Traveling is thrilling, and the world is full of exciting destinations for every wanderluster to explore. From snow-capped mountains and canyons to wildlife safaris and city tours, there are many escapades all over the world to try. Visiting new places creates memorable experiences. It provides the opportunity to enjoy unfamiliar sights, meet new people, and explore different cultures.
Regardless of where you are traveling, safety should be a significant consideration. There is no absolutely secure travel destination globally, and it’s imperative to stay as safe as possible wherever you decide to go. Being extra careful about safety can keep your traveling experiences fun and positively memorable.
This article provides handy tips on how to plan a safe trip and avoid the challenges that many travelers can face while on the go. Read on!
General Travel Safety Tips
These travel safety tips apply to every traveler, regardless of where you are traveling:
Get Travel Insurance
You never know how valuable travel insurance is until you need it. Travel insurance is helpful in the event of emergencies, especially when traveling abroad. This is because your personal insurance may not cover several aspects of emergency care and might leave you out in the cold in the event of an emergency.
Travel insurance providers such as World Nomads provide special coverage for medical, lost baggage, delayed flights, and other unplanned circumstances during travel. Good insurance can save you lots of money and give you much-needed peace of mind.
Keep Emergency Contacts
Remember to save emergency hotlines on your phone or write them somewhere you can access easily in case of an emergency. It’s best to research the nearest authorities who can come in handy in the event of an emergency. Being able to find emergency contact numbers for your home country's consulate and the local police or ambulance will prove valuable if you need them.
Research Where You Stay
One of the major travel safety tips is to avoid getting lured to unsafe properties when seeking accommodation. Use reviews from trusted sites such as TripAdvisor to find trusted hotels or properties beforehand.
Also, if the properties are fully booked, don’t bend for the remaining alternatives. Any accommodation property must be registered with the local authorities and must meet a range of safety standards such as fire protection, protection from wildlife, and more. Ideally, it’s best to consider green hotels that are eco-certified to meet sustainability requirements.
Travel Safety Tips for Solo Travel
Solo travel is fun and adventurous, but it can also bring about unwanted mishaps. Here are some safety tips for solo travel:
Keep Your Family and Close Friends Informed
It’s always advisable to inform your family members and close friends about your itinerary plans. You should also keep in touch with them at regular intervals. This way, they can notify relevant authorities if they don’t hear from you for several days.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
The joy of traveling and exploring the world can take you to unfamiliar, off-the-beaten-path destinations. If you are traveling alone, ensure you are fully aware of wherever you are. Avoid destinations you have little or no information about as they could expose you to danger.
Don’t Draw Attention
Travelers can draw attention to themselves if they seem overly unfamiliar with where they are. Don't hesitate to ask for directions from local shop owners, but try not to look too confused and baffled out on the street.
Don’t Mention You Are Traveling Alone
This is a simple hack to stay out of danger. Mentioning you are traveling alone to total strangers could give the indication that you are an easy target.
Vacations are often the time when people might go a little overboard with alcohol when it comes to relaxing and letting loose. However, becoming drunk in an unfamiliar place can be extremely dangerous, for women, and also for men. The best advice here is to monitor how many drinks you're having and not to let yourself lose control.
You don't want to put yourself in a position where you are not sure how you are getting back to your accommodation, or not aware of what's happening to your belongings and body. It's also advisable to hold your drink and not put it down, if you're not sitting at a table. Things can be purposefully dropped in drinks to disarm or disorient you. Drinking safely will help you better enjoy your next day of exploring too!
Travel Safety Tips When Traveling Abroad
There are so many exciting things abroad. Have you explored the best off-the-beaten-path destinations? Have you hit the world’s most exciting hiking trails? Obviously, you are getting exposed to new people, unfamiliar cultures, and totally unique destinations. It also presents everything you’ve never imagined before.
However, traveling abroad presents more risks than traveling internally. That being said, here are some travel safety tips to ensure your abroad travel expedition remains adventurous but safe.
Travel With Recognized Travel Providers
There are so many travel providers, from agencies to private tour guides. You will likely come across hundreds to thousands of travel providers with enticing and mouth-watering deals.
Despite the large number of options available, many of them aren’t reliable. It’s advisable to choose travel providers who have a proven track record for safety and sustainability. Travel agencies like Intrepid Travels and G Adventures help travelers explore the world’s best travel destinations. If you want to interact with locals and learn about foreign cultures, you can try travel providers such as ToursbyLocals and I Like Local. The main aim is to travel the world ethically and safely.
Keep E-Records of Your Travel Documents
Have you ever lost your essential documents? Can you remember the hassle you went through while trying to find a replacement? Now think of it happening in a foreign land where language, distance, and timing could put up major roadblocks.
To avoid inconveniences when traveling abroad, it’s best to keep e-records that you can trace easily in case you lose your original documents. Keep records of your passport, visa, identity cards, etc. This keeps you in a better position should you misplace or lose your hard copies.
Ensure You Meet All Required Health Requirements
Different countries require travelers to meet various travel requirements. Most countries require a yellow fever certificate, and recently, you may need to produce a COVID-19 vaccine certificate. Before traveling, ensure you meet all health requirements to avoid inconveniences. Research the requirements demanded by the country you are traveling to and act accordingly.
