Traveling the world can be an exhilarating experience. However, it is easy to get so caught up in the fun of being on an adventure that you don’t think about the safety aspect of it. Here are some tips to help you travel safely and make sure that your trip is enjoyable.
Research the Location
Learn about your vacation destination well in advance of your arrival. Read guides, documents produced by your government, and traveler reviews. If you have friends or family who live where you’re going, consult with them. Ask them about safe neighborhoods to visit and good places to stay. Learn about areas where there is a high crime and get an overall understanding of the country’s political stability. The State Department’s website is a great resource.
A significant part of your research is knowing what numbers to dial if there is an emergency. You should memorize the numbers of the consulate, the police department, and other emergency departments.
Don’t Attract Attention
It can be hard not to attract attention, especially if you look different than the majority of the people in the area you’re visiting. However, people who look like they’re on vacation attract attention from the criminal element. As much as possible, try to blend in.
Part of that includes wearing garments that won’t attract attention. If you need to look at street maps or get directions, do so discretely. Also, consider purchasing clothing that’s designed to make it harder for pickpockets to steal your money or other personal items.
Think Twice about Public Wi-Fi
In most places, you can easily find Wi-Fi at a cyber café or a coffee shop. But just because it’s readily available and free, this doesn’t mean that you should use it.
It does not matter if you’re in a developed country or developing country, when connecting to public Wi-Fi, there is a chance that hackers are looking to steal your information. Your credit card, your Social Security number, and your bank information are precious. If you are going to use public Wi-Fi, you might think about creating a VPN. This could increase your security while traveling.
Pocket WiFi is another option. It gives you the freedom to connect to your own Internet network, regardless of where you are. You can get country-specific coverage and plans that allow you to hop from country to country. This way, you know that you are the only one who has access to your Wi-Fi.
Make a Copy of Important Documents
You don’t know when you will need to get a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or another form of identification. If your wallet gets stolen, you could lose these documents, making your stay in a foreign country extremely difficult. One recommendation is to scan all of your essential documents and then send yourself an email with an image of these documents. You can access your email anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet and a device that can access the Internet. You never have to worry about losing your documents. With a click of a button, you can print out copies that you could use to help you get copies of physical documents.
It sounds adventurous to go on a journey off the grid and disconnected from the world. It sounds liberating not to stay in touch with anybody. However, suppose you do not establish a pattern of communicating with friends or family when on vacation. In that case, if something were to happen to you, it might be some time before friends and family even know that they should be worried.
Regardless of where you go if it’s just for one night or a three-month trek, it’s always good to let your friends know when you’re going to leave and when you’re coming home. Before you take off, let a few trusted people who can keep tabs on your whereabouts know what your itinerary will be. As you travel from one destination to the next, touch base with your contacts so they know you’re safe.
Enjoy the Voyage
Traveling can be so much fun. It expands your horizons and lets you meet new people and see new things. However, make your travel safe by keeping track of your documents, communicating, and doing some research before you hit the road.