People travel for all kinds of reasons. Some people travel for exploration, while others travel for career purposes. But whatever the reason behind your travel, you will want to stay safe throughout your trip.
Here are six travel safety tips you should never ignore in order to make your short jaunt or long journey worthwhile.
1. Research the area before you go.
Research the place you’re going to before you leave. The fastest and best way of doing this is searching the web for legal information, advice and things you need to to know in advance. You can learn about the local customs, including how to dress appropriately and some key phrases used in the local languages.
Also, try and find an updated map of your travel destination, and learn about the area’s geography and main attractions. You’ll be able to get around much better when you know the local geography. Make sure the car you rent has safety features installed in case you do not have any idea of the traffic.
Learning about your travel destination makes you more enlightened and aware of the potential risks, and helps you be well prepared to capably deal with emergencies which might occur. You can also check travel advisories and warnings from reputable sources, and take note of the potential issues/problems you may encounter.
2. Make copies of everything before you leave.
Make copies of your passport, tickets, visas, driver’s license, credit cards, and other important documents. Do not forget to make copies of your car keys as well. Keep the documents in separate locations and also make an electronic copy. In case something happens (for instance, your documents get stolen), this will make it easy for you to recover. You can email an electronic copy of your documents to yourself, so that you are able to access them when needed.
Do not forget to leave a copy of everything with someone you trust or a family member. You also need to make sure someone knows your plans, and where you will be. You can set a schedule for getting in touch; make sure you call/communicate when you say you will.
3. Register with the state department.
Well, nobody expects to encounter terrorist attacks, natural disasters or such other emergencies while they are traveling. However, if you happen to experience such emergencies, you want to be well-prepared. You should consider enrolling in the State Department’s Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) before you leave. When you enroll in this program, the nearest United States Embassy will be able to easily find you and help you in case something happens.
4. Secure your credit cards and cash.
Money is the one thing you will need to take with you regardless of how light you intend to travel. Unfortunately, if you happen to lose your money, or have a credit card stolen, you will find yourself in a rather stressful situation.
The best way of staying safe is to get a hidden wallet or purse that you can wear underneath your clothing. Also, make sure you lock away the rest of your cash in the hotel’s safe.
To be extra safe, you can prepare what is known as a mugger’s wallet. This is a dummy wallet with just a small amount of cash, expired credit card and even fake IDs. In case you happen to get mugged, you can just give away the dummy wallet.
5. Secure your luggage.
If you’re traveling with luggage, you should take good care of it. Never let your luggage out of sight, especially when in a foreign country. Consider purchasing a high quality padlock to keep all of your bags secure.
Also, don’t offer to carry a bag for another person/traveler unless you absolutely trust them. You might find yourself carrying drugs or other illegal items without your knowledge.
6. Trust your gut.
Always trust your gut. In case something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Do not let excitement and stress of travel cloud your common sense. If something seems off like an offer from a stranger, go with your instinct and turn down the offer.
Also, avoid looking like a tourist. The more you stand out, the more likely you’re to become the target for thieves and criminals. Try and dress like the locals, and avoid the fanny packs and khakis.
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