Why you shouldn’t ignore signs when you’re travelling

When you finally reach your destination it’s completely normal to be hugely excited and be utterly desperate to soak in as much culture as possible and as soon as possible too. But whether you’re just starting your travels or you’re already a few weeks in, it’s important to remember to always follow some simple safety rules while you’re out there.

Ignoring things like road signs and especially safety signs could be completely disastrous for you and your travel plans. Here you’ll find some examples of signs all travellers should be aware of and why they shouldn’t be ignored.

On the beach

The sea is a beautiful thing. But it’s also incredibly dangerous if you’re not sensible. When you hit the beach you’ll find an abundance of information and signs that are there to keep you safe and ensure you have a good time. Signs like, where you can find the life guard and also what the different coloured flags mean – FYI, you should only ever swim between the flags. Keep an eye out for water depth information too and of course the tide times. Ignoring all these signs means that you’re more likely to find yourself in danger or in trouble in the water

Unknown waters

You might be taking a hike through the outback and come across a body of water. It’s so hot and you fancy a quick dip to cool off. Before you jump right in, make sure you’re looking for safety signs. There could be anything from native crocodiles and alligators to other creatures that could cause you great harm. You also don’t know how deep the water is…

No Smoking signs

It might seem like a little thing, but before you travel it’s always worth doing your research about what is permitted and what isn’t in public places. Keep an eye out for No Smoking signs in public places, as lighting up could land you in trouble and a hefty fine.

Closed signs

If something is closed. It means you cannot access it. When you’re travelling, this can apply to things like beaches and even areas of natural beauty. There could be a number of reasons why a particular beach is closed to the public, but you still need to obey and follow the instructions given. They’re there for your safety and not to spoil your adventures.

Beware of pickpockets

Not the most pleasant sign to come across, but one that should not be ignored. You might think you’ve hidden away all your cash and valuables and there’s no way a thief would get hold of them. Well, you could be wrong! When travelling you should always be on high alert for things like pickpockets and thieves and when you see this sign your attention should increase tenfold. Don’t ignore the signs!

Mind the gap

Mind the gap refers to the space between the platform and the train you’re getting on. So, pay full attention when you’re boarding.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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