Photo credit: faneitzke 7 Île de Versailles via photopin (license)
Travelling the world is an amazing experience. There’s no getting away from it. The sights, the sounds, the exposure to new and different cultures, to forgetting the friends and memories you’re going to make along the way! However, travelling doesn’t come without it’s risks, and no country is particularly safer than the next. You can travel at ease and be as safe as you would be at home, if you just bare these ideas in mind.
Remember: If you’re thinking of travelling abroad, always make sure you’ve invested in travel insurance. Whether its safetrip one trip insurance, or a group policy that covers all of your party, investing in a good insurance policy can give you a sense of ease should anything go wrong.
How many horror stories have you heard about stolen passports? I know of one travelling couple that made it as far as the airport of their destination before realising that their passports had been stolen as they waited for a taxi to their hotel…
The trick is to be prepared. Make sure you make copies of everything. Your passport, your travel documents, medical cards, credit and bank cards even your travel itinerary! Give a copy of this to a loved one at home, and also keep a copy or copies for yourself – away from the real things. Always have spare cash on you (inside your shoe for example) for emergencies. You could even go a step further and email any important information to yourself so you can access it at any time.
Don’t make yourself stand out
Don’t be the loud, overbearing, stereotypical traveller. Try to avoid drawing negative attention to yourself. If you’re going to party overseas, then take it easy, after all – you want to remember your trip, right? Avoid accepting a drink from a stranger and like in all bars – never leave your drink unattended. The same logic applies to drugs. Most drugs offensive carry severe penalties overseas. Be smart and don’t get involved!
Don’t be an easy target
Most thieves are opportunists, and they’ll go for those that look like the easiest targets. Keep your wits about you, make sure you’re looking around. Show that you’re making a note of who is coming and going in the vicinity and any potential thief will move on.
Don’t be flashy!
Wearing expensive jewellery or carrying a flashy camera around is likely to draw attention…so avoid this. I’d recommend leaving any jewellery safe at home! If you go out, switch to a cheap plastic watch. Many travellers recommend a fake wallet to throw down, should you get held up. Always keep your purse/wallet in your front pocket and when in a crowded place, switch your backpack to the front!
Why not try learning a few pieces of local dialect before you go? Showing respect to locals and their traditions means that they will extend you the same courtesy. Before you know it everyone will know your name!