Today, the world has undeniably gotten more accessible. Connecting flights and improved aircraft make going abroad fairly simple and fast. There’s now wifi on planes, built-in televisions, and spacious seating that makes the thought of traveling a little less daunting and a little more convenient. Phones, tablets, PCs make apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram accessible. These apps connect us in ways, people, a decade ago would not believe if you told them. But after all the fancy tech is put aside, and you’re done shopping for those travel essentials, the reality is that the world can still be a dangerous place, especially when you’re traveling to a new country. So in order to prepare you for your upcoming trip, we are going to list for you not only the best travel tips but a list of safety tips for travelling abroad that you probably didn’t think of.
Tip #11: Watch The News
The news can oftentimes be your best friend. Tune into your local news stations for travel safety alerts reported in out of state destinations. You also definitely want to check out world news stations like CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera to get worldwide travel safety tips being reported in breaking news. And most importantly check out the local news in the country you are going to visit which can be found online. From the implementation of new laws, civil unrest or other changes in where you’re traveling to you’re going to want to be aware, and oftentimes the news is the first to report it. Also, another great place to look is the Department of State website. They give travel advisories and visa requirements for each country. This is one of the most important safety tips for travelling that we can give you.
Safety tips for travelling pro tip: Don’t be naive and don’t be afraid to change travel plans. Most companies will understand if there is unrest in the area.
Tip #10: Get a Check-Up and Pack a First Aid Kit
One of the best travel safety tips you can receive is to get a check-up. A lot can happen to the body during long flights: anxiety, heart problems, breathing issues to name a few so checking with your doctor first is key. It’s also important to get a check-up before you travel abroad to make sure you don’t have any allergies to local environments or foods. You don’t want to be surprised with any underlying health issues that could get severe when you’re in another country especially if you are unfamiliar with the language or medical protocols. You also want to make sure you get any necessary vaccinations for the countries you may be visiting.
It’s also important to travel with a first aid kit. You don’t know where you’ll be when accidents happen and you need something immediately. Pack things like (aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal, laxative, band-aids, Benedryl, etc). Pharmacies are available internationally but sometimes you find yourself in a pinch.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Make your own first aid kit. Only you know what you may need and that can vary for everyone. Pre-made ones are expensive anyways.
Tip #9: Make Passport Copies
One of the most valuable pieces you’ll have when traveling abroad is your passport. A passport is your key to get there and back without any extra fanfare. Losing a passport while abroad means you can’t get on your returning flight home. You’ll need to at least have passport copies to show the proper authorities who you are. This is a key safety tip for travelling because you don’t want anything messing up your itinerary in terms of getting home.
Safety tips for travelling pro tip: You can also notify the State Department via their website of your travels and they can notify you of any immediate dangers.
Tip #8: Know The Exchange Rates
Know how far your dollar will go and what it can buy you. Don’t know how much it’ll cost you to buy essentials in France? That’s a problem. What if you only have $50 USD and a bottle of water in Euro equals just that? There goes all your cash. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, yes, but it’s a reality that things will happen and you need to know just how much things cost. Not everyone who will sell you something abroad is of honest character, therefore if they say something cost 10 Euro you need to do research on how much you actually owe. This way your budgeting is correct and you take enough money just in case of an emergency. Furthermore, if you have to use an ATM make sure you understand that there will be a fee for the atm, a fee from your bank and a foreign exchange rate fee. So be prepared and try not to use an ATM if you can help it. Knowledge about the areas you will be traveling is key to travel safety.
Safety tips for travelling pro tip: Not all places have Uber or similar services. Sometimes you will be forced to take a cab. Always know how much the charge should be and double-check with the driver before even getting into the car.
Tip #7: Use the First Day to Rest
One of our most important safety tips for travelling is to use the first day after a transcontinental flight to rest and get adjusted to the time change.
You might say to yourself you feel fine, you don’t need to rest and that you want to hit the ground running to see as much as possible. However, we are here to advise you not to. After getting little to no sleep on the plane your natural awareness will be down, your senses will be a little less alert and you will make mistakes. This happened to us and Chris’ phone was stolen right before our eyes. You always think it won’t happen to you however, it can happen to anyone.
Safety tips for travel pro tip: Listen to your body and know when it needs rest. If traveling in a group let them know you will catch up with them later. Some people sleep better on long flights than others.
Tip #6: Keep Valuables Safe
Along with your passport and money, you’ll want to keep your valuables safe. This falls under all international safety tips for travelling abroad. As in no matter where you go, that fancy watch or tablet doesn’t change in value. There will always be those who prey on unsuspecting tourists and you don’t want to be one of them. Keep your expensive watches covered or don’t travel with them. Don’t overly display smartphones and other pricey tech. Keep track of your belongings and keep them safeguarded. This especially matters in foreign places where your attention may be on everything but those items. If it can happen to someone like Kim Kardashian in Paris, it can happen to you.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Chris travels with her wedding ring set only because it is insured otherwise she leaves all other expensive items at home. Also, bring an extra security lock to tie bags together while traveling let’s say on a train or leaving them in the room. It is harder to do a snatch and grab when 4 bags are tied together. We love this one from Amazon.
