The world isn’t as bad as it is made out to be for American tourists. Sure, there are some places where you shouldn’t go alone or as a group. But for the most part, it is a beautiful, diverse place that you should take every opportunity to explore. I am sure you will agree with me when I say we Americans are too used to our creature comforts. We stay in our little bubbles with things like Spectrum internet bundles or McDonald’s nuggets. I feel travel helps broaden your horizons and toughen you up, an important step in personality development.
Travelling Safely – A Few Useful Tips
Again, the world is a generally safe, fun place to travel. But there are always a few bad eggs hiding among the good ones. Scammers, conmen, and even armed robbers abound in many tourist destinations. They pose a serious enough threat to locals. But tourists are at even more risk, considering they are usually in unfamiliar surroundings. A seemingly friendly face could turn into something much more sinister if you are too trusting. But then again, your suspicions shouldn’t make you turn away from genuinely friendly and helpful locals. So what should you do? The answer is to follow these simple safe travel tips for an enjoyable, safe travel experience:
- Read up on travel scams
- Have a written emergency plan
- Use the hotel safe
- Always get travel insurance
- Take advice from locals
- Register with your embassy
- Be wary of strangers
Let’s take a closer look at each tip and see how it can help you stay safe while travelling.
#1 Read Up on Travel Scams
Travel scams are one of the biggest risks tourists face when travelling in unfamiliar countries. Each country has its own type of “popular” tourist scam. There is no shortage of people waiting to trick you out of your belongings, both at home and abroad. It pays to do your homework before embarking on your journey. Read up on travel scams in the country or city you will be visiting. This research will come in really handy in recognizing and avoiding common scams people target tourists with.
#2 Have a Written Emergency Plan
You have no way of knowing when disaster strikes, so it always pays to be prepared. That doesn’t mean you need to carry around a full-blown zombie apocalypse survivor kit. Just having the local emergency numbers of on hand can help you a lot. When disaster hits, you’ll likely be too flustered to think straight immediately. Having a travel emergency plan, knowing what numbers to call and what to report comes in really handy at times like this. Store it on your phone, and keep a printed copy with you at all times.
#3 Use the Hotel Safe
It’s generally a bad idea to travel with extremely valuable belongings in the first place. But sometimes, even your regular gear can be pricey. Camera equipment, for example, doesn’t come cheap and you can’t afford to have it stolen. Even if you can, it’s still a hassle you can do without while travelling. When you can’t physically be near your belongings at all times, don’t be afraid to use the hotel safe. And as for backpacks, you need to invest in the slash-proof variety. Zipped and even locked backpacks pose no obstacle to a determined slasher.
#4 Always Get Travel Insurance
Don’t be tempted into thinking travel insurance is an unnecessary expenditure. Most of the time, you never think you need it until calamity hits and you find yourself wishing you had it. Travel insurance is a huge worry off your shoulders while travelling. At the very least, get short term insurance that covers your belongings.
#5 Take Advice from Locals
Locals are usually the best people to ask for advice on sightseeing and eating. But they can also help you steer clear of the more dangerous parts in town. Friendly locals often make a point of telling you to stay away from bad neighbourhoods. But be sure you are asking the right kind of local. Taxi drivers and shop keepers are notoriously shady. A better option is to check with your hotel staff instead.
#6 Register with your embassy
State Department programs like the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is worth looking into. When you travel, the U.S State Department informs the local embassy at the destination of your arrival. The embassy will constantly provide you with updated travel information. And in the event of a disaster like a volcano eruption, the embassy will be able to quickly get a hold of you.
#7 Be Wary of Strangers
Being careful around strangers is a piece of advice just as applicable while travelling as it was in our childhood. While there’s no need to be rude, there’s also no need to give out more information than you need to. Especially while you’re in an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar people. Be careful not to give out information on your travel plans or hotel name.
If you follow the seven tips above, you greatly reduce the risk you are at while travelling. You want to return to your Spectrum internet availability area back home in the best of spirits. Safety tips are a great way to ensure you have a great time without any untoward incidents marring your travel. Stay safe, travel more, and explore the world!