It is also advisable to get precautionary vaccines needed for your own safety when traveling to a certain region. Many Caribbean countries recommend Hepatitis A and B shots, for example, while some South American countries suggest Malaria shots. Your home country's Health Ministry may provide a guide to global recommendations such as this one from Canada: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.
Get Used to the Foreign Laws
Being caught on the wrong side of the law can ruin your travel adventures. Sometimes you can break a local law without realizing it, as things allowed in your own country may not be in the country you're visiting. You can be sent to jail or even deported.
While most laws are universal and apply to numerous countries, there are some specific ones that you have to get used to. For instance, taking chewing gum chew in public transport, wearing sleeveless tops in shopping malls, or eating in public during Ramadan is illegal in Dubai. In Singapore, for example, feeding pigeons, jaywalking, and forgetting to flush the toilet could lead to a jail term.
You should definitely know the laws around any kind of drug and alcohol use in the countries you go to. While cannabis use is legal in countries like Canada and the Netherlands, drug use is a serious criminal act in many other parts of the world. Even where it is ‘legal' there are exceptions. In certain Muslim countries, like the Maldives for example, there are strict laws about where you are allowed to consume alcohol.
Before traveling, it’s best to get well acquainted with the laws of the land. This way, you will have a hassle-free trip without worrying about the law enforcers.
Sign Up for Travel Alerts
Travel alerts may seem simple and unimportant, yet they could save your life. Travel alerts are issued in case of suspected terrorist activities, health hazards, natural catastrophes, etc. Since you are traveling to a foreign land that you are unaware of, it’s best to sign up for travel alerts so as to stay informed in case something happens in that country that could impact your safety.
Ensure You Can Make International Calls
Immediately when you land in a new country, it’s advisable to acquire communication devices such that you can make international calls. This is helpful, especially if you are traveling to a country where your country doesn’t have an embassy. Being in a position to make international calls means you can contact authorities back at home or close friends and family in case you encounter mishaps in your trip.
Make Sure Your Embassy is Involved
How much is the home embassy or consulate essential to you? Well, the majority of people don’t see the importance of the embassy until something unexpected happens. You can always call the embassy for help on any challenges you encounter on the way. This could be natural disasters, civil unrest, or even lost documents. Besides, registering your travel is voluntary and costs nothing.
For instance, the US has the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to ensure its citizens can travel safely. Through this program, U.S. citizens can enroll with the nearest embassy or consulate. Travelers who enroll with this program receive important updates about their destinations so they can make great travel plans. Also, it makes it easier for the embassy to contact you in case of an emergency. Check any embassy arrangements that you can enroll with so you can travel more safely.
Become Familiar With Common Scams
Foreigners are easy targets of scams as they are unaware that they are actually getting scammed. Some of the common scams you should learn about include bag snatching, mobile money scams, pickpocketing, beach boys, meterless and unlicensed taxis, spiked drinks, and more.
The best way to learn these scams is to engage trusted locals or local authorities in the travel destinations. It can save you from both financial and physical perils that you could face overseas. You can research online about the scams to get a hint of what to expect.
Travel Safety Tips When Traveling With Kids
Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun, but it demands extra caution. In fact, the majority of parents dread traveling with kids due to the sheer challenges that occur. You must ensure both you and the kids are safe at all times to have a fun family vacation.
Here are some essential travel safety tips when traveling with kids:
Carry Some Emergency Medicines for Kids
Kids are delicate, unlike adults, who have higher immunity. Discuss with your doctor what prescription medicines you could pack for your children, especially when traveling outdoors or somewhere you can’t easily access medicine. A small medical kit with painkillers, antibiotics, antihistamines, and cold and fever medicines can come in handy in case of an emergency. However, ensure you can administer prescription-only medicines to avoid worsening the situation.
Ensure You Have Suitable Gear for Kids
Wherever you are going, ensure you have suitable gear for kids. Kids’ camping gear comes in handy when you are on a camping expedition. In the event of chilly weather, ensure you carry the suitable gear to prevent colds and instances of pneumonia. There are a number of sunblock swimsuits designed to protect children's skin from hot sun in tropical places they may not be usually exposed to.
Track Your Kids
When traveling, there is always a danger of getting separated from your kids. You may lose them in the mall, at the beach, theme parks, or deep in the woods. You can, however, use wearable tracking devices to ensure you can locate them. This way, you can travel freely without the anxiety of losing your child. Wearable tracking devices come in various designs and colors, and you can choose the ones that appeal to your kids. If your child is old enough to carry a cell phone, apps like Find My Friend, allow you to locate your child when they are carrying their phone.
Ensure Kids Have Emergency Contacts
What would happen in the event you are separated from your kids mysteriously? Can kids find their own way out?
It’s advisable to provide kids with emergency contacts they can reach out to in case you are separated from them. This ensures kids won’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere without help.
The Bottom Line
There you have the ultimate travel safety tips. The main goal is to ensure you have reliable travel insurance, notify your family and close friends, and know your travel destination clearly. This way, you will have a trouble-free travel expedition.
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