There’s nothing in the world quite like travel. The entire experience – from cultural immersion, getting to know the locals, sightseeing, and trying new food – is unbeatable. A vacation abroad can feed your mind, soothe your body, and calm your spirit. While most countries are safe for tourists, bad things can and will happen if you’re not prepared.
Here are ten Safe Vacation tips to help you stay safe when travelling.
1. Know Where You’re Going
Ignorance is not bliss when you’re on vacation. Before packing your bags and jumping on a plane, make a proper effort to research where you’re going first. Learn about the country your visiting, especially if it’s your first time.
Knowing about the weather, cultural norms, manners, dress code, places to avoid, and the political situation can help you steer clear of trouble. It can also help to load up on information about where to stay, eat, shop, and have a drink. Remember, keep your eyes peeled for anything.
2. Try to Look Inconspicuous
Looking like a tourist is like a magnet that attracts thieves, muggers, and scammers looking to relieve you of your stuff. When abroad, the last thing you want is to stick out like a sore thumb with your large backpack, map, and cameras. Before leaving, scour your closet for wardrobe pieces that will make you look like a local.
Blending in can help keep you safe against those looking to take advantage of a clueless and confused tourist. Dress appropriately, try not to carry too much stuff, and always walk with a purpose (as if you know where you’re going, even when you don’t).
3. Know the Lingo
While Google Translate can help you in a pinch for menus and signs, it helps to know a few essential words for emergencies. Phrases such as “I need help” and “where is the nearest police/hospital/bus station” are valuable while you’re on vacation.
4. Make Copies of All Your Important Documents
Take a picture of your passport, airline tickets, accommodation, and other vital travel papers. Print these out and make sure to bring a few copies. You should also get the numbers of the local police, hospital, your country’s embassy, and the person you wish to notify in case of an emergency. It would help if you had these numbers printed out and laminated to make it more durable.
5. Become an Airport Expert
Avoid delays and other air travel issues by being pro-active in your efforts to stay informed. Do some research on the usual problems a particular airport has, such as runway traffic and frequent weather delays, among others. Check with the airline and the airport website or social media page for information about the status of your flight.
For transportation out of the airport, make sure to make arrangements in advance. If you’re taking a bus, try to book ahead of time. For taxis, always ask if the meter is working or agree on a fixed price before getting in. Always carry a map, download a Google offline map and make sure you have mobile data for turn-by-turn navigation.
6. Make Friends, But Don’t Be Too Friendly
Meeting new people and making friends can make your trip extra awesome, but always keep your guard up. While most people are helpful and sincere, some want nothing more than to scam or hurt you. When you meet someone new, a background check won’t hurt. Pay for a service or use a search engine and social media to find out more about that person. It’s surprising how much personal information is out there!
7. Get Travel Insurance
Don’t try to save money by not getting travel insurance. Many travellers make this mistake and end up regretting it. You’ll end up paying more money for services that insurance could have covered. Travel insurance covers unexpected injuries, hospital visits, theft, and even flight cancellations.
8. Safeguard Your Valuables
Carrying too much luggage increases the risk of the airline losing one or all your bags. Keep things simple by packing light, or at the very least, have only one piece of luggage checked-in plus a carry-on for your passport and phone. Try to choose a bag that doesn’t stand out and make sure to use a sturdy lock to secure what’s inside. Invest in a slash-proof bag and a wallet with RFID protection to avoid identity theft.
9. Never Flaunt Your Riches
Showing-off your money, jewellery, or expensive gear anywhere (even at home) is always bad form and paints a target on your back. Don’t carry your cash in thick rolls or money clips like a gangster. Carry a dummy wallet with some money in it and use that for regular purchases so you won’t have to expose your real wallet. You can also surrender the false wallet in case you get mugged.
10. Take Your Medicine with You
If your taking prescription medication, it’s risky to run out while on vacation. Local pharmacies might not have what you need, so make sure to have an adequate supply of medicine with you when travelling. It’s also a good idea to get the proper vaccines before you leave.
About the Author
Ben is a Digital Overlord at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!
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