7 Tips For Staying Safe When Travelling
We all love and look forward to the prospect of travel, as we count down the days and draw up a detailed itinerary of what we plan to do and see. While traveling anywhere should be straight forward, leaving our familiar surroundings can place us at risk when it comes to staying safe while traveling. Here, we offer seven tips aimed at making your journey as safe as possible , while helping to make your time away a pleasant experience – these tips apply equally to business and leisure travel.
1. Money Matters Most
When we are at home, we tend to keep our cash and credit cards all in one place, namely in our wallets or purses. Thinking about this carefully, it really is a bad idea because it is just as easy to lose a wallet at home, as it is while traveling. Try to get into the habit of carrying just one just credit or debit card and a limited amount of cash.
Cash should be stored somewhere else on your person to avoid calamity if you lose your wallet for any reason. Lock the other cards or traveler’ away, preferably in a safe at the accommodation where you are staying. Avoid flashing your cash around and conceal your wallet from potentially prying eyes.
2. Back Up Contingency
To lose a wallet full of cards and cash is not just about the possible fraudulent use of these important banking instruments by unknown third parties. Getting them replaced when you are away from your base can be hair-raising because whom do you call and how do you go about placing a stop on a bank credit or debit card?
You may not even know the relevant details like the card number, etc. Before setting off on your travels, make a list of cards and contact numbers to call should something untoward happen to your cards or money. Keep the list somewhere safe, such as locked away with your passport or identity document. It makes good sense to scan important documents and copy the files to a data stick – keep the stick safe and separate.
3. Medical Awareness
Always carry a copy of your scripts in case customs stops you and ask for an explanation. Arrange enough regular medication to cover your time away, allowing for possible delays and cancellations. Trying to explain your requirements to a chemist in a foreign country is going to prove difficult, and not just because of the language differences.
Drugs vary from one country to the next so having a ready-made supply to cover your time away makes good sense. While on the subject of medicine, take along a supply of common ailment medication too. This helps avert unexpected problems such as colds and ‘flu – or the odd disagreement over something you have eaten.
4. Travel Insurance for Safety and Peace of Mind
Arranging adequate insurance cover before travelling is not just a safety issue, it is vital for peace of mind too. Imagine you are the victim of an accident caused by a third party and try envisaging the difficulties you could face without decent cover.
Read your travel insurance policy to gain an understanding of what is, as well as what’s not covered before you leave. Ask the insurer to explain anything that is not clear, and where necessary have the policy endorsed. Read the fine print and look for exclusions and general terms and conditions.
5. Safety First – Matters of Common Sense
When traveling, avoid protest activities and potentially volatile situations. Keep informed of local and international news that might affect your travel itinerary. Know as much as possible about each country you plan to visit, including a little about its history, religion, geography and government.
Report any suspicious person or activity in and around your accommodation to the local police – remember, crooks do not take holidays but they may well watch you. If you see an unattended package, move away from it and report it as soon as possible.
6. Safety in Numbers
As a guest in another country, try to remain who you are – friendly, courteous, polite and dignified. Opt to travel in small groups – three to five persons with both genders present if possible – this is the ‘safety in numbers’ routine.
If you do venture out alone, know your route and plan to travel as much in public as possible – avoid dark and seedy areas. Carry a book to read when using public transportation – others will have newspapers and magazines so you will merge with the crowd and look more like a local.
7. Advice for General Well-being
Expensive jewellery is like a magnet for some crooks, so dress conservatively and leave fancy jewellery in the safe. Women are sometimes targets of harassment – avoid allowing your “natural friendliness” to be mistaken for a potential ‘come on’. Last, but not least avoid losing your passport – it will may not be the end of the world, or will it?
Traveling should be a thrilling experience and – with a little common sense and careful planning- you should relish the opportunity and enjoy the encounters. Be streetwise and avoid being brash and arrogant as it may not go down well with the local people meet. Bon Voyage!