Staying Safe While Traveling: Tips and Advice for Globetrotters
Safety is the number one concern of many travelers. The risk of being stranded in an unfamiliar country with no passport or credit cards can be frightening. Rather than journey from one destination to the next carefree, solo travelers, couples, and families can take a few precautions to ensure that they enjoy their time away from home. This can be as simple as making copies of all their important documents and stashing their passports away in a safe place.
Being safe offers a sense of security in a foreign location. Travelers know that they can handle any situation with little to no assistance from others. This boosts their confidence and gives them a sense of peace. Without this feeling, rest and relaxation is seldom accomplished. Many nightmare trips are the result of inexperience and rash decision making.
Choose Safe and Accommodating Lodging
Just because the price is right doesn’t mean that a hotel or hostel is ideal. Reading other traveler’s reviews and recommendations can save you the hassle of finding another place to sleep at night. Pay special attention to safety concerns. Are they something that can be overcome with some modifications? If the answer is no, find a new place to hang your hat at the end of the day.
Make Copies of All Important Documents
It is important to keep a copy of all important documents in a safe location. Many travel websites suggest leaving a file containing copies of your passport, traveler’s checks, and vaccination records with a family member or trusted friend. In the event that these items are lost or stolen, there is a way to expedite the process with photocopies of the original documents. Contacting the Embassy of your country is always easier when you can identify yourself as a citizen.
Carry a Wallet Sized List of Emergency Phone Numbers
A note card containing the name and contact information for different groups and organizations that assist travelers can be easy slid into a wallet or pocketbook. This list can also be personalized with the phone numbers of your closest kin back home. In the event that something happens to you while you are away, the proper authorities will have an easy way to communicate with your family members. It also comes in handy if you lose your cell phone and have no other access to this information.
Travel in Groups
It is ill advised to travel to foreign locations alone. Even if you are crossing the globe solo, consider meeting up with other travelers as a safety precaution. A number of websites were created solely for this purpose. Contact members setting out for the same destination and introduce yourself. Make sure that you check out these people’s backgrounds before going anywhere alone with them. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Credit Cards and Traveler’s Checks Are Ideal
Cash is not king when you travel. Credit cards and traveler’s checks offer added security features while currency does not. Credit cards and traveler’s checks can also be easily replaced. Cash, on the other hand, cannot. Make sure to keep copies of your account numbers and the contact information for each credit card company that you utilize in the off chance that you leave one behind at a restaurant or store. Also, make sure to keep these items concealed until you need them. Alerting others to the fact that you are a tourist never is a good thing. Pickpockets are abundant in many countries around the world.
Don’t Walk at Night
If given the option to catch a cab or ride a bus to your location at night, always do so. Although it may take a sizeable chunk out of your travel budget, taking a few precautions in a strange land is worth its weight in gold. You may be out a couple of bucks but you arrive to your destination safely and with minimal hassles.
Trying to navigate an unfamiliar stretch of road after spending all night in a local pub is something no traveler should ever try. When in doubt, pay out. Cabbies and bus drivers are used to dealing with visitors so they know to hang around high traffic areas and tourist hot spots. Just keep an eye out for them and try to negotiate a price before the meter starts running.
Travelers that start planning their trip in advance have more time to consider things like safety. From choosing a reputable place to stay to arranging a ride home at night, the well-informed globetrotter has a better chance of enjoying his or her trip because the likelihood of something bad happening is slim.