Safety

7 Safety Tips while Traveling

Traveling is fun and it can be very fulfilling but one of the things that would be travelers should prioritize is their safety. Being prepared will make a world of difference in having a good trip as opposed to one full of troubles.

Here are 7 tips on how to be prepared and avoid trouble as much as possible.

  • Learn where your country’s embassy is and how to contact them

Knowing where your country’s embassy is can be very helpful especially if you find yourself in a sticky situation. You should know how to locate it and how to contact them by phone so if you ever need some assistance, you know what to do.

  • Try not to stand out too much

Keeping a low profile will make traveling so much easier and safer. If you don’t stand out, you are less likely to be targeted by lowlife robbers/muggers/pickpockets/scammers and the likes. Granted, not standing out is very hard to if you are the only foreigner in the specific area but there are things that you can do to keep a low profile. An example would be your outfit. If your outfit is very loud, it will attract attention, both wanted and unwanted. If you are obnoxious or rude, you are asking for trouble.

Basically, you just want to mind your own business but if you want/need to interact with people, be very courteous and respectful because remember, you are a foreigner and you are in their turf so act accordingly.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and don’t get easily distracted

It should go without saying that being in a foreign land requires attentiveness and being aware of what’s happening around you so that you won’t be a victim of theft crimes or encounter other problems. If you are used to walking around without a care in the world back home, you should know that that won’t fly when you are abroad. You should always be mindful of your surroundings and if there are unusual events happening when you are around, it’s fine to be curious but you should always be guarded.

  • Budgeting

Carrying just enough cash when going out is the way to go. Don’t go out with all your cash and always stash emergency funds in obscure places such as your socks, a hidden pocket in your jeans etc. so that you won’t have trouble if you should ever need it. Credit cards are also recommended instead of debit cards or cash due to the fact that if it ever gets lost or stolen, you can always report it and prevent problems and headaches.

  • Keep backups of important papers

A simple trick that I always employ whenever I’m going out of the country is that I email all the necessary papers to myself so that if I ever lose or misplace them, I always have backups. Of course, the best thing is to not lose or misplace them in the first place but just in case, it is always good to be prepared and have backups.

  • Keep in touch with family/friends back home

Keeping in touch with family or friends back home is necessary so that they will know that you are safe and it also gives them peace of mind. It is also helpful to you because if ever you are in trouble and you can’t contact them, they will know that something is up and they can get help or assistance for you.

  • Travel light

Traveling light is what I always do. I don’t bring unnecessary things/gadgets that I don’t really need so that moving is easier and the potential of losing something valuable is lessened.

Being Prepared

Traveling to a different country is very exciting but it can also lead to a lot of anxiety, especially if you are traveling alone or if it is your first time. Being excited and anxious at the same time can lead to being improperly prepared for your journey and this can cause a whole lot of problems.

The best thing you could do is be prepared and if it helps, create a list of things that you need to do, things you need to bring and research ahead of time regarding the place you are visiting. Having fun is important but being aware of your surroundings and being safe in a foreign country trumps that.

Tips Before Departing

  • Research ahead of time

As stated above, you should definitely learn about the country you are visiting and take note of places that you should not visit alone. Be aware of the weather situation in advance so you won’t have trouble with transportation. For example, go to the tourist site for the country you are visiting, in my case, the Philippines. Of course, these sites will not list all the places that are dangerous, in this case, it’s up to you to do some web research of your own.

  • Don’t bring unnecessary things

Traveling light is very important, at least to me. I don’t want to bring things that are unnecessary because the more you bring, the higher the chances of losing them, especially the valuable ones. The less you have on you, the easier your movement and you won’t be a target for potential theft.

  • Prepare all the necessary paperwork ASAP

Get all your paperwork done as soon as you can and make sure that it is accessible. Also, you can scan them and send them to your e-mail or take a picture so that you have a backup if ever you will need it.

Tips When You are There

  • Credit cards are recommended

When you carry loads of cash or even a debit card, you are just asking for trouble. Thus, my recommended way to access your money is via credit card and having a little emergency cash on hand. If you lose your money or debit card, it’s pretty much gone but with a credit card, you can alert your bank.

  • When withdrawing cash, choose ATMs that have security guards

This means that you shouldn’t use ATMs that are in remote areas and you should always go for ATMs in the banks, malls or other stores. This way, you can withdraw your cash without having to look over both your shoulders for potential robbers. Also, when you withdraw, count your money as fast as possible and put it away immediately.

  • Be aware when in crowds

A crowded area is very dangerous especially if you stick out like a sore thumb. Be aware and be wary of pickpockets. A good idea is to put your money in your front pocket as opposed to the back.

  • Ask the staff in your hotel for help with transportation

Don’t hail a taxi by yourself, chances are, you will be ripped off. Ask the staff to call you a cab instead as they can ensure that you will be paying a reasonable fare. Also, ask them ahead of time if there are areas that you should avoid.

That’s it for now. I hope that these tips will be helpful when you are out and about. Remember, common sense is a powerful thing, make sure to exercise it.