We’ve all been there, wanting to go somewhere ‘exotic’ and ‘cool’ but don’t out of fear. This article will focus on the do’s and don’ts of travel. Hopefully we can help you and others avoid unsafe travel situations. First thing’s first…
Research Research Research
Read about the country you are traveling to. Visit national websites as well as online forums that give you a heads up as to what to look out for. Websites like Fodor’s, Frommer’s, and Lonely Planet are exceptionally helpful. These online guidebooks remain up-to-date and contain extensive amounts of helpful information. Also ask friends and family who have been to the region for a little advice. Don’t be afraid to ask relatives to reach out to someone they know and trust in the area who can help you or give you some pointers. Whatever information or inside tips you can gather is always welcome.
It is also important familiarize yourself with the traditions and customs of the area or country you are looking to visit. Keep in mind that different countries have different customs, some of which might seem strange or foreign to you. Try your best to follow guidelines in order to act and dress accordingly. Act with respect and try not to do anything deemed ‘offensive’ to the locals, such as walking into a temple shirtless.
Do not flash your cards and/or valuables
This one seems like common sense and it might be but we consider it important enough to include anyway. Do not keep phones, jewelry, credit cards, or cash visible while walking. Make sure to leave your hotel or hostel with everything you need to get you through the day but do not carry anything that you cannot afford to lose.
Keep an eye on your belongings at all times
There are many countries especially in Europe that are famous for their professional petty thieves. Backpacks, wallets, phone, etc. can all disappear in an instant. Keep your zippers zipped, do not hand bags or purses on the backs of chairs. Do not get up or go to the bathroom without your belongings. Do not ask strangers to watch your belongings while you do something else. Know your surroundings and where your belongings are at all times.
Be aware during traffic
If you decide to rent a car or a motorbike, please be careful. Especially if you are traveling to Southeast Asia where motorbikes and scooters crash at an alarming rate (Don’t worry too much, they’re usually just dents and scrapes). Also, be very aware when stopped at a red light. Many countries use this opportunity to mug tourists. Sometimes the best option is to run a red light. We know this sounds crazy but remember your priority is to avoid unsafe travel situations. If you find yourself in a third world country stopped at a red light at night weigh your options and stay alert.
Have back up documentation
Make copies of every important document necessary for your trip. We’re talking, passport, travel and health insurance, health records, visa, driver’s license etc. This will most certainly help you avoid unsafe travel situations.
Always have important information readily available
Heading out for a night on the town can be fun and exhilarating but it is important to plan for the worst at all times. Write down your hostel or hotel information along with cross streets. Secondly, have important phone numbers written down. Don’t keep all your cash in your wallet; store some in other places like back at the hotel (if safe) or in a hidden breast pocket.
And probably the most important of all tips on how to avoid unsafe travel is, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!
Trust your gut. Thousands of years of evolution have caused us to have keen instincts…use them. If something feels off or wrong, it probably is. Always put your safety and well being above all else, walk away if need be. Do not fear appearing rude. And last but definitely not least…
Always get travel insurance
Remember to take all advice seriously but with a grain of salt. This article is not meant to alarm you, it is meant to provide you with the tools necessary for safe travel. We strongly recommend going out and seeing the world! Heck, it’s what Wildthentic is all about. We simply ask that you take safety precautions and educate yourself before embarking on any trip. If you’d like to read more about our travel recommendations we suggest reading, Need some Travel Tips? Here is a list of the 5 things your travel agent will not tell you. Take care and safe travels!