How to travel safe

How to Travel Safe

4 minutes

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December 10th 2019
How to Travel Safe 1 Renata Novak is a brand manager, digital marketer and content writer.

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What could be better than travelling across the globe? Becoming familiar with new cultures, tasting foreign cuisine, and meeting people from all walks of life are just some of the experiences travel offers. But by far the most common reason to leave our hometown and wander into the unknown is pure, otherwise unattainable relaxation. To be able to let our minds rest and simply enjoy what the world around us has to offer is undoubtedly what we all strive for on our travels. However, it’s not always easy to travel safe–there is a always a chance of our stress levels suddenly increasing when something unexpected happens—petty thefts, scammers, and all-around safety concerns might just be the thing that causes us to be on edge at all times. How to ensure, then, that our travels remain worry-free?

 

1. Do Basic Research

Before picking your destination, make sure the place you’re travelling to is relatively safe—check for any ongoing armed conflicts, the political state of the country, and current controversies between neighbouring nations that could progress further. Additionally, check the country’s climate for any erratic weather conditions, which could not only ruin a pleasant beach day, but also put you in harm’s way (we’re certain you still remember hurricane Dorian that hit the Bahamas this August). Even policies regarding the LGBTQ+ community might be something worth looking into, if they affect you or any of your travel companions.

 

2. Scammers Everywhere

The unsuspecting tourist is an easy target for the experienced scammer. Be wary of complete strangers offering you help without you asking—especially if they approach you in groups. Do not fall for random acts of kindness, as the person is most likely trying to scam you! Instead, give them a firm “no, thank you”, and leave. One of the most common scams involves ‘free’ souvenirs roses, friendship bracelets, rings—once you accept the item, they’ll demand money, and cause a scene once you refuse to pay. Similarly, be careful when it comes to getting in a taxi—the drivers will often try scamming you out of your money by saying their meter broke, or even by locking the car doors until you pay them the amount they demand.

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3. Think Ahead

No matter how much research you do, no matter if you’re able to recognise every single scam out there, the possibility of getting pickpocketed still exists. This is especially the case in capitals and other big towns, where the crowded streets make for the perfect disguise, helping the thieves hide in plain sight. And just like that, both your documents and the money you had on you are gone. The best way to (at least try to) prevent getting robbed is by investing in theft-proof backpacks, or carrying a fanny pack. Additional precautions you can take include carrying your purse or backpack in front of you, and keeping a secret stash of money inside your inner jacket pocket.

 

4. When Travelling Alone

Whenever you decide to travel alone (especially as a young woman), there’s plenty of safety measures you can—and should—take. One of them is letting your friends and family know where you are by updating them with pictures and calling them every now and then. Your phone being your main mode of communication is a good reason to carry a power bank with you in case you run out of battery as well.

Remember the scammers and pickpockets we mentioned above? Solo travellers are their primary targets, so look out for that! You can try blending in with the locals to avoid being seen as a tourist—looking at a map is a dead giveaway of a traveller, and a lost one at that! On top of that, don’t listen to your headphones in crowded places—you won’t be aware of your surroundings, which will make the job easier for both thieves and abductors.

 

5. Where to Find Help

If you do end up in a situation where you’d need help, knowing where your country’s embassy is will be of great convenience—especially if you don’t speak the national language. If you’ve lost your documents or they’ve been stolen, if you’ve fallen ill while abroad, or if you just need information on how to deal with a legal issue you’re facing, the employees will be able to offer you professional help. Make note of where the closest police stations and hospitals are, as well.

It’s also a smart idea to carry with you a copy of your passport, so you’re able to prove your identity and receive aid as soon as possible – but be sure to keep the copies separate from your actual documents in case of robbery.

We all agree that the key to a fun vacation is to travel safe. What are some of your tips and tricks that have made your travels less stressful in the past? Share them with us in the comments below!

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