Travel can be scary, you will find yourself in completely new and potentially dangerous surroundings. It gets easier with smartphones and other helpful tools, but you should still be prepared to face a different culture and unknown city or even wilderness, depending on your destination. In order to stay safe, here are some things to prepare and think about before heading abroad.
You have to take care of your health. If you get sick while abroad, that can make things really difficult, especially if you do not have insurance. Getting the appropriate vaccines and bringing some vitamins and other supplements necessary to stay healthy is a good idea. Check whether the country you are traveling to has regulations about obligatory vaccination. If you get sick and are unable to explore, it is worse than getting robbed, much worse.
Backup Your Documents
Backing up your personal documents is always a good idea, even when not traveling abroad. When abroad, however, make physical copies of your documents, as well as electronic ones. Anything from your passport, visa and travel schedule to your driver’s license should be backed up. Keep the actual documents safe, carrying the backups with you.
Do Research on Your Destination
The country you’re traveling to might have different cultural standards. You might want to rethink your dress code. Learn about the place you’re traveling to, including whether there were any recent incidents with pickpocketing.
Organize Your Possessions
Do not keep things in your back pocket. It is the most common area that thieves reach for. Tourists getting pickpocketed is not unheard of in many countries. Keep your valuables close to you and in front of you. If you have a backpack, make sure that it cannot be unzipped easily and that the valuables aren’t in plain sight or easy-to-reach pockets.
Pay with Cash – Keep Your Credit Card Safe
Paying in cash is recommended, especially if you’re not in a bigger, reputable shop or store. Identity theft is also tied to credit card payments as thieves can pick up data after the card is swiped. If you are bringing cash with you, do not flash it around but rather keep it to yourself, planning ahead for any payments, larger or smaller.
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Dio had it right with this song. Realistically, you want to explore new cultures and get to know new people. Do not trust strangers with your personal information and be mindful of who you tell where you’re staying and what you have on you.
If you happen to be invited to a house party, think again before going with your new “friend”. You can find a club on your own and they are likely to have security.
This does not mean that you should be surrounded by a lot of people at all times, though it is recommended if you get scared or think that someone is following you. A crowd of people is likely to provide you with safety.
This means that you should use public transportation and companies registered with the city or country. Avoid shady, private vehicles.
Do not get discouraged, these tips are here to help you stay safe and prepare yourself for the worse. You are not likely to run into any of these problems, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare in advance.