Tip #5: Research The Location
It’s not wise to visit a location if you haven’t done a fair amount of research on it. Even before going out to a restaurant you’re most likely going to check out what type of food they serve first. Not knowing a basic layout of the land, what the language, the culture, and things like the exchange rate can lead to some unwanted situations. On top of that it puts you at a disadvantage. We always try to research popular scams in the country we are going to. We wish we lived in a world where everyone is honest and helpful, unfortunately this is not the case.
Although this may sound like safety tips for travelling during the Summer advise, making sure that you have enough clothes packed is important no matter where you travel abroad. Luggage goes missing, things get stolen, and in cases like this, you want to make sure that you have an extra few pairs in your bags. Sometimes in certain countries, there’s also a dress code or cultural way of dressing that you’ll want to respect. For instance, in some countries women must cover their hair, shoulders, and knees. And for men they can’t wear sandals or shorts. Where you travel, warrants the respect of that cultures wardrobe. So aside from your swimwear, make sure you have the country’s way of dress at the forefront of your mind and pack respectfully.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: You can convert a pashmina into a wrap skirt if you don’t have one long enough and you can also use one to cover your shoulders as a worst-case scenario.
Tip #4: Prepare Your Phone
If you happen to lose your phone while abroad, it’s not the end of the world. But it can be a lot more problematic if your phone happens to be unprotected. From making sure your device is locked to keeping “find your phone active”, it’s important to make sure that every possible way to keep your phone locked and secure is enabled.
Aside from security measures, you also want to make sure that you’ve downloaded all-important maps needed for travel when you know that you’re going to be navigating areas you’re unfamiliar with. You can do this using Google Maps. Along with this, any apps that serve as a communication point that can connect to wifi, such as WhatsApp or Facebook messenger are set up just in case your phone carrier doesn’t work in certain areas overseas.
Your phone can be a big help or in some cases a lifesaver. So having it prepared and ready in case of emergency is one of the best tips you can carry with you.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Make sure you test all the apps before you leave by placing your phone into airplane mode and using the functions of each app. This not only gives you the peace of mind that they are working, but it also allows you the opportunity to get familiar with each app and how it functions offline.
Tip #3: Know The Culture
There’s no quicker way to get yourself in trouble, in a new country, than being unaware of its values, laws, rituals, and more importantly, culture whether you agree with them or not. Knowing a country’s culture will enable you to be respectful of certain values and keep you on the right end of every interaction.
For example, if you’re a female and the country you’re traveling to forbid women to drive and you get behind the wheel, it won’t fair well with authorities. If there is a lot of racism, sexism or a culture that strictly prohibits LGBTQ activity or lifestyle, these are things you must consider and research before making that trip. Some countries don’t even allow public displays of affection with your spouse. Again, you may not agree but you must be respectful of these laws to avoid any conflicts with officials.
People have accidentally gone to jail and or been killed for not knowing certain county cultures. So knowing them could be life-saving at times.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Department of State’s website can be very helpful in navigating these laws or a simple Google search.
Tip # 2: Tell People Where You’re Going
Telling people where you’re going, from loved ones to co-workers is paramount. Be sure to leave all necessary contact information with them. Your odds of being located if you go missing or get lost increases significantly if other people have a starting point to begin the search.
If you are going out on your own you can always let the hotel know where you are going and what time you should be back as a safeguard.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Drop a pin at your current location if you feel uneasy. And always keep your location services on.
Tip #1: Follow Your Gut
If you find yourself in a situation that just doesn’t feel right go with your gut and get yourself out. Excuse your self to the restroom, notify employees of the restaurant or bar, refuse to get into a car. Do whatever you have to do to get yourself out of a situation where you may not feel like you have full control. Usually, when you get that feeling you are most likely right.
Don’t be embarrassed, ashamed or intimidated to continue into an unsafe environment. Do not try to make sense of a situation because it could be a cultural thing. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to personal safety.
Safety tips for travelling pro tips: Do not walk around with both headphones in your ears. Look around you and make repeated eye contact with a possible offender. Put your phone to your ear and start calling out his features, your exact location, where you are going and what you are doing. This usually will intimidate the possible offender because he thinks you have let someone know exactly what they look like and where they were. This works even better if you can record yourself and send it to someone.
Some Safety Items To Bring Along
- Stealth Wallet
- First Aid Kit
- Travel Lock
- Anti-theft shoulder bag or backpack
- Money belt
- Fake Wedding Ring
- Portable Charger
- Portable door locks
- Portable door alarms
And there you have it. These are some of the best safety tips for travelling that can help you prepare when gearing up for your next dream vacation. Now you know the smartest ways to keep your passport safe, learning cultures, and navigating uncertain terrain. But in reality, no matter how thorough an article you read, no matter how many times you’ve traveled, and no matter how prepared you get, things can always happen. So one of the biggest tips you can take away with you today on top of all the other ones is to keep learning and keep upgrading your travel game and your knowledge. As technology gets better, and the world evolves, there will always be new things to learn and adapt to. You can never be too prepared. So on that note, book your trips, do your research, and get out there and start seeing the world!
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