Let’s face it, we all know there are dangers that come along with traveling, especially for adventurous people like ourselves. But, we also know that none of us are going to let those risks stop us. That being said, there are definitely some important steps to take to make sure you are protected as you travel. Preparedness is half the battle. Start off prepared and your chance of incident already decreases! Check out our 5 tips below for protecting yourself while you’re abroad.
One of the most important things you can do when traveling to another country is have documentation of who you are, where you are going, and those to notify in case of an emergency. Not only should you be carrying all this info on you- you should also have several copies made for yourself, and someone responsible back home. Your itinerary, copies of your passport, driver’s license, and any notable medical issues are records should always be on hand. Keep copies on you, in your bag at the hotel, as well as in the safe care of a family member who isn’t traveling with you. This way, should you run into trouble, you have multiple ways of identifying yourself to authorities and medical professionals.
It’s always fun to be spontaneous, adventurous and live in the moment, but having a pre-made plan for your travels can be quite important. Even if you don’t want to give your family a play-by-play of your daily intentions, at least let them know which countries , cities or towns you plan to visit and when. Or if you’d like to be super secretive, give them a date you expect to return by or be in touch by so they know when to start worrying if you don’t turn up.
I can’t stress this enough to fellow travelers: buy travel insurance. There are so many situations and incidents that can happen, dire or minimal, that you might need some protection for: Cancelled flights, lost medication, unexpected injury, family emergencies, weather trouble, etc. The list goes on and on. Lucky for travelers now a days, travel insurance is just a click away. Companies like Bupa offer so many options. Single trip, multi trip, not to mention insurance for the type of trip you are going on. Pretty easy and makes a world of difference if you get in an unexpected pinch.
Strength in Numbers
When traveling it’s always important to have a buddy system or travel in a group. If you do feel the need to venture off on your own, or are traveling solo, make it a point to check in with someone when you return. A good tip for the solo travel is to make plans to meet up with familiar faces when possible, if you happen to be traveling thru an area where you know someone. Of course, stay out of dark alleys and avoid dangerous parts of the city alone at night. Even feel free to tell the front desk at your hotel that you plan to arrive back or check-out on a certain date/time. Give them an emergency contact number for if that doesn’t happen.
If traveling alone is unavoidable or you’re just one of those folks who prefers it, you can still continue to protect yourself. I like to carry an under the shirt wallet that straps to my body so your belongings aren’t so noticeable. Even if you do this, always only carry just enough money to get what you need for that day. Don’t wear fancy jewelry or clothes so as not to draw attention to yourself. Also, if you have a safebox in your hotel or hostel, make sure to make use and lock things up well. The less enticing items you are carrying around with you, the less likely you’ll be a target.
Photo by scrubhiker on Flickr