police of your whereabouts in case of anyone going missing, I can keep going.
Before my wife and I travel, we always make it a practice to inform our parents. Whilst we’re there we keep in touch with them. We keep them informed about our trip before we go so in case there are any problems they can seek out appropriate help.
In conclusion I would say that you cannot completely avoid mishaps whilst travelling as travelling entails taking risks. However, by following the tips above, you’ll be minimising the amount of risk your open to.